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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. K3KPH

    K3KPH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That is the exact area I was recently scammed from, even sent a UPS tracking number originating from Ontario, CA (Cali, not Canada) but never made it to UPS. The mods deleted my reference to the originating (compromised) email address, so I won't repeat it here. Additionally the grammar sounds very similar to my recent encounter, ie common colloquialisms used in every day speech.

    K3KPH
     
  2. GJ41CD

    GJ41CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    As someone who baits the scammers as a hobby, wasting their time and money, I have learned a lot of tricks one can play to make it appear one is somewhere different to where I am really are.

    To me an IP address is bascially useless. There are any number of proxy servers in the world one can use to get a different IP address. Some you have to pay for, but I use a free one, although the one I use is not available for public use. Several free mail accounts do not give the true IP address of the sender. I don't think gmail does. Hotmail never used to, though I think that might have changed.

    Phone numbers are easy to spoof too. Flextel for example give me a UK number which I can redirect anywhere. That Flextel number costs me nothing.

    It is easy to send text messages that appear to come from other countries too. http://www.afreesms.com/intl/ will allow you to send a text message to most countries, and in many cases you can make it appear as if the text is sent from another country by setting a "sent" phone number.

    If you want to receive a text, making it appear you are in a different country, then http://receive-sms-online.com/ is useful. You can send me a text to either a US, UK, Norweigen or German number and I can receive that text in any country which has web access. I don't even need a mobile phone! So if a clued up scammer in Nigeria (the usual location for these guys) can say he is from the US, UK, Norway or Germany and get you to send a text there.

    So realistically, in this day and age, you can't trust the person is really in the country where their phone, email or text messages appear to come from, or where you send them to.

    Here are a few suggestions which can be used to reduce risks.

    1) Ask to see a picture of the item with a photo of some random household item in the picture. Ask to see a picture of the rig with a loo roll, battery, cup etc in the picture. A scammer who does not have the item would not be able to produce such a picture. Here are some pictures of some very expensive RF test cables I bought. Before sending the money via Paypal, I asked to see some pictures of them with batteries in the photos

    http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent 85131F sn38116-04117 001.jpg
    http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent 85131F sn52620 002.jpg
    http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent 85131F sn52620 003.jpg

    I done the exact same thing when purchasing a TS-940 transceiver. I don't have the photos for that easily available, but in that case I think I wanted a couple of cups in the pictures. Just make it so someone without the item can't send you some photo they got off the web.

    2) Get into a technical discussion with them, to trip them up. Once I sent an email saying "Can you confirm the traps in the dipoles use high quality resistors, and not inductors and capacitors, which I know can be quite lossy". The reply was "yes, I can confirm they use high quality resistors in the traps".

    I think it is clear the seller is not a ham!

    Now most hams will know what a PL-259 plug is, but anyone into the higher frequency bands (certainly at 1.3 GHz, and I wouldpersonally say anything above 144 MHz), the PL 259 is a poor connector. Needless to say one would not fit a 67 GHz vector network analyzer costing over $100,000 with PL 259 plugs. So a recent email I sent when negotiating a vector network analyzer with someone was:

    "Some 67 GHz VNAs have high quality PL259 plugs with PTFE dielectric, whereas other use 1.85 mm plugs which have an air dielectric and are more fragile. Can you confirm if the test port on the VNA are 1.85 mm or PL 259?"


    The scammer replied "Thanks for Your mail....the Test port on the VNA is PL259 plugs"

    3) If you find they are a scammer, then don't tell them. Instead wind them up. I wrote up some information on scam baiting here

    http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?397942-Hams-should-scam-bait-!!-Fight-back

    4) Pay with a method that gives you some come back. Paypal is not faultless, and I have lost out on a number of deals with Paypal. The main problems with Paypal are:

    * As a buyer, if sent sub-standard goods, you need to pay for them to be returned. I once bought a £89 (GBP) ultrasonic clearer which did not meet the specification. It was from a dealer on ebay saying they are in the UK, but in fact were using a UK shipping company. So I had to return it to China.

    * As a buyer, a $2700 vector network analyzer arrived damaged due to poor packaging, and Paypal expected me to send it back at my expensive, which would have been about £300 (GBP) or $400.

    * As a seller, a buyer can claim the item is not as described, knowing the seller will have to pay the shipping costs to the buyer. I don't sell much, so I have personally never been caught by this, but I know it can happen.

    So both buyers and sellers can abuse Paypal, although the risks are somewhat less than with other means of payment. Since Paypal is based in Luxembourg, and not regulated in the UK, I have no realistic means of recourse if Paypal screw me. But its better than other means for a buyer.

    As a seller, I would prefer bank transfer, as that can't be reversed. But realistically many buyers will not do that, so I have to be realistic if I want to sell something.

    5) If you do use Paypal, be very careful of their times for making claims. I nearly lost about £450 (GBP) or around $700 over a transaction in which neither me or the seller were dishonest. The seller was Agilent - probably the best manufaturer of test euipment in the world. Agilent sell on ebay under the account "agilentused". Basically what happened was this.
    * I paid Agilent about $14,000 by Paypal for a piece of test equipment.
    * The item was faulty, and I'd lost faith in Agilent's ability to resolve the problem.
    * Agilent agreed to take item back for a full refund.
    * By the time the item was returned to Agilent, and Agilent processed the return, it was too late to cancel the Paypal transaction.
    * Agilent agreed to refund me $14,000 - the same amount I'd paid.

    It sounds as if that would be fine, but Paypal charge a commision on the GBP -> USD transfer and Agilent's bank chargs them commision too. The result was Agilent were going to refund me about £450 less than I paid for the item. I was lived, and sought legal advise in the UK, only to be told that Agilent were within their rights to do this, as I'd paid in USD and they were refunding me the same amount in USD. The fact I used a different currency, and transaction fees were due, was not their fault.

    Agilent eventually agreed to give me £500 (GBP) as a gesture of good will. This covered all my losses, and I actually came out making about £50 or $75! But had it not been for Agilen't good will, I would have lost. Of course, Agilent are a multi-billion dollar company, and can afford to lose that sort of money easily. Personally I can't.

    It seems to me there is no 100% safe way of dealing if the buyer and seller can't meet and exchange cash. But there are things you can do to reduce your risk of being ripped off, and reduce your losses if something goes wrong.

    Please, please, please consider scam baiting
    . It is one hell of a lot of fun, and if enough hams could waste the time of the scammers, scammers would leave hams alone, knowing they are likely to be messed around and get no money.
     
  3. KI4OYH

    KI4OYH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred, In response to the above, I've posted the following wanted: Looking for a good Intermediate Transceiver covering 80-10m (40-10m if 80-10m not available). Should be capable of AM/CW/SSB other modes a pGot my General ticket and want to do some hf work. I'm trying to keep the expenses down - per XYL! - so $500-$1,000 range is what I'm looking at. I don't like that type of scum any better than the next guy, and the fact that it may be a Ham makes my blood boil.

    OBTW: I don't need the transceiver. I have an ICOM 735 and a Yaesu 857 already.
     
  4. KI4OYH

    KI4OYH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fred, Don't know if this is the one you're after, but... I just received:

    [h=3]UR WTB HF Rig Ad[/h] FROM Gordon McCleery TO 1 recipient

    Show Details
    From
    To

    Walter,

    Three weeks ago I won a Yaesu FT-450D


    I am an ICOM guy at heart and have no use for the Yaesu


    I will ship this radio to you for $800.00 MO, Check or PayPal if you pay the 2.5% they charge me.


    Go here for additional information:



    (note: Above pasted as text only NOT Hot URL)


    The full header follows, if that helps:

    From Gordon McCleery Sat Jul 27 04:11:34 2013
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    Message-ID: <CAApB0vup1vs2ScRw5FkWMQgnzfDz28vvHwR3WTRHoFkpShUDMg@mail.gmail.com>
    Subject: UR WTB HF Rig Ad
    From: Gordon McCleery <w4glm1@gmail.com>
    To: ki4oyh@arrl.net
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  5. N1BBR

    N1BBR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks so much for posting this advice.
    I am not sure, but I believe I was emailed by a scammer coming off as a ham in Florida.
    He wanted to sell me a MFJ auto tuner.
    I told him I was only interested in parts and thank you anyway.
    He didn't take no for an answer and emailed me back trying again.
    I again let him know I was only looking for spare parts from the unit.
    He then emailed me and said he had a unit that he would sell for spare parts, how much would I offer.
    I remember reading your advice here and asked him to send me a picture of the unit.
    No response from him now for 2 weeks.
    I think he was posing as a ham and using a real callsign.
    Thanks!!
    Duane - N1BBR
     
  6. K3ORC

    K3ORC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you all very much for this information. I saw the same ad on a different Web site (scan-ne.net) while looking for a used Flexradio 3000 a few days ago. I "bit" on the ad after checking the name and callsign out at a variety of places. Here is the email exchange. I don't know where to go from here, but I'm certainly not following up on the purchase.

    73 de Tom / k3orc

    =====
    [HR][/HR]From: THOMAS DOVE <k3orc@mac.com>
    To: augustlandsness@yahoo.com
    Sent: Monday, 30 September 2013, 17:06
    Subject: Flex 3000


    Hi,

    I just saw your posting on scan-ne.net for the Flexradio 3000. Since you posted it in May, it's probably sold, but if not, I could be interested.


    Is the rig still available?



    -- 73 de Tom


    Daniel A Landsness <augustlandsness@yahoo.com>
    To: THOMAS DOVE <k3orc@mac.com>
    Reply-To: Daniel A Landsness <augustlandsness@yahoo.com>
    Re: Flex 3000






    Hi Tom,

    luckily i havent had any reasonable offer, i still have the flex radio for sale in excellent condition and decent shape. I will be shipping via UPS or FedEx which ever you prefer , and l'll take payment via Western union , what's your complete shipping address?

    73/Daniel









     
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