Is there a Barcelona in the UK? Sounds like a new spin on a couple prior fraud alerts but they forgot to change the city.
among other similar threads
Stay away from kcmac4u on ebay - he has a few positive feedback notes but is a fraud and tried to sell a Mcintosh piece to me but couldn't deliver. I had to involve his local police.
I have noticed to that sometimes people just copy your ads.
There are two bids on the Dynaudio stuff. This could be a problem for the two bidders. - Dan
Thanks for the listings. These guys use stolen credit card numbers to place the ads. The guy who owns the credit card probably lives in the UK, and they had to use his location to get the card number to clear. They will ask that the money be sent to Barcelona, Spain. These are all fraudulent ads, and there are many more.
As near as I can tell, the card holders many times don't know that the card numbers are being used, as they are probably obtained by hacking into e-tailer's files. The most recent of such occurences traced the source of the information flow from the e-tailers files back to Yemen.
If you are familiar with my previous thread, you know that they were using Western Union almost exclusively for the money tranfer. That's because Western Union was only requiring 1 form of ID in Spain, and fake IDs are easy to come by over there. Now they are requiring 3 forms of ID because of these problems. Now it seems Western Union is not as viable an option in Spain as before, hence the money order, personal check method of payment. These guys are posting ads with US addresses again also, and are still using Western Union for the transfers within the US. Western Union still currently only requires 1 form of ID in the US, but is working on getting that changed. Keep in mind that the address for a recipient listed on a wire tranfer may not (and in this case will not) be anywhere near the location where the money is received. It can be picked up in any Western Union office in any adjoining State where the recipient lives (or claims to be living). Romania is another location they have been giving in some of the ads.
Information passed along to other potential buyers is, at the moment, the best way we have to shut them down. They are using the accessibility and broad reach of the internet to perpetrate these frauds. We can use the advantages of internet too, just as you did with this posting. Also, when you see these ads, please notify the posting site so they can investigate and remove the ads.
Thanks for the info...I wish we could take this SOB 'out to the barn' for a little ol'fasion lesson in etiquette
I emailed the 2 bidders this afternoon on the speakers and told them to look at the ads here and that this person or person's were probaly putting up false ads. I also emailed the seller asking him or whom ever how they just happened to have 3 identical ads from here at Audiogon including the home or business pictures of the speakers. I notice now that when I go back to ebay that the speaker ad is gone, but the McIntosh and the Pass Labs ad is still up, almost word for word as they were before. I'm going to keep checking these ads to see if anybody bids on them, and if they do I will email the bidders. We don't need people like this and I believe it's up to us to help out other audiophiles. As if I watch out for you, I hope someone is watching out for me.
The seller emailed me back and said he was legit - I told him he was being questioned on another site about possible fraud ads. It is very interesting that the Dynaudio ads disappeared. Let's keep up the work on getting these frauds! He told me I could go and see the amp if I didn't believe - I felt like saying I would be right over - just happened to be in the country.
Thank you for bringing this up - it is a real service.
I asked a two questions on eBAY the other day and the seller said it would not sell to me because it wasn't comfortable with me asking so many questions. When I traced the address it gave the address did not exist. Who has time to think up these scams? Frankly I never thought about checking up like this until it carped about a legitimate question, namely "Are all the tubes pictured included in the product you are selling me?"
Now we are invaded by grey market equipment at popular prices...I'm going verified on A'gon.
Caveat emptor, caveat lector.
It's know wonder this guy has no feedback. Hat's off to everyone on this thread for helping catch these types of scams. Rest assure this kind of activity will always be around. Maybe someday the FBI will get involved and start catching some of these people. We can never let are guard down EVER!!!
He pulled out the dynaudio speakers because the original owner of the pictures from here in Audiogon emailed, here it is now,pulled out Dynaudio link
I had this guy busted on ebay, a few weeks ago, I prevented a multi $1000's fraud. He was hacking in to Dormant ebay accounts. what he was doing was running big dollar auctions, using other dormant acounts to be the winners. then he would exchange feedbacks within the bogus auctions with pirated id's. by doing this he was giving him self "recent positive feedback" to make future buyers feel confident. it would be a matter of time before he had over 20+ auctions worth over $20K EACH!. The way i caught on to his scam, he was a 2+ year dormant account. All of his recent feedback was from 2+ dormant accounts. He listed A no.33 amp in one auction, As i was notifing all of his high bidders , a person responded that he was in contact with the seller, and the action was for one ,JUST ONE MONO amp?.
he had quite a few Auctions running AT THE SAME TIME and ended THE SAME TIME. he would not respond to Any of my emails asking for serial numbers to verify it with levinson. after alll the actions ended, I warned all 4 highest bidders, the auctions are a fraud. the irony i found out was........... all of the high biders where suspended along with all of the "people" who gave him the "recent positve feedback" so actually i was warning the scam artist himself! Well EBAY suspended all acounts, as you can see in his auction histories, and the best is the bid history where you see all of the high biders in all auctions got suspended. Also see his feedback.
user id is "cincinoh"
did i get a thanks from EBAY..............NO
My hat is off to all of your fine detective work. As for me, I buy records on ebay, but have never looked for audio gear, and never will. Viva Audiogon!
These guys generally don't know much about high-end audio. That's why they copy the ads. The other thing they do is use a picture of the back of an amplifier....and nothing else. How many real audiophiles would only put up a picture of the back of an amp? There are many on Audioweb using US addresses. One guy supposedly in Ft. Collins, CO (doesn't exist, I checked) is advertising a McIntosh car amp as home audio. That's our advantage. If it looks weird, it is.
The message is consistently the same - do your homework, communicate fully, promptly and effectively BEFORE anything changes hands. Get comfortable that you know who you're dealing with. I have had a couple dozen very satisfying (and cost effective!) transactions involving audio gear, and the only time I got burned was when I was impatient and dealt with somebody who wasn't good at communicating. It should have been a clear sign, but I ignored it. Clearly, from the posts above, just asking a few questions was enough to get the scammer to decide to not burn the questioner.
I think it's great that there are people who, having identified this, have spent the time it takes to notify the sites and the potential buyers - you've done a great deed! -Kirk
Here's some new postings from Barcelona, Canada? Is that like Paris, Texas? You'll notice the ML 336 with the reserve met at $2000. What a deal! Buyer beware.
Here is the latest list of alias usernames posting bogus ads or feedback on Audioweb:
marchim - ripped off someone already, and may have already been deleted
frumosu - may have been deleted
Here is another E-Bay sale that looks very doubtfull: -
You should see this guy's Ebay page!
If ya'll would like some enlightening info about ebay try www.auctionguild.com--------very interesting.
This crook has more ads in Ebay. He's now including some personal statements in each of his ads to make it appear more legit, but if you look at the price for these items, it's really hard to swallow.
You know, it almost looks like someone is intentionally trying to get caught and/or is playing a joke. I mean, Madrid, UK on the heels of Barcelona, UK. Either that or incredibly sloppy or ill-informed with respect to geography. Seemingly out of character for someone who otherwise thought up this scheme.
Given the geography problems, it is amazing that anyone would bid on this stuff.
The guys from Spain now have a website. www.variusss.com. They now require a Moneygram wire transfer because of new restrictions imposed by Western Union.
Here's another ebay suspicious auction
I emailed them asking for a serial number and this is the reply I received.
It is our policy to not give the serial number untill we receive the payment confirmation from the buyer.The buy it now price is 2000$.
Let me now if you are interested."
Yeah right, $2,000 for a $15,000 preamp. Buyer Beware.
They're still at it-- plasma TV ads right now on that huge auction service, claiming to be in Oregon-- username fmv503 shows almost 200 + feedbacks (although some call him by a different name than his email below uses)
Just after I got an email reply from him, all his ads disappeared from the server and he's shown as "not a registered user". The email was in reply to a request to register to bid on an item, and he doesn't even care about that, just wants me to send him a money order...
From: Fred Vanover
Re: Answer from eBay Member
Thu, 10 Jul 2003 01:09:19 +0200 (CEST)
Thanks for your email.
The product is brand new,completly working and very performant ,in
unopened box,comes up with all accessories and the unit has international transferable warranty from the manufacturer.I will send you in the package an original invoice with all the papers (warranty,insurance...) .
I am right now in Spain with this kind of deal and I prefere to receive the money via Western Union wire transfer ,because its fast and trouble free and as a shipping carrier i will use UPS express services because I have worked with them in the past and they were very fast and secure.Now,I understand u need protection for yourself and I need protection for myself so please take a good look at the situation:
My feedback rating speaks for itself. I am a completely trustworthy
person. I take online transactions extremely seriously.I am a man of my
word and I will promise to do this deal safe. I will allow you to send
this to a third party name via WU. I am not trying to be difficult, I am
trying to run this deal legitimately and smoothly.I know that it is a
large sum of money to just be sending blindly.
You do sound and honest and a genuine person and i'm like you in that and I want everything to be 100% fine.
Tell you what, you'll put the money in another name(your best friend
name for example), but with my location(Spain) to know when the money have arrived to my country.This way I'll be able to track the transaction
and check that the amount has been deposited accordingly.
Upon receiving the package with the product in it, you will check it
the same day and e-mail me back confirming it is all ok and that you have changed the name on the transaction itself to mine. This will enable me to pickup the money and i hope we can continue to do business on a regular occurence which is very swift, hassle free and beneficial to the
both of us.Let me know asap what you think.
So, looks like they're using fraudulent Ebay accounts to troll and then trying to hook people via email. Do they actually get people with this schtick?
just got an email from user :carolap53
on the same scam, different TV, though.
I sent the following to Fred Vanover and he's not replied:
OK, sounds good to me. There's just one catch-- I know a guy in Spain that owes me money, so I'll just send the money order to him for the difference between what he owes me, and the price for the TV, and you can just collect the debt for me. That would be safe for both of us. He's a real honest guy, I think you'll like him.
I notice the auction has been removed from Ebay, probably some computer glitch- so would you just accept $3500 for the smaller plasma TV- the Panasonic 42"? Bruno owes me $2000 so I'd just send a moneyorder to him for$1500, and you could meet with him to get that money + the $2000 from Bruno. Bring the TV. Bruno has to put something else in the box for me and then he'll ship it all to me directly.
Perfectly safe. What do you think?