NEED HELP! Possible ebay fraud. Guy selling many emacs.

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by LucasLand, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. LucasLand macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2002
    New England
    I got excited about some auctions that were selling emacs with 800mhz superdrive for only $939. I went ahead and bid on one. I then realized that they were selling 5 others. I got suspicious, but i decided to wait to hear from them. I get an email from them requesting that I send the money via wire transfer to austria. I didn't like that at all. They had 2 seperate names on the email too. The email was from a "Marilyn Welch", but they wanted the money sent to a "Pascual Mercedes". I then requested info on the ebay seller "everydaypeople02" and this is what I got:
    Contact information for everydaypeople02:

    User ID: everydaypeople02
    Name: Joshua Jossey
    City: Brewton
    State: AL
    Country: United States
    Phone: (251) 867 - 0555

    They also use a hot mail address, which I never trust since anyone can get one for free.

    What do you people think?

    Here is the email I got from them:

    From: "Marilyn Welch" <>
    Date: Sat Feb 8, 2003 4:42:36 PM US/Eastern

    Dear Customer,

    You can make the payment for this brand new sealed product by Western Union Money Transfer or using Money Gram Money Transfer.

    1. Western Union Money Transfers can be made online at or by visiting your nearest Western Union office.
    You can also submit the payment using 1-800 Call Cash (tool free number available 24h a day)
    You can find a full list of offices on the Western Union website or by calling 1 (800) 325-6000 or +1 (314) 298-2313.
    They can process your VISA, Mastercard or Discover credit card

    You can find a full list of offices on the Western Union website.

    The online payment method is available only if you have to send $999 or less.
    The 1-800 Call Cash method and the Local Agent method works with any amount that you have to send.
    Please choose the best method for you and ask us if you have any other questions.

    2. Money Gram Money Transfers can be made going to one of their offices located in banks, postal offices or everywhere you see their logo.
    MoneyGram transactions can be exchanged with an individual, or sent to a U.S. business, within minutes through any one of MoneyGram's 50,000 agent locations in more than 150 countries worldwide.
    We process payments Monday - Sunday, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm.
    During this time, we will normally process your Western Union or MoneyGram within 3 hours of receipt.

    Send Western Union payment or MoneyGram payment to:

    Name: Pascual Mercedes

    9400 Wolfsberg Felfer Gasse 38
    Vienna, 10401

    Once the Western Union or MoneyGram payment has been made, you must immediately email us with the following information:

    1. Your Full Name
    2. Exact Dollar Amount of Money Transfer
    3. Date sent
    4. Your Billing Name and address
    5. Money transfer control number generated by Western Union (10 digits number-Transaction Number MTCN) or The Reference Number generated by MoneyGram ( 8 digits Transaction Number ).

    We will ship the package in 3 hours after the transaction is made and we will send you via e-mail the tracking number from shipping.
    All the packages will be shipped insured and double boxed.
    Please notice that these payment methods have fees.

    We will support all the fees that you have to pay when you submit the payment with Western Union. Please calculate the final fees that Western Union will ask you and send the payment without the fees amount.
    In this way we hope that the payment method is acceptable. You don't have to pay extra for this product.
    The package will be shipped ASAP after the payment is submitted and after you confirm twice via email the transfer details from Western Union.
    Please don't forget to enter the billing name and address (the name that paid the transfer) from Western Union.

    Thank you


    I emailed them and demanded that they prove that they are legit. If i don't hear from them I know they are bogus. I just feel sorry for the other bidders if they send money.

    I could also be completely paranoid.

  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    At this point you have enough info to complain to ebay.

    Based on the supposed location of the ebay seller and where they want you to send the money, I'd say ebay would investigate it. Don't wait for a response from the seller. Complain now.
  3. macktheknife macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    NEVER, EVER!, conduct any online transactions with wire transfers! It's usually the payment method of choice for scam/scum artists--they receive their money quickly and there's no way to trace them. Getting a shoddy-looking e-mail with two different names should raise some eyebrows: At best, the seller is a sloppy novice, at worst, the seller is a sloppy con-artist.

    Don't send the money. Send an e-mail to eBay at once. Remember the old proverb: "If it's too good to be true, it probably is."
  4. Freg3000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 22, 2002
    New York
    Re: NEED HELP! Possible ebay fraud. Guy selling many emacs.

    No, you are not paranoid. Be very careful here. Contact eBay to give them a heads up while you try to get more information from the seller.

    Good Luck.
  5. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    If you are going to buy a mac do it from apple or a authorized reseller. But to go to ebay hoping to save a few bucks is F _ _ _ i_n _g crazy!
  6. jaykk macrumors 6502a

    Jan 5, 2002
    Mac hardwares are not cheap in ebay

    I didnt find any good deals at all for Mac Harware.. why all this hasle just for a bare minium savings? but there are some good savings on Software side though, where the risk is less.i saw Keynote going for as little as $50.
  7. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    If you are uncertain of a transaction, just don't pay and risk a negative feedback. I have a friend that didn't pay on an auction because of a few inconsistencies. He even had people send him e-mail complaining about him not paying. (Which only the seller would know) Then someone sent him an e-mail warning him not to pay because they had been ripped off by the guy.

    So, I would risk a negative feedback if I thought I was going to get ripped off. Better safe than sorry.
  8. medea macrumors 68030


    Aug 4, 2002
    Madison, Wi
    I agree, its better to get some bad feedback than be out of almost a grand, and you should call the sellers number that is listed and see whats up. Always check a sellers feedback rating before bidding on one of their items in the future.
  9. mig71 macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2003
    there is no such address in viena

    the adress mentioned in the mail does not exist in viena. i am sure this is a fraud, so please dont send any money! in austria and germany we had many fake-offers of pbooks and cinema-displays on ebay. seems no more. dont know how they got them out. rumors were these betrayers were from romania.
  10. macktheknife macrumors 6502a


    Jan 24, 2002
    Feedback vs. Cash?!?!

    Unless you have little feedback and/or plan to make a living through eBay, one little negative feedback is a triffle compared to how much money you could lose from a scam. Always be safe than sorry--if the deal smells fishy, walk away. The worst that can happen if you walk away is that you get a neg--much better than the worst that can happen if you fall for the scam.
  11. LucasLand thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 6, 2002
    New England
    Found an article about this type of fraud

    eBay account hijacked, bidders billed in 'rampant' fraud
    For a couple of days last month someone was auctioning Sony camcorders from Kevin Pilgrim's eBay account. But the auctioneer wasn't Pilgrim, who lives in Raytown, Missouri.

    More than two dozen online bargain hunters agreed to pay $US605 ($A1,029) apiece, in some cases wiring money to Germany. But there were no camcorders. The two-day auction was a fraud.

    While bidders got ripped off, the bad guys got away - at least for now. The scammers who hacked into Pilgrim's eBay account to woo unsuspecting bidders did their dirty work before eBay could shut his account down.

    A frustrated Pilgrim watched the crime unfold, able to do little more than desperately email warnings to bidders. Even the FBI told him that while these electronic purse snatchings were rampant, they could not afford to tie up agents' time on each one that popped up.

    "We get calls like this every day, and that shows how rampant this is," said Jeff Lanza, a spokesman for the FBI in Kansas City.

    Although auction fraud is skyrocketing as online commerce grows, consumer protection is not keeping pace.

    As a result, auction users face growing risks. Increasingly, they are pressing for more safeguards. And some outraged consumers are becoming online vigilantes.

    "You've got this monster market on the internet, but you can be witnessing a crime in real time and be helpless to do anything," Pilgrim said. "There's no 911 number you can call."

    Online auctions are a modern phenomenon, attracting millions of users willing to buy everything from toasters to sailboats from people they have never met.

    The gorilla of the industry, eBay, posted revenues last year of more than $US240 million ($A408.3 million). While eBay won't release user numbers, it's been reported that 35 million people regularly buy and sell at online auctions.

    "What we say is that we do $US30 million ($A51.04 million) a day in business," said eBay spokesman Kevin Purseglove. He said fraud taints no more than 0.01 percent of the transactions.

    But that means lots of users still get burned. Some experts believe the number of frauds may be higher, simply because they are so hard to track.

    "It's trying to hit a moving target," said John Giubileo, vice president of products and services at Kansas City-based eSecurityOnline. "By the time they're discovered, they're someplace else."

    The National Consumers League's internet Fraud Watch reported that after several years of decline, online auction complaints soared in 2002, accounting for 87 percent of all internet fraud complaints it received. The league said internet fraud last year cost consumers $US7,209,196 ($A12.26 million), which they calculated at $US484 ($A823) per victim.

    The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Sentinel, which gathers online fraud complaints for a consortium of law enforcement groups, received more than 20,000 internet auction fraud complaints in 2001, reflecting the huge challenge facing investigators.

    While there are a lot of scams, each one might affect no more than 50 people, a number unlikely to ring bells at the FBI. "If you have 1,000 victims, that's a different story," Lanza said.

    While online auctions rely on trust between buyers and sellers, scammers take advantage of that trust to do their dirty work.

    In the past, many scammers simply opened their own accounts to hoodwink bidders. But they were more easily traced.

    Now, the scammers - often international gangs - have wised up. They hack into the accounts of users with good reputations, sellers who showcase their positive feedback, and use those good reputations to ambush bidders.

    That's what happened to Pilgrim. On December 16, when he checked his email, he found 18 eBay users wanting to buy camcorders from him. When he tried to access his account, he found he was locked out. The password had been changed.

    He reported the fraud using an eBay message prompt. An automatic response said eBay would get back to him in "12 to 36 hours." He then phoned Raytown, Missouri, police, who said they were not equipped to investigate internet crimes.

    The next morning, the final day of the auction, Pilgrim called the FBI and the internet Fraud Complaint Centre, run by the Justice Department, which gave him a complaint reference number.

    Meanwhile, Pilgrim frantically returned emails to as many bidders as he could, warning them of the fraud. "I was concerned that people thought I was the guy perpetrating the fraud," he said.

    More than 40 people had responded to the auction. An unknown number already had paid. Craig Rettmer, a Kansas City audio engineer, was one of the unlucky ones who lost $US605. ($A1,029).

    "Kevin (Pilgrim) was quick to tell me he wasn't selling anything," said Rettmer. "I felt like such a fool."

    Rettmer and other victims were beguiled by the scammers' slick appearance on the Net.

    After taking over Pilgrim's site, the scammers advertised Sony digital cameras at a "buy now" price $US200 ($A340) below retail. The site included technical information and even offered gift wrapping.

    "They made you feel very comfortable," said Rettmer, who had been looking for a camcorder to buy as a Christmas gift for his daughter.

    In retrospect, the payment directions should have raised a red flag. Bidders were told to wire payments by Western Union to an address in Nurnberg, Germany. Hoping to get his camera before Christmas, Rettmer wired cash. Other bidders paid by credit card and remain hopeful that they will get their money back.

    Terri Carlson, who lives in Hawaii, got her money back. She ignored the Western Union directions and paid through PayPal, an internet account that allows bidders to use their credit cards.

    Carlson hasn't given up on auctions. But she's now more wary. "There wasn't any way to put the brakes on by eBay, and that seems a little strange to me," she said.

    Ebay didn't suspend Pilgrim's account until Dec 18, after the auction was over. By then, the scammers were gone.

    Purseglove, of eBay, acknowledges that the auction company appeared slow to react in Pilgrim's case. But he said that was unusual. He said eBay tries to respond immediately to customer concerns.

    internet experts say the increasingly popular auctions have been the target of thieves.

    "Certainly the auction sites should have the equivalent of a rapid-response team," said Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Web Watch, a division of Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports.

    JA Hitchcock, author of Net Crimes & Misdemeanors and president of Working to Halt Online Abuse, said one concern for the auctions is the cost of increasing security.

    "Companies like these have grown too big, too fast, and are more concerned with the bottom line than their customers, which is a shame," she said.

    Purseglove disputes that. He points to the numerous fraud warnings and tips eBay provides to its customers. He said two of the more ingenious methods hackers use to crack accounts include:

    Sending a user an email purporting to be from eBay asking for private and detailed information, which is then referred to a "spoof" site, where it is harvested by the hackers. He said eBay never asks users to provide that kind of private information.

    Using robotic "dictionary" programs that surf through accounts trying every word until they find one that works as a password. Use of symbols in a password can help thwart this kind of internet assault.

    Asked if an internet 911 number would help, Purseglove said it has been discussed. But a potential problem is that people would also use the number for nonemergencies.

    Others suggest that eBay and other auctions use programs that can detect excessive attempts by hackers to crack a person's account password and then lock them out. Purseglove said that method is being considered.
  12. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA

    If you want an eMac just go to your Apple store or Apple reseller, the prices have been dropped on the eMac models and you will know exactly what you are getting!
  13. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    yes do not buy this. if you've bid, do a bid retraction. if you get scammed, ebay won't do anything about it. and it does sound like a scam...

  14. MacFan25 macrumors 68000


    Jan 5, 2003
    It does sound like a scam. If you have enough money to get a new eMac, then you should get it from an Apple store or Apple re-seller.

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