Fraud Alert: Audio Zoom Zoom, Netherlands


Beware: I paid almost $15K to Audio Zoom Zoom (Netherlands) for a Kondo Souga amplifier and all communication stopped completely as soon as the money was paid. Guy goes by the name Varchi.
Ag insider logo xs@2xmusicm
This is very sad however i would never buy outside of the USA although maybe your not in the USA.
They have a website and are located in Den Haag, Netherlands. For the amount you lost, I'd fly there and do him in on something jagged. Or, file a claim in his country.

All the best,
Nonoise
Yes for $15 grand I would absolutely fly there and confront him if possible and certainly start legal action.
Very nice looking website. Seems like they should be legit, but then again, you never know.
I would try to contact authorities in the Netherlands via the Internet.
Was it a wire transfer or through a CC?
Bob
Also there are quite a few testimonials by satisfied customers on his site complete with email addresses maybe try reaching out to those folks? There is one as recent as this month.
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OP has been active on the sales side and has good feedback FWIW.
I took a close look at the Audio Zoom Zoom website and a few things struck me as odd. 
  • None of the items, that you can see the background, appear to photographed in the same location.  An audio showroom would have "vignettes" and you would see the same background repeat as items were rotated and pictures were taken.  Internet re-sellers also tend to have a favorite place to take pictures.
  • Some of items are in incredible shape for the stated age.  A 14 year old CD Player that looks brand new.  A 26 year old pair of headphones that are stunning.  A 52 year old amp that looks showroom new.  As most people here know, items "age" no matter how much you try to protect them and treat them with kid gloves.  Binding post will oxidize, paint fades and dust seams to find it's way into every nook and cranny.
  • Some of the photos are taken directly from the manufacturers website.  At these prices, buyers want to see photos of the item they are purchasing.
  • There is no address listed.
  • They only except bank transfers.  They have a rather long explanation of why bank transfers are so much batter than using a credit card.  I think a real store would be glad to take a Platinum Card.
  • The offer free maximum 7 days shipping to any place in the world!  I'm sure that it cost a pretty penny to ship Martin Logan CLX's around the world.
  • " Our customers will not be responsible for any shipping charges, duties, VAT, taxes or surcharges levied or charged by their country."  How can they make this guarantee? 
  • Some of the descriptions appear to be cribbed and don't fully match the item.
  • The phrase "Smoke free home" appears in some of the listing.  A high End re-seller would not accept smoke damaged items.
  • " You may return most new, unopened items within 7 days of delivery for a full refund."  Aren't they selling used equipment?????
  • "We love our units(amps.,pre-amps,speakers,cables,etc.)!!! and if for any reason you decide to return or exchange the unit(s)within your 60 days we will be happy to refund you 100% , no question asked."  That's one hell of a generous return policy.  Also, "we love our units" sounds strange.  Wouldn't "We stand behind the products we sell" sound more professional?  
  • All of the testimonials are from the last three years.  Why are email addresses included?  Who would give permission to have their email address published?  All of the email addresses have a series of numbers in them except one which seams odd.  "mail.com" is a "news" site in the USA. "gmx.de" is a "news" site in Germany.  "linuxmail.org" is a sub-link of "mail.com".  Looks like someone likes trashy news sites.
  • A High End audio retailer called Audio Zoom Zoom?   That name just doesn't fit.  Now, ZOOM ZOOM MotorBykes would work.
While someone has spent a lot of time setting up this site, there are quite a few red flags.  The biggest red flag being no street address and bank transfers only.  I think the OP's money is long gone.  I did find a posting in StereoNET.AU for a guy named Varchi from Audio Zoom Zoom who joined in March 2018.  He also joined Audio Asylum in March 2018.  His first name is Simone and he lists his birth date as May 12th, 1970.  He has a Facebook page, but no activity.  There's a scam warning on AirBNB Italy for a Simone Varchi that only accepts bank transfers.  There's a Scam warning on AirBNB Spain for a Simone Varchi that only accepts bank transfers.  
Whois for the site, which doesn’t look good for a legit company ....


Tech ContactName: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC Organization:Mailing Address: 12808 Gran Bay Pkwy West, Jacksonville FL 32258 US Phone: +1.9027492701 Ext:Fax:Fax Ext:Email:7ffr4kp2n2je4b6ev9hhrj1pua@domaindiscreet.com

 Domain Name: audiozoomzoom.com Registry Domain ID: 2229424067_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.networksolutions.com Registrar URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/ Updated Date: 2018-02-19T13:12:37Z Creation Date: 2018-02-19T13:12:36Z Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-02-19T13:12:36Z Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC. Registrar IANA ID: 2 Reseller: Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited http://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited Registry Registrant ID: Registrant Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC Registrant Organization: Registrant Street: 12808 Gran Bay Pkwy West Registrant City: Jacksonville Registrant State/Province: FL Registrant Postal Code: 32258 Registrant Country: US Registrant Phone: +1.9027492701 Registrant Phone Ext.: Registrant Fax: Registrant Fax Ext.: Registrant Email: 7ffr4kp2n2je4b6ev9hhrj1pua@domaindiscreet.com Registry Admin ID: Admin Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC Admin Organization: Admin Street: 12808 Gran Bay Pkwy West Admin City: Jacksonville Admin State/Province: FL Admin Postal Code: 32258 Admin Country: US Admin Phone: +1.9027492701 Admin Phone Ext.: Admin Fax: Admin Fax Ext.: Admin Email: 7ffr4kp2n2je4b6ev9hhrj1pua@domaindiscreet.com Registry Tech ID: Tech Name: PERFECT PRIVACY, LLC Tech Organization: Tech Street: 12808 Gran Bay Pkwy West Tech City: Jacksonville Tech State/Province: FL Tech Postal Code: 32258 Tech Country: US Tech Phone: +1.9027492701 Tech Phone Ext.: Tech Fax: Tech Fax Ext.: Tech Email: 7ffr4kp2n2je4b6ev9hhrj1pua@domaindiscreet.com Name Server: ns7.wixdns.net Name Server: ns6.wixdns.net DNSSEC: Unsigned Registrar Abuse Contact Email: abuse@web.com Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8003337680 URL of the ICANN WHOIS Data Problem Reporting System: http://wdprs.internic.net/ >>> Last update of WHOIS database: 2018-06-02T07:22:45Z <<<


Moreso this, the creation date is  2018-02-19Created Date: 
Same guy selling a rolls and Bentley up under the name marlow cars...


https://hkcartrader.com/en/cars/9309

and reported here




Hopefully you paid on visa? Or similar. 

Keep posting about bout these scum bags guys in this thread, so the name ranks in google and is visible online to warn others of this low life! Maybe pay him a visit to buy his rolls or Bentley? 🤛🏻
prpixel made notes that site has been specifially built for fishing and fishing was a success or at least several.
you come to netherlands and find nobody and that's how that works so don't spend your funds on ticket. $15k might not be enough to inform interpol as well. the site was created to succeed just because audiophile crowd is wealthy and naive just like fish. 

We (the world community) MUST agree on standards to neuter these morons. I see an opportunity to create a business for bonding a website.
A website would be required to display its bonded license number which a potential customer could verify on the bonding website. Something along these lines.
Also, we must demand harsher prison sentencing for perpetrators e.g. 10 year minimum with NO access to ANY electronic devices and confiscation of all personal property. That would be a good start.
Sending money to Nigeria (or the Netherlands, for that matter) just makes NO sense! I empathize with your situation ($15K, yikes), but sending that kind of money is crazy. I hope you get some of it back. Audio Zoom Zoom, really? Caveat emptor!

P.S. If someone ripped me off for $15K, I’d be on a plane the next day.
Further to @prpixel s observations, using Google image search on the thumbnails of equipment will return examples of the same photo, or one very slightly cropped or cleaned up, on the sites of other resellers.

This = https://audio-europa.com/ads/linn-lp-with-radikal-urika/?refsource=hifishark

Thishttps://www.ebay.de/itm/Nagra-300i-VFS-Isolationsbasis-TOP-Zustand-2-Jahre-alt-OVP-/271669662664?pt=... with just a bit of re-touching.
I think the best protection is to always use a credit card.  Unless you know the seller is legit do not send cash.
Not to beat a dead horse...
When I was trading watches, I always had the seller provide references before wiring funds.
Sorry this has happened to you.
B
prpixel

That is a great job investigating........seriously awesome
I'm with Tony Kay above on Countries NOT to send TT's or money transfers to--I'd include Poland I got scammed by this Ratbag

Derr Phillip Johannes and his Bank

ING Bank Slaski SA Katowice

Avoid both at all times!

T212

I live in Belgium, and just by curiosity, I did send a mail to ZOOM ZOOM, asking if I could drop by to have a look on some of their gear. Off course: no reply!
When you go their Web site a chat window pops up. That might be a good way to get a response or find out where or who they are.
Accepting wire payment only is the big tip-off. 

Anygreg, great gumshoe. 
Sorry to hear this.  I agree it doesn't look good.  I notice that everything is expensive, which means fewer buyers, which means it's harder to find feedback on the company.  I bet if he "sells" that $1.4M Bentley, he will close up the shop and be gone for quite a while.
Can Audiogon help in any way, or is the method of payment used outside Audiogon's parameters. 

I had my first sale last week with interconnects, Audiogon held the payment until the cables were received, the website states it can take up to 8 days for payment to clear. I used The credit card payment system, fair for all parties.

I would fly before parting with 15k.

I flew a few hours last year to see a pair of speakers. Emails led to phone calls and then meeting in person, worked well.  

I emailed Audiogon last year to verifying a vendor in Turkey. I wanted to know if I could trust the seller information. I got a prompt response, they looked into the vendor and said everything was in order. 

No harm forwarding the police in the Netherlands all relevant information on this vendor.

Good luck.


The payment was direct Bank transfer and the item was not listed on Audiogon, so no help from Audiogon.  The original post was just to give us a heads up.
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How do you know it's Netherlands or anywhere within Europe? Faith or site domain?
How do you know that it's not from West Africa, India, Indonesia, Philippines? These nations have corrupt cops and even if you find origin coming anywhere from there, you can be screwed for another $15k if not more.
Don't be silly pal. 

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the very most-likely situation that there wasn't any transaction anywhere and poster just wanted to see members reaction to it, so i believe everything has cleared.

just wonder myself to find such low-security bank to 'play' with such hefty transactions from time to time myself, but dreams sometimes don't come true even if you try to ask imaginary dude up above.
Just to clarify, I did in fact lose the money, wired to a bank in Amsterdam. My sole purpose in posting was to warn fellow audiophiles about a fraud. Thanks to those who made a positive response, especially prpixel and deralte. As to those with negative comments, you are the very reason I generally do not participate in forums. Stay safe everyone.
musicm: Sorry about your lose.
It’s to bad that some of the posters, on here, place themselves above everyone else and can’t feel good unless they’re being snide and insulting. Little wonder that some, in our audiophile community, post here a few times and never come back. The members of our forum will always have different likes and opinions and that’s good, but I, for one, hold little regard for snide and arrogance.
Scammers have gotten very good at setting up and quickly closing out accounts using fraudulent identities. It’s rather easy to wire transfer money into or out of any account and near impossible to catch a crook once their account is closed - since the identity/identities on the account was fraudulent to begin with.
Back in the early 2,000s, a good many ebay buyers got scammed out of many thousands of dollars - caught up in phony motor cycle sales, atv sales, etc, etc - claiming to take only wire transfers. Thus began the big push to get transactions to go to PayPal and most likely the reason PayPal has always been more buyer, rather than seller, protective. Now, it seems there are some shady buyers out there, who use PayPal’s favor toward buyers to screw and scam legitimate sellers.
A good wake up call and remind for us to be very mindful of how and with whom we do business
Best of luck...Jim

dear Sir,

thank you for your your warning.

i was near to send money to them.

please find their bank account:


 

Titulaire du compte: Pavel Varchi Toma

Adresse: Meander 901, 6825MH, Arnhem, NL
Nom de la banque: ING BANK N.V.
Adresse de la banque: Willesplein 38, 6811KC, Arnhem, NL
IBAN: NL93INGB0665526113

SWIFT: INGBNL2A

 

he also told me that in french which is my language:


Bonjour M. Pictet,

En ce qui concerne ce gars qui pleure pour 15K $, ce n'est pas ma faute, je lui ai demandé d'envoyer les fonds sur mon compte bancaire, pas à mon adresse PayPal et il n'a pas écouté.A présent, ses fonds sont bloqués et nous attendons PayPal pour débloquer Les fonds pour nous pouvons résoudre le problème.

and that:


M. Pictet,

Oui c'est le cas, je lui ai dit qu'il ne m'appartient pas de lui rembourser ou de débloquer les fonds PayPal est le seul à pouvoir le faire. Je lui ai demandé d'enlever cette discussion parce qu'il me donne un mauvais feedback et devinez quoi, il ne peut pas le supprimer du forum Audiogon.

Nous avons ouvert une poursuite parce que cela nuit à notre image. Il doit répondre de cela parce que nous perdons des clients à cause de cette discussion sur le forum

Merci,

Varchi

Audio ZOOM ZOOM

you need to sue him and to warn other customers as much as you can.

thanks again and very sorry for you.

Bernard


Being ripped off in any language is still being ripped off. Again, I sincerely empathasize with the poster who lost $15K. However, the idea of sending that kind of money, via bank transfer, triggers so many red flags in my mind that it seems incomprehensible that anyone would do it, but they do. For my money, if I can’t drive to meet the seller and handle a cash-and-carry transaction, then I’ll just keep looking until I find someone local who is selling what I’m looking for. Just know that there are people out there who are better at figuring out how to separate you from your money than you are at detecting them. This is just my opinion.
I am sorry. Just the name Audio "Zoom Zoom" is a major warning of a scam. 
Just my opinion. 
No due diligence by a buyer can have dire consequences.
Hello, Musicm. 
You have all my solidarity... I totally understand that in a moment of an eminent thrilling purchase, even if one might feel that something is strange, you might just easily be catched by the net because you can't point out exactly what it is wrong.
I am in Europe and I too was severely (for my very modest parameters) robbed through an ad on site called "hifi-platform.eu", by a so called "hans" 2years ago. It wasn't so much, off course ( hell, my total in the bank account is much less than that amount!) but it was enough for me to fill a complaint in the police. I was stupid, I have to admit, because there were several ways of realising it was scam. I didn't know that anyone can take pictures from e-bay and use it freely, for example... I really can't understand how e-bay even alows that, without even a watermark or anything!! Just perfect high definition photos that the scammer took from e-bay and sent to my e-mail. And that was what happened, without ever crossing my mind that it might not be the same person in the two ads, and very naively accepting the seller lie to why such different prices.
Curiously...the site was from netherlands also: 
https://pt-pt.facebook.com/pages/biz/community/Hifi-Platformeu-603624133035770/ 
But the money went to someone in Italy. The site was shut down little time after that, but to today I don't know if it was part of the scam... I thought not, because afterwords I noticed there were scam alerts in several ads (including the one I responded, the day after paying!!), but after reading this thread, and given that I wrote by that time to the manager of that site without getting answered and it close a bit after, I can't be sure. I'm not hoping to see my money again, because i don't think italian police worried any tinny bit with it. This is very sad,...it should be law that every site that allows private selling have some checked information about the sellers, like a simple address confirmation letter with a registering code.
I hope everything works out better for you...it seems that you were victim of a much more sofisticated method.
That account is fake and I am sure they are not in Netherlands.
They are also trying to cheat our users at www.audiophile.org
We are carefully investigating users and do not approve them if we are clearly satisfied
With the IBAN account from ING Bank you can ask for support from both the ING bank and the Dutch Police. You can also file a case at your local police - cybercrime unit. The bank account is there and is from ING, otherwise it would have been bounced. 

Don’t let this just happen. 

I live near The Hague and am trying to get in touch with Zoom Zoom: this is a 100% bogus site but I will try to find out more and report back to the Dutch Police. 
Thanks for the advice powerreserve. I did file complaints with the Dutch Police and cyber crime procedures in the US, for what it is worth. My bank also contacted ING Bank. 

Anything you can do to shut down this guy is a blessing. 

Thanks and best regards.