QRZ needs your help - LETS CATCH THIS GUY!

Discussion in 'Stolen Radios, Scams and Rip-Offs' started by AA7BQ, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. KG7BGZ

    KG7BGZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Several weeks ago I saw several different radios for sale, all were allegedly from different people. I was thinking of buying one of the radios but decided against it. As I looked at some other radios that were posted within a few days of each other I found a few listings that I suspected were written by the same person.

    What tipped me off is that the sentence structure in all the ads was stilted. Managing an import business, I see these mistakes daily which is why it's my opinion that he or she is not a native english speaker. (My guess is a former Eastern Bloc state). Issues I noticed were the incorrect use of tense and verbs. It wasn't widespread misuse -- which is why I almost overlooked it. And I'd probably have overlooked it were just one ad; but three ads from three different people who made the same uncommon mistake made me suspect a problem. There was also one more grammatical "fingerprint" common to the three ads that I noticed when I looked at them deeper - which to me confirmed that it was the same person.

    To catch this person, my suggestion is to first analyze the ads that were scams. Look for the common grammatical errors. These errors will continue to occur and will make it easier to find suspect ads. If anyone still has access to the ads that have turned out to be scams, analyze them deeper and you'll see the fingerprint I'm talking about.
  2. KG4RRN

    KG4RRN Ham Member QRZ Page

    KG7BGZ--didnt Fred say the scammer used pretty good english.
    READ MY FRIEND-- THE WHOLE ARTICLE and be a know-a-lot as Fred is an excellent SA.
    Best Wishes it might be the Koreans Fred ....they do need money for nuclear missles.
  3. KK4CUL

    KK4CUL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I like your idea, Josh. A little bit of IT forensics and code cracking. Problem is, this would take a lot of resources as I am sure there are many different scammers from different native languages, and each one in a given country will still have different grammar and spelling. Hell, there are plenty of people who's address is listed in the US that I would swear are foreigners due to complete disregard for the English language and just plain lazy typing.
  4. N2EHG

    N2EHG Ham Member QRZ Page

    not sure if my issue is exactly the same guy, but i can say it was definately not a single person and they were not usa based. seemed it was a group and one was definately located in Africa. Another on the same team was in the middle east. Clearly they were a bit organized, and somewhat 'professional' crooks. It would be nice if yahoo would respond to fraud alerts. I've reported my issues to all the ham boards I was aware of that my particular guy tried to false use my callsign, yahoo. and the feds. Do hope this gets resolved.
  5. N0AAT

    N0AAT Ham Member QRZ Page

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  6. KG7BGZ

    KG7BGZ Ham Member QRZ Page


    I understand what Fred said -- my point was not only to affirm that but to also mention that the scammer's English is not just good, but it's very good. To the point where I, a former investigative reporter and editor, almost didn't see the discrepancy.

    If you read my last sentence in that post you'd understand that I was trying to say something in a very subtle manner. That is, there is a forensic fingerprint in the posts that were scams. It's something that is subtle yet can be detected quickly with simple search string.

    I'm pretty confident it's a former Eastern Bloc country (I'd bet Poland). I'd bet against China -- I deal with those guys often and they just don't have a grasp of our language like this particular person. And in my very quick analysis based on why I don't trust the marketplace here on QRZ, it's was just one person in this particular case.

    There's speculation it's Nigeria. IP addresses lie, or can be made to lie. If I were to use TOR to post this message, I could make it look like I was posting from anywhere in the world.

    The linguistic anomaly I'm trying to point out points elsewhere.

    Perhaps I'm over-reading everything and I'll just shut up. Sorry for taking your time.

    AA0ZB likes this.
  7. KG7BGZ

    KG7BGZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks! I don't think it's going to take code cracking. It's more about dialect. The person that posted the ads I looked at made a very specific error. If anyone looks at those specific ads, they will see the error. it's easy to overlook, but if you look a few times you will see it.

    I totally agree with you on poor spelling and grammar. I would have totally written it off as piss poor grammar had I not seen three ads with the same particular mistake.

    There is a specific error that the ad poster makes. It can be detected very easily. It may, however, lead to other scammers that make the same particular mistake. But, it's something that can be detected.

    AA0ZB likes this.
  8. AE5DX

    AE5DX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not a detective, but I see a recurring erroneous pattern in the letter in post #14.
  9. N6MEJ

    N6MEJ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know that you are wasting anyone's time. This thread has already seen several good points, yours included. Maybe the OP was having a bad day.

    I would love to analyze the ads in question...so as to look for your noted forensic fingerprint, unfortunately I suppose they are not available. I have found a few as well in the past.

    my own experience is to simply use extreme caution and good sense. I've made several purchases on QRZ in the past...after having investigated each as best I can. They were clean, safe transactions. On the other hand, I've also passed on more than one ad for one or more reasons that led me to believe they were dishonest.

    On a personal rant, why anyone would use a bank transfer, third party address, or God forbid, Western Union today is beyond my capacity to understand. If those methods to transact a deal aren't enough of a red flag, the phrase "a fool and his money is soon parted" comes to mind.
  10. K0KNX

    K0KNX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree, I think they're based overseas and use associates to stake out people's mailboxes and steal the MO when it arrives. These addresses you see floating around are used just to steal the money out of the mailbox, they wouldn't be stupid enough to use a real address of their operation. They might have figured out many hams are older and, at least in the scammers mind, would be easier to trick.
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