Beware How I was ripped off


A while back I saw an add posted for some Tannoy drivers that I was interested in. I opened some dialogue and ended up purchasing them. The seller was "audiosource", Paul Berger, and did have a few transctions with positive feedback. On the phone he said he was opening a store in Poland for hifi. He said he could not do paypal and I had to do bank transfer. Due to the positive feedbacks I decided to go through with it. Lo and behold a few months go by and I have not recieved my speakers. He is very reassuring stating that they are going by boat and it takes a long time. Finally we get to the point were he promises to refund. Unfortunately he never does and doesn't respond to any more emails. Lesson learnt I will never send bank transfer again. Do not purchase anything form this scammer!
analogluvr
I feel bad for you, but what you did was very unwise.
Never ever do a bank transfer outside the country. Many scammers setup by selling small items just to buildup positive feedback. They sell smaller items such as software and then after a few positive's they go for the juggler selling a high priced item with a story attached. Such as "I am building a store in Poland and not setup at this moment using a credit card or PayPal. They suck you in with that phony positive feedback and charm.
No paypal = no deal.
I just checked . "audiosource" has 3 feedbacks and 2 of them by same user . Al 3 feedbacks in span of 3 days. I am sure this guy is a scammer and all 3 feedbacks might also be part of scam.
Sorry to hear. Yes, there are more and more scammers. Best to see that they have lots of positive feedback over a number of years and no negative feedback. Paypal can help protect buyers.
Also lots of cable counterfeiters. Look at their early transactions - usually zero feedback "buyers" with a one line feedback to pad his numbers. Or read the feedbacks to see that this guy (often foreigners) sells mostly cables....must have a lot! Lets put these bad seeds out of business with negative feedback. Don't be afraid that he will just turn around and give you negative feedback. I have found my appeals to audiogon have been handled reasonably.
Best to speak with everybody....you can tell if he is a knowledgable audiophile. We love to talk stereo! Scammers....not so much.
Thank you for the post..I always try and use PAYPAL..Even more so now! Sorry you got burned that's so un kool. I hate to hear about a bad apple that is still out there.
Truly sad, but don't assume PayPal will cover you. I got ripped off by someone a few years back and used PayPal. When I contacted them they said the payee had already removed the money from the account so they couldn't do anything. I don't know if the policy has changed but I don't trust PayPal that much!
Pmotz Are you sure about that? I had a very positive transaction with PayPal when a seller tried to rip me off. They PayPal will not allow you to move funds when a transaction is still open.
Wiring money is very risky. There's almost no protection if something goes wrong. Its not something that can be undone.

"01-29-15: Pmotz
Truly sad, but don't assume PayPal will cover you. I got ripped off by someone a few years back and used PayPal. When I contacted them they said the payee had already removed the money from the account so they couldn't do anything. I don't know if the policy has changed but I don't trust PayPal that much!"

I can definitely confirm that one, too. "We don't know what happened. We just know that its not our fault. Thank you for calling PayPal. Our goal today was to provide an exceptional customer service experience. Have we met our goal?". Sound familiar?

Its situations like this, its always better to use someone else’s money, like a credit card. For some reason, they seem to do a more thorough investigation when something goes wrong. I wonder why?
In case of PayPal vendors are at risk too. All you need is for an unscrupulous buyer to put in a false claim and you're out of your money. This happened to me where the buyer claimed that the goods arrived damaged. Paypal returned his money, I never got my goods back that were in his possession and later I found out that he had sold them to someone else in Canada. I'm still out $25k! And PayPal just shrugged it off with a sorry.

david
Dkarmeli that story just sounds to fishy to my ears...If what you say is true? All of us would be purchasing 25k speaker systems, and putting in false claims while burning the candle at both ends keeping the gear and cash...there's more to that story...
Dkarmeli,

That's incredible. Reading your post, it looks like you are in Canada. I don't know what the laws are there, but if you were in the US, you could go after paypal, and possible recover some, if not all of your money. At the very least, your goods should be returned to you because once paypal issued a return to the buyer, the goods are yours again. They can't keep both the money and the goods. That's stealing.
Some joker with a fake Magico Q3 ad wanted me to wire money to Germany i knew this was a scam NEVER wire money out of the USA.
Zd542, I'm in the US, talked to a couple of attorneys at the time the costs were too high to pursue a law suit. The client was in a different state than me and the sale was to a person in another country making it all very expensive. This is an ongoing problem with PayPal, that's why many people and businesses don't accept it over a certain amount. Also with PayPal you're forced to contact them within a 30 day period, you're not covered if you contact them outside of that time period.

david
Everyone - use a major Master Card or Visa credit card (Bank of America, Chase, etc) to fund your PayPal payment when making a purchase.

Should there be any problem with the purchase, contact both PayPal and your credit card. These credit cards offer exceptional buyer protection. I've had several instances (on eBay) when PayPal orphaned me and my credit card issued a total refund promptly.

This is why PayPal defaults to using the payment with a bank account, and why it used to have a confirmation trying to steer the user away from using their credit card to fund payments.

Exceptional protection without additional cost.

Life it too short to not listen to music that stirs our senses and moves our souls - Thomas.
Shipo, you're welcome to your opinion. Fortunately, most transactions aren't done with crooks. You'll see that while most vendors will accept credit cards for large, i.e. $10k+, fewer and fewer are accepting PayPal in this market and on eBay.

david
Sadly I was ripped off selling first quality and fully serviced gear and people claiming it was not. Both times they returned an item different than what was sent. eBay ignored the evidence: photos of different items including serial numbers and service center's statements, never replied to me and ignored my otherwise unblemished record and treating me as a wrongdoer and refunded the lying thieves. PayPal owned by eBay. I don't sell on eBay and not really buy much anymore. Bad folk always find their way to mess over and good things up for good folk. Sad. Thanks and Best wishes for all the good folk.
Paypal is seller/vendor biased. Never use them as a buyer. Just build up feedback the old fashion way. Be honest and treat as you would want to be treated and you'll get + feedback. You will not need the paypal crooks. There will always be someone you can't please. This "audiosource" didn't have enough feedback to trust with a wire transfer. Live and learn.
I was scammed for a Seiko watch from Singapore - ended up getting an empty box. PayPal told me to go pound sand. I lost only $110, but I'll never use PayPal again. Buyer beware!
"01-29-15: Schipo
Dkarmeli that story just sounds to fishy to my ears...If what you say is true? All of us would be purchasing 25k speaker systems, and putting in false claims while burning the candle at both ends keeping the gear and cash...there's more to that story..."

That's what you would do and you're calling him fishy? My monitor stinks just from reading your post. Well, at least we know now, not to do business with you.
Wow Dkarmeli I feel so bad for you!! And yes paypal are thieves as well. I think they do the bare minimum so backing it up with a CC makes good sense. The worst part I couldn't even give "audiosource" a negative feedback as to much time had passed. I emailed audiogon support with the whole story, told them I couldn't post feedback as too much time had passed, but told them I just wanted to add feedback to prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.
I didn't even get a response.
Your first clue was after a few months?
As a long time Audiogon user (always a buyer, not a seller), I am very cautious about buying online. It's just me but I would never, ever buy from an international seller. I have never been scammed but I empathize with those that have been. I just think that the cost of shipping a 100 pound amplifier half way around the world must outweigh any discount someone could give you. Also, if you mail a check then you have their address. I believe it would be worth the cost of a plane ticket to fly to their home and ask them face-to-face, "Where's my money?"

This thread has just given me the willies. A friend of mine wants me to get rid of a closet full of his old equipment. Since it is "up scale" stuff, it seems the only way to get a decent price for it is through the web. But these stories are scaring me away from trying to do that.

I've never sold anything on the internet before. I've been researching it and it seems like the Wild, Wild, West.

In the US, if you have a beef with somebody you have to take them to small claims court in THEIR state, which requires you to fly out and handle it in a court that is local to the party you are suing.

So I think I'm going back to the idea of looking for local dealers who would buy it. For much less than I would get off the net, I imagine.

Still thinking it over. Don't like the hassle. Should never have agreed to help. Must learn to keep my mouth shut. =-}
Tom32- If you remember some simple rules, this site is usually pretty darn safe for sellers. Your local dealer will probably give you 10 cents on the dollar at best, here you should be able to get 3-6X that, so you do have a margin or error.
1. Do not accept paypal payments funded by a credit card. Insist that it be funded from a bank account or a paypal e-check. If e-check, wait until it clears before you ship.
2. No sales to Nigeria, Eastern Europe, Russia unless they have about 1000 positive feedback AND pay w bank wire. That's only sort of a joke.
3. Payment by bank wire is the safest for the seller. They cannot use the account numbers you give them to drain your account. Once the funds hit your account, they cannot be pulled back.
4. Bank checks/cashier's checks, Bank money orders are not guaranteed safe until they actually clear. These type of funds have been counterfeit/stolen in the past and if the issuing entity declines to cover it, your bank will back-charge you. Western Union deals are the most suspect. Never ever ever accept an instrument for more than the sales price and give some cash back to the buyer.
5. U.S. Postal money orders are very, very safe. YOu can cash them at any post office.
6. Get a phone number and a physical address, not just a p.o. box, and talk to the buyer.
7. Look at the buyer's feedback. Not just the score, but what it's based on. Too many from the same few members, or for low price items are a red flag.
8. Remember that the seller is actually the e-site's customer. They pay the fees, so the rules are generally weighted in the seller's favor. Not always, but just a thought to keep in mind. In this case, it works in your favor.
Schipo, I sure am certain, here's what PayPal told me ....

"We have decided in your favor, however, we were unable to recover any funds
from the seller's account. As stated in the PayPal User Agreement, recovery
of funds associated with a Buyer Complaint cannot be guaranteed.

Please know that we will make our best effort to recover the funds in
question if they become available in the seller's account in the future and
will take appropriate action against the seller. Such action may include
issuing a warning, a temporary restriction, or terminating the account.
Keep in mind that PayPal uses a number of factors to determine when to take action, including member complaints. Due to privacy laws, we cannot discuss the details of any action taken. We hope you understand our policy and that it assures you that you are safe using PayPal."

This was in 2009, never heard from PayPal again....