Why is this too good to be true?

BlueCynicalMoon

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 24, 2005
29
0
Swoyersville, PA
I have the opportunity to purchase a new 17" 1.67 Powerbook for 350 (GBP) or 631 (USD). Having read the Fraudulant Sticky a dozen or so times, I can not help wonder how much this is too good to be true. I emailed the seller on eBay because I spotted the following available for auction:

Brand New Apple Powerbook G4 17inch

I asked why the starting bid was only 975 (USD). This is the response I was sent back.

I have recently opened a computers store in USA but now I am having some problems with the rent and I am forced to close it temporarily. So I have to liquidate everything.Unfortunatelly for me and fortunately for the buyers the prices are much lower than originally. I am willing to sell one to you for 350 GBP including shipping taxes. I ship from USA, but everything is included in the 350 GBP. Is it OS X 10.4

The laptop is Brand new,it comes with 4 years international warranty, all accesories etc...


The sale would take take through Buy Safe

Why does this not sound on the level? :eek:

If it were, would I still be allowed to buy Apple Care for it?
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Do an escrow transaction from a certified escrow service. If the seller is not willing, run away from the sale.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Well look -- if they really were an authorized dealer in the USA they could have sent the stock back to the distributor, not offered it for less than half of wholesale on eBay. Also, they would not be likely to make grammatical errors in their email.

If you seriously believe that an offshore supplier is going to ship you the goods...

Also, never use an escrow service suggested by the seller.

http://www.bosbbb.org/reports/reliability_report.asp?FirmId=75795
According to the BBB report, thee company that owns BuySafe.com is no longer in business, and the address does not match the address of the domain registration. I'm thinking, buysafe.com domain name was purchased and may be a front, not a legit escrow site.

Oh wait: the auction says "Don't use EBay Contact Seller - use this untraceable email address instead"

This is a hijacked account my friend. Why oh why are you even considering this?

"Contact me before you bid" - of course, EVERYONE who contacts him will get offered a Powerbook on a "deal".

FRAUD! Reported to eBay already. Hope that not too many suckers have been roped in by email so far.

BlueCynicalMoon -- You're suffering a bit of a reality deficit in your diet :p I prescribe two extra spoons of Cynical on your cereal each morning, cut back a bit on the greedysauce a bit too -- ain't no way to get something for nothing. :D
 

willyhunt

macrumors member
Dec 31, 2004
57
0
Exeter, UK
Its a fraud, the email such and such bit because my ask seller a question isnt working a giveaway, that and the fact the seller sells normally what appears to be trading cards.

Avoid like the plague.
 

camomac

macrumors 6502a
Jan 26, 2005
776
175
Left Coast
this looks like a typical eBay scam. look at his feedback, very nice huh?, then look at all the items that he sold to get such nice feedback, EVERYTHING is less than $2.00.

this seems like BS.
 

ohcrap

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2005
548
0
Question: If you were going scam on eBay by pretending to sell a 'Book, why not just put it up for auction at a realistic price?

1. MUCH less conspicuous.

2. Way more bids.

3. You'd get a lot more money.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but that guy was just asking to be exposed for the fraud that he is.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ohcrap said:
Question: If you were going scam on eBay by pretending to sell a 'Book, why not just put it up for auction at a realistic price?

1. MUCH less conspicuous.

2. Way more bids.

3. You'd get a lot more money.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but that guy was just asking to be exposed for the fraud that he is.
Sssshh... The last thing we need is really smart scam artists...
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
ohcrap said:
Really smart... scam artist... oxymoron?
Nope. The most brilliant salespeople in the world are in jail, or should be, because they are the ones with the talent and ability to get people to pay for something that doesn't exist. Often they work the investment dealer game, getting rich people and older people to put their life savings into a surefire scheme that's gonna pay far higher than bank or stock market rates.

We just had one here in town, he convinced people to invest in a private bank in Jamaica but they had to transfer the money into his personal account to be then sent to Jamaica. He operated for over a year and ..get this.. took in over a MILLION dollars, himself, alone. And all those people believed he was their best friend... until some of them asked to take their money out. Personally I would like to see him rot in jail for about 25 years, and the investment company who permitted him to set up under their franchise name without overseeing his activity busted and bankrupted.

One can be smart and a sociopath at the same time...
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
According to eBay, the only "approved" escrow service in theirs.

If somebody tries shifting you elsewhere, run.

It's not perfect, but it's a major tell.
 

ohcrap

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2005
548
0
CanadaRAM said:
Nope. The most brilliant salespeople in the world are in jail, or should be, because they are the ones with the talent and ability to get people to pay for something that doesn't exist. Often they work the investment dealer game, getting rich people and older people to put their life savings into a surefire scheme that's gonna pay far higher than bank or stock market rates.

We just had one here in town, he convinced people to invest in a private bank in Jamaica but they had to transfer the money into his personal account to be then sent to Jamaica. He operated for over a year and ..get this.. took in something like ten MILLION dollars. And all those people believed he was their best friend... until some of them asked to take their money out. Personally I would like to see him rot in jail for about 25 years, and the investment company who permitted him to set up under their franchise name without overseeing his activity busted and bankrupted.

One can be smart and a sociopath at the same time...
I wouldn't call that smart, personally. Highly intelligent, yes, but smart, to me, is more of a defining word for someone who knows enough NOT to do something like that, regardless of whether or not they are capable.

I am intelligent enough to hot-wire a car, but I am smart enough not to.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,356
1,310
Usually when an auction listing looks nothing like any of the previous auctions from the seller, there's a problem. The real seller does sports cards under the name of JJSports Cards. Different formatting, huge font requesting not to use "ask seller" links, yahoo e-mail address...the alarm bells in my head are so loud it hurts.
 

g5_11

macrumors member
Mar 28, 2005
53
0
Unfortuantely macs are one of the first choices for scams because naturally people are looking for a way to get one cheaper than from apple. I would not recommend buying anything off ebay unless you use pay pal and really feel you can trust the seller. Also if the seller has more than one of the item and/or is offering you one at lower than the listed price like in your case, steer clear of it.
 

ohcrap

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2005
548
0
Not getting caught is a matter of intelligence. Knowing not to do something that is illegal is smart. It's common sense. Or maybe I'm just an ass. I don't really give two *****. :D
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,039
30
Salt Lake City, UT
WildCowboy said:
Usually when an auction listing looks nothing like any of the previous auctions from the seller, there's a problem. The real seller does sports cards under the name of JJSports Cards. Different formatting, huge font requesting not to use "ask seller" links, yahoo e-mail address...the alarm bells in my head are so loud it hurts.
This is generally true, and a good indication to be careful, but certainly not surefire. I'm currently selling a car on eBay. If you look at my feedback, you'll see that I've been an eBay user since 1998, with 100% positive feedback, but a good part of that was buying, and the rest was selling (relatively) inexpensive things. I assure you I'm not running a scam, although my current auction listing looks nothing like any of the previous auctions I've run.

That said, a relative of mine worked in eBay's fraud investigation department for several years, and they have told me enough stories that I know to be very careful when a deal looks to good to be true, especially on eBay.
 

PaRaGoNViCtiM

macrumors 6502a
Mar 18, 2005
758
0
PA
These are up on ebay all the time, their always listed as 1 day auctions, and they always want you to email them privately before you bid, and alot of the time they are maxed out.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
CanadaRAM said:
Yup, got it ... Posts # 3, 4 and 13 ;)
Ahh, sorry about that. I was in a café, had to run, read the first post, and wanted to say that to make sure they knew it was a scam before I left.

Sorry again.
 

wako

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,404
1
ohcrap said:
Question: If you were going scam on eBay by pretending to sell a 'Book, why not just put it up for auction at a realistic price?

1. MUCH less conspicuous.

2. Way more bids.

3. You'd get a lot more money.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but that guy was just asking to be exposed for the fraud that he is.

On ebay EVERYONE is looking for a bargain. How many purchases are you going to get when its a realistic price verses a super bargain? Obviously you will be getting a butt load more replies with a super bargain. A scammer would definately want more scams than just 1 or 2.
 

pammyspyce

macrumors regular
Jul 29, 2005
185
0
Bay Area, Calif
mduser63 said:
This is generally true, and a good indication to be careful, but certainly not surefire. I'm currently selling a car on eBay. If you look at my feedback, you'll see that I've been an eBay user since 1998, with 100% positive feedback, but a good part of that was buying, and the rest was selling (relatively) inexpensive things. I assure you I'm not running a scam, although my current auction listing looks nothing like any of the previous auctions I've run.

That said, a relative of mine worked in eBay's fraud investigation department for several years, and they have told me enough stories that I know to be very careful when a deal looks to good to be true, especially on eBay.
You make a good point there. But seriously, I think it's different with cars because just how many cars can one sell? If I was looking at cars on eBay it wouldn't freak me out if the seller didn't have any previous feedback related to car sales.
 
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