Warning - Do Not Use Western Union

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Gear For Sale' started by AA7BQ, Jun 2, 2012.

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  1. VK2FAD

    VK2FAD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    G'day from VK
    After reading your post I thought id share my predicament / stupidity
    My name is John VK2FAD, I am writing to advise you of a scam that I have been taken in by and would like to advise others to be cautious when buying online. I received a response to a request on a well know Australian Ham Radio website when I was looking for a tranciever. I recieved an email which purported to be from a English Amateur with details of the radio at a most attractive price which was very enticing. I tried to be careful so looked up this person on QRZ.com and verified that his name was correct. The only thing I noticed was that he did not have a contact email listed. A transaction was done via Western Union into the account that I was provided with and I was supplied with tracking details so I could track the shipment. So far, so good. When I tried to track the parcel it was hit and miss. Sometimes I could track it and sometimes I could not get access to the site. I was becoming very anxious over this whole transaction. After a few days I was emailed by the Courier stating the parcel was held by customs in the UK and that they were demanding another substantial amount of money to allow this parcel to be released. I was given 2 days notice to do this with the warning that if I did not pay, then the parcel would be disposed of. In a nutshell I would lose my money and the sender would lose his radio. I then started to get calls purporting to be from the sender pleading with me to find the money. I refused because the whole thing was obviously a scam... UK customs do not charge duty or anything else to export secondhand radio equipment.
    I had a UK amateur radio operator pal call the number and he reported that it was not a UK ringtone and a very foreign "African" sounding accent did answer the phone on one occasion, giving a '#### and bull' story about UK customs charging duty! This is clearly not right.
    Unsurprisingly, I have heard nothing more from the sender since I refused to pay the UK customs charges.
    I have since contacted the REAL person whose identity this scammer was using and brought this to his attention. I am out of pocket a considerable amount of money due to trusting people to do the right thing. My advice to all is go with your gut and NEVER USE WESTERN UNION. If anyone requires more details im happy to do so.
  2. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    That right there should have been a RED FLAG ....... requesting payment be sent to a THIRD PARTY .... looks like a scam , walks like a scam , smells like a scam.

    I've done business online for over 10 years now, professionally and personally and these scams continue to be perpetuated.

    I actually know someone who was taken in by the Nigerian Check Scam ... and I always wondered what kind of person would fall for that. Now I know!

    Honestly if I have Ham Gear to sell, it sits on the shelf until the Hamfest where the transaction can be carried out in person and the gear being sold can be tested.

    I wouldn't buy a used high dollar rig over the internet, nor would I try to sell one. Too much can happen in shipping, and who wants that nightmare.

  3. KD3NE

    KD3NE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Western Union is not a bad company, it provides a service used everyday by people who need it without issue.

    If a burglar uses a Ford truck to clean out your house ... are you going to blame Ford ?

    During my tenure as a seller on Ebay I used Western Union and a Western Union subsidiary known as BidPay many times with great success.

    BidPay more than Western Union directly, but it was owned by Western Union.

    I am on the east coast, in Maryland and have had buyers from the West Coast who wanted something shipped out THAT DAY beg me to accept payment at Western Union.

    They bid and won on Ebay ... sent the money via Western Union .... I received payment and shipped the item. Not one problem.

    There are SCAMMERS out there using PAYPAL accounts as well ...... You PAYPAL them $1,000 for that rig, they clean out the account ..... you lose $1,000 and file a claim, if lucky you get protected. The Scammers account gets closed and they open up another and start all over again.

    PAYPAL didn't scam anyone, but they were used ( like Western Union ) in furtherance of a scam.

    Perhaps the powers that be here would be better advised on creating a STICKY THREAD on how users can protect themselves from being scammed.

    A few rules I think might be good ......

    1) Contact your buyer/seller on the telephone. When I sold on Ebay if the buyer had a score of 10 or less I required a PHONE CALL or their bid was cancelled by me. ( scammers don't want you calling them )

    2) DO NOT send money to the sellers Uncle, Parent, Sister, Cousin or their priest.

    3) It the deal has you wondering ....... WALK AWAY FROM IT

    4) Never entertain a seller/buyer request to ship via any other method than "UPS", "FEDEX", "USPS" ........ I mean come on Ajax Transport? Really??? Who are they.

    I should write a book on how to avoid being scammed ..... but then someone would claim the book is a scam!
  4. VE2NRG

    VE2NRG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi folks, these scam artists are good, but we are to be better than them. I was approached with an offer to a "Wanted" add i posted. Obviously i played along as you never know if the person on the otheer end is honest or not.

    1st thing you need to do, is check the pictures they send. Many of these are taken from google and are very easy to trace by doing a check. Also, have them take a picture with the date and your call sign on a paper with item. This can help and you will notice that they never reply back!

    2nd thing, never use anything else than paypal for payment. You need to notice that they never give any mailing address and they try to press you on to make the transaction. Many things to notice also are they always use western union money wire for these deals. Up front, that is already a big NO NO!

    3rd, read carefully all e-mail, you WILL find language issues and discrepencies: Example, its callsign: X1X2X3 From Italy. Well if you look up call sign you might notice they entered Spain in the e-mail! This has happened to me including the above. I have not had any issues so far because i am cautious and know the scams.

    Please folks be carefull, open up a paypal account, confirm it, use it and be safe! Double safe that is, because paypal covers you and if you use credit cards to pay you have a double fraud protection. Plus, paypal uses verification for You and the receipients receiving the money.

    From what i hear, USPS money orders are also a good option.

  5. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The same thing goes for money orders it's the same thing as sending CA$H to someone you don't know use eBay with a credit card.
  6. QRZ
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