Individual International Seller Scam


I recently became a victim of a scam. A parasite advertised the sale of  Dali Euphonia MS 5 speakers located in Denmark. I offered him his asking price and in our communications reminded him to formally accept the offer through Audiogon. He committed to the offer in our conversations and we agreed on wire transfer to his HSBC Bank in London. Once the money cleared he sent me an email the speakers were being shipped but that turn out to be a lie. It was the last communication I had with him. he did not respond to several followup email.

The parasite's login is pedersenh62. I have notified Audiogon support and they quickly suspended his account. Audiogon has also been very helpful with what to do. I have filed a report with my Bank, FBI internet Fraud online both locally and the Denmark office based on the address the scam artist provided.

I hope no other members have been duped by the same guy.

My advise is not to deal with INDIVIDUAL international seller unless it is  agreed  that only COD,credit card or some form of escrow is in place and such escrow only released upon confirmation of delivery.

Audiogon may also want to review the policy on individual international sellers. It verifies dealers but maybe it should consider that only sellers who agree to above payments will be allowed to advertise or for that matter demand that such sellers deposit equivalent money for sale with Audiogon.

Thank you for opportunity to share my experience and I hope else gets defrauded.

Taiye
taiye
That's a real bummer.

Did the Parasite have a zero feedback or no prior transactions?

Usually it's victim's fault to become a scam victim.
If that's your first experience, hopefully will be the last, but these types of scam attempts happening on the internet hundreds per second. Not too many fools left to successfully respond and transfer funds, but figures they're still out there. Otherwise scam business wouldn't bloom.
 
Sorry, but FBI or any other security/enforcement agencies (hey even including Audiogon) worry less about your problem and problems of much higher magnitude than scam.

 
I had no feedback,but sold 2 sets of speakers internationaly, made video of speakers while  playing it,uploaded on youtube.
When I published wanted ad for spendor sp100r2 and krell fbi ,all offers were scams.One scam was very funny,man emailed me bank account of the women
You are not alone,there a lot of people who were decieved,just few say it loud

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I appreciate all the feedbacks. Lesson learned
Yep. Remember, Thief is also an occupation and way of living. They're all over the world. Thieves exist because of fools. If 10 fools found out of 2000 searched, one made it's own day.

Czarivey, perhaps you could be a little more sympathetic to the OP's plight. 
Taiye, sorry you had this happen to you. But, as you said, 'lesson learned'.
I think it was a very generous gesture to provide this information. I also hope you will be contributing to Agon's forums in the future. 
I hate to say it but for all their problems PayPal would have prevented this.
Taiye, sorry that you had this unfortunate experience, but thanks for alerting us.

My perception has been that audio equipment scammers usually copy the text and the photos that are used in their ads from listings that have been placed by others, at other sites, during the preceding several months or years. In cases of doubt Googling a phrase or sentence from the ad, enclosed in quotes, and/or searching the make and model number with Google Images, will often disclose that, if the ad is in fact a scam.

Regards,
-- Al

"Thieves exist because of fools."  No...not exclusively.  Fools make easier targets, certainly but Czarivey's generalization seems to me another case of blaming the victim.  Let's put the blame where it belongs...on the criminal - not the victim. 
I've had good success both buying and selling internationally not a ton but a handful of transactions. You just need to be careful, obviously check feedback, and as always if it seems like too good a deal it usually is a scam. Sorry to hear about your troubles taiye I hope it gets resolved and you get your money back!
Sorry taiye. I had guys try to run the Sonus faber scam internationally on me.  I look at the way they write their ads. They always speak in creepy scammer voice. Man I hate PayPal but they would have helped.  No transactions, shoddy pictures, price way too low, wants bank transfer, tries to direct you offsite. Never calls you. Listen to bank ground during call if they do call you! The are signs!
Ghosthouse, I believe that we both soon will witness presence of World Police to chase those bastards babam!
This isn't the first thread about a scam, or how a member was duped by a "parasite". Obviously, there are cheaters in this world! What works for me may not work for others on this forum, but I never buy from anyone unless they are within driving distance of my home (and I'm willing to drive a couple of hours). That way, I can demo the item and check the condition. I often see ads with attractive prices for an item in Poland, or Singapore. I laugh and think to myself, "Yeah right, like I would ever send money to a place like that." If that sounds racist, it wasn't meant that way. The point is that once your money leaves this country, you're at the mercy of the buyer.
ghosthouse +1    Thx for letting us know, taiye.   There are plenty of other great speakers available from trustworthy sellers.   Apologies for some A-gon members who are empathy-challenged.
Czarivey - I might not agree with you about everything BUT on your point about World Police, I won't argue.  Just because Orwell got the year wrong doesn't mean he was wrong about everything else in his cheery little tale.  
Czarivey, as others have pointed out, you don't have to be a fool to be taken.  I was scammed out of about $200 for records here on Audiogon several years ago.  The member was in good standing with plenty of good feedback and no negative feedback.  He took the money and ran from me and several others at the same time.  There was NO warning signal it was a scam.  Perhaps some day you will find yourself in the same situation and finally understand.  As for those saying PayPal to the rescue, they couldn't help me and didn't really try.  There are no guarantees in life ...

While I sell tons of records via an internet, most of the time I refuse to purchase anything over the internet unless I saw an ad on the internet and the item is within reasonable driving distance. 

I again want to say thanks for the opinions and special appreciation for those who understand s--t happens. LOL
I will post if anything comes about my "World Police" efforts. 
Taiye, sorry it happened. Thanks for sharing.

But I think that just about everyone’s been scammed at one time or another, in one way or another. And I suspect that the exceptions are those with really bad memories.

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There are many audiophiles in Singapore and Poland.
There's little gained from painting with such a wide brush.
Scammers are everywhere.
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rja,

Please re-read my post. That's exactly my point! Your chances of having a bad experience are magnified once money leaves this country. At least you have a chance of finding a scammer here, but what are your chances of tracking down someone in another country. "World Police" yeah, right!
Good luck getting anything back.Never wire money overseas some guy in Germany wanted me to wire money for Magico speaker this guy had many scam ads in Audiogon with scam feedback,
these speakers are still available:
http://www.myaudioshop.com/speakers/full_range/Dali%20Loudspeakers/euphonia-ms-5
Wow!!!
I have been buying virtually everything online since 1998 with one simply rule: no bank wire transfer! 
I clicked on that link and reported it as fraud. Hope it will stop other victims from falling into his trap.
Agreed:
1) No bank wires
2) Use PayPal but with CC, no PayPal balance or linked bank account. CC payments thru PayPal gives extra level of protection
3) If the amount is high enough to be painful to lose (this example here would be in the "extremely painful" category for me!!) then use Escrow service.
I just wish I followed these simple rules myself, as it is I am certified "fool" according to my fellow a-goner  ;-(
Sorry for your loss Taiye, I have dealt with a couple of International sellers and thou I didn't get scammed one wanted me to wire the funds to his account after Paypall rejected the transaction several times for fraud warning, needless to say I didn't wire the funds because ,
1, Audiogon has a warning about wiring funds to personal accounts and keeping all communications thru Audiogon.
2. Paypall rejected the transaction as fraud do to a linked account. Im not saying there was any intentional fraud on his side and I don't believe there was.

Another transaction that didn't go thru with a verified seller refunded my funds which was done with my CC.

Wiring funds to a personal account I would never do, there is absolutely no protection for you vs CC and PayPall in which you have a little more recourse if something goes sour.

Tammy at Audiogon has been very helpful with me on both transaction.
Thanks tecknik for your kind words. I learned my lesson
Hello Taiye,

I am sad that you experienced this miserable scam.

Personally, I don't feel Czarivey's comments display much understanding, compassion or maturity. I wouldn't give his comments any credibility.

I hope you can recover and not blame yourself. These things happen to many of us; it's happened to me, too.

Best Wishes

Thanks cdk84. "Everybody plays the fool sometime" I do blame myself for not being careful but I am over it. My goal was to remind others of my plight which I am sure is not new, I am happy that my post got people talking and all opinions have been welcomed but grateful for the empathy.

Thanks to all. I am signing off.

I'm sorry to say that, but if you spent 15 min researching the topic prior wiring the funds, you would still have your money. 

There are numerous threads, here on AudiogoN and other forums, with tons of usefull advice on buying used grear.
 
I have 12+ years experience (with over 300 closed deals) with both selling and buying expensive gear on AudiogoN with ZERO fail rate. If that number was not impressive enough, 100% of my deals were int'l ones (I'm from Poland, you were so nice to single out, without any good reason) and most of them (I would say 90+%) relied on bank wire transfers.

Here are my top 5 ways on how NOT TO get scammed:

#1 for me is always a phone call. Within minutes you will know, if you are dealing with audiophile or a scammer. Scammers are no audiophiles. They have zero knowledge of the equipment they are listing. They just found out this niche and try to exploit it. Ask him about the item he is selling, his gear, his past experience - you know, thee usual audiophile chat.

#2 is to check the sellers identity through a distributior. Those are all small markets. Out of 47 european countries, 27 has less population than New York city alone ! Distributors and dealers tend to know their customers very well, so in most cases that is not be a problem. 

#3 Check the forums. Very often ppl use the same user name on AudiogoN and forums. Many of them have long forum history. Contact him via PM on that forum and ask if that is him who is selling the gear.  

#4 Ask the seller to take a custom pic for you to verify he is in the possesion of the gear. It can be a sheet of paper with a text written on it, or an object put on top of the item. You can ask him to put a fork, or any other common item, on top of the gear. Anything that he would not be able to find using google would work. Since there is still slight possibility that the scammer will forward your request to a genuine seller selling identical piece of gear in another part of the world, and then forward you back the requested image, I usually ask for a pic with his full name and city, say John Smith, London. 

#5 Ask him to send you an email from his company account. Not some gmail or yahoo freebie stuff. Scammers do not have an access for some HSBC, BBC or DuPont corporate email addresses.

Even if that is a smaller company, you can try to find tham using google and google street view. I was once buying 30k GBP speakers from the UK, so I visited some bio-tech company his email was pointing to, called their office and asked the secretarry to put me through.  Needless to say, two weeks later, the speakers have arrived at my door safe and sound. 

You can use all, or some of them. Be smart. Use common sense.  If you are not smart enough, you will be scammed on a local, PayPal sale.

If you limit the ads to those available locally or those that can be paid by PayPal, you will seriously limit your options. For many expensive items market is very limited and only buying/selling globally gives you a chance for success. 

Not many of you realise, but there is a good reason for the sellers NOT TO use PayPal: it is not safe for the sellers. That is right ! Just visit sites like PayPal sucks to read some horrifing stories. One of my favourites is the guy who sold a $6000 trailer. 6 months (!) after the sale, PayPal sized his money, as the company whose CC was used to make the payment claimed the person who bought the trailer was not authorised to use that CC. Same for stolen CCs that can be used to buy stuff. I'm not even mentioning buyers who want you scam you from the very beginning using PayPal (there are scammers on both sides of the fence).

I don't know about you, but for me risking say $5-40k on a PayPal sale (often to a guy with only a fraction of my feedback, or often with zero feedback) is more that I can afford...  
elberoth2, yours is really solid advise BUT a bit too much complicated. Totally agreed, using cash and "driving distance" is a bit paranoid, sounds like my last Boss who won't use his CC so that FBI won't locate his favorite burger joint (he is HarleyDavidson dude!) 
ESCROW service is my advice, I never used it for a-gone transactions because I always presumed that folks here are like me and all the scammers precipitate on eBay, but I did use it more than once on my LabX transactions...  
IMO, if you are gonna wire someone $5k-$10k-$20k, that 30 min spent researching the seller is time well spent.

ESCROW is not free, and it will cost you some extra time as well.  
Sorry, I was not quite clear that I totally agree with your points. With most transactions thats all you need to do. For $10+K I feel safer using Escrow, and paying extra fees, but thats just me.
You make a good point about sellers safety, I never thought of that. Don't know if Escrow makes it safer for the sellers, maybe it does not. 
Why did Poland get singled out is beyond my comprehension skills as well...
@elberoth2 Great advice! Cheers,
Spencer
Elberoth2, I thought those were such good ideas that I used them this morning. Thank you.
Hope you get some recourse on this deal.
I always ask for the Address and phone number, work number of seller, then I google it and see actually what building it is.. if its a drugstore or post office building other than a home it sends red flags to me. I may even call the numbers and verify they are correctly owned by seller. The cost of a call to sellers work place and them never hearing of the guy is cheaper than losing $1000"s of dollars. 
I then ask for a pic of his drivers licence in front of the item for sale  to ensure he actually has that item or not and that his name and previously stated address are on the drivers licence. Refusal sends a red flag and I move on.
I ask for serial number of item for sale and run it by the Manufacturer for any mods, repairs, updates and if any, to whom this item belonged to and push for any info they are willing to share. 
I google sellers name and if he is legit and its the correct name he may come out as an honest guy selling his gear or if he's a scammer, the numerous forums on the net may have his name connected to previous scams.
One can never be too trustworthy of internet deals as total anonymity and great distances make a scammer  brave enough to rip people off.
 I can t afford such a loss and Buyer do your due diligence to make you comfortable completing an internet transaction.

I was posing as a buyer on the link for these speakers to see if I could get more information about the guy. Hope it works and add not removed.
Was thye gents name Helle Pederson ??
Just an update: an Audiogon member has been quite helpful in  trying to flush  out Helle Pedersen, my scammer. The scammer is trying to get away with the same scam with our member who is clearly more savvy than I was. At this point I am not sure if I can reveal the member's identity but he has forwarded me the messages between he and the scammer. This only improves the chances of law enforcement's  involvement  with evidence of multiple scamming.

If there are others out being solicited by the same scammer please leave me a message
I know you feel a fool, but everyone is at risk. I just sit and think for a long time, read feedback, etc, before committing.

 My own favourite story is my E-Bay A/c, getting taken over. The guy changed the password and bank A/c and I kid you not, put about £500,000 of gear on for a quick three day sale. He hoped I suppose, that I was away and was'nt going to notice. I really had to jump up and shout for some time to get Ebay to notice. There were Marten speakers, Audis, BMWs, etc etc.

  Everything is OK now, in fact I am waiting for a cheque for £2,000,000, from a nice Nigerian Prince, after I sent him 50,000, to release the cash. 

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