View Full Version : Scam baiting on QRZ.com

10-24-2011, 02:57 AM
As test, I placed an ad on QRZ.com a few days ago looking for a left handed "Melehan Valiant"

For hams not familiar with this item, it's a very rare and valuable collectable bug. It's about a $3,000 item to a serious collector, and I'm asking for the LEFT handed version, which may not even exist.

Within a day or so after I placed the ad I get the following e-mail through the ARRL e-mail service:

From: m3tfm73 (m3tfm73@zoho.com)
Sent: Sun 10/23/11 12:55 PM
To: WA3LKN@arrl.net

Hello Mate,
How is your day going?
I saw your WTB advert,that's why am sending this mail.
The requested item is up for sale by me.In an excellent condition.
So if you are still looking for it.Send me an email so that we can reach an agreement.
Looking to read back from you soonest.

A scammer took the bait and responded! Right off the bat!

The above, of course, has "SCAM" written all over it.

1. He didn't respond through QRZ.com. I never use the ARRL e-mail service.
2. He didn't state the name of the item I was using, indicating this is a stock 'macro' response.
3. I don't have a clue what WTB is. I placed my ad in QRZ.com. Again, the generic response.
4. The domain he used "ZOHO" is well known to be a haven for scammers of all sorts. Search "ZOHO scam" on google and you'll get the idea.
5. I know enough Brits to know this isn't idiomatic British English. This is English as a second language. Notice the punctuation errors.

I didn't want to waste alot of my time playing with the guy so I played dumb but responded:


Thanks for the e-mail.

Need pictures, and need to know which version you have and the serial number on it.



No response, as expected.

There is, actually a British ham M3TFM listed in QRZ.com with a different e-mail address. I notified him I thought he was being impersonated.

The learning benefit of this is, of course:

Be very, very, careful about dealing with anyone who has what you're looking for. As a a rule I would require the reply to be through the QRZ.com website at a minimum, with phone number and lots of actual photos and if anything is the slightest bit fishy, bail.

10-24-2011, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the lesson. We have deleted the bait post because we don't allow fake postings. Everybody should be on the lookout for scammers.

Please do not create fake / bait posts.

Meanwhile, everyone should learn these rules:


2. Never buy or sell from someone who isn't listed on QRZ, if the ad was posted here.

3. Never accept checks drawn in an amount that is in excess of your selling price.

4. Never ship merchandise until the check has cleared.

5. Be suspicious of overly solicitous email from europe, that seems too friendly, and too eager to buy or sell you goods. Overseas selling is very tricky and should not be attempted unless you know what you're doing, and can verify the identity of the person on the other end. References are good too.

10-24-2011, 09:22 PM
WTB = Want To Buy..... FYI

BTW, IMHO and FWIW, I thought you'd like to know......

10-25-2011, 01:55 PM
WTB = Want To Buy..... FYI

BTW, IMHO and FWIW, I thought you'd like to know......


10-25-2011, 02:24 PM
Good post, David, thanks. I just had a similar occurrence on a wanted ad I placed here last week.

The scammer used an email address that included the callsign of a legit ham in the UK, g8vln, who also had a bio and profile here on QRZ. But the email address was different than the one in his QRZ profile. Just like what happened to you, David, I noticed the following glaring warning signs:

1. Did not respond through QRZ.
2. Different email address profile in QRZ: mk.g8vln@live.co.uk
3. Domain often used by scammers: live.co.uk
4. Very poor grammar and strange idioms not typical of a native brit: "Hello Buddy", "Dear om. Hi? How r u ?" ...
5. Request to be paid through Western Union

Be head's up out there!

73 John

10-26-2011, 06:40 PM
When I get messages like this (several times) I ask for their location; if they provide one, I just so happen to be going there next week and will pick up the item in person. I'll have the cash with me.

Need an exact address so I can come visit to pick it up.

Never hear from them again.

11-01-2011, 02:52 AM
Another scam clue is
"My shipping company will come pickup the item".

11-02-2011, 01:30 AM
He just tried a scam on me as well. I was looking for a radio, but I could read between the lines on that one. I also sent a note to the "actual" steve so he would see what was going on. He pulled me from the radios wanted list Watch yourselves out there.



11-07-2011, 05:53 PM
I got that one not long ago and just laughed. The grammar is so poor on some of these it makes for good entertainment.

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