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Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Started by EdRaff, 09/30/2018 02:33AM
Posted 09/30/2018 02:33AM Opening Post
How does a member go about reporting a Non rated seller suspected of conducting fraudulent or scam attempt in a classified ad?
Due to a recent chain of events in my response to an ad  I made in good faith in the classifieds, I feel it is critical to warn the community of an imminent threat  concerning   Seller who has no intention of selling the equipment they listed.  They instead use fraudulent means  in an attempt to goad / bilk a payment from me before making any delivery guarantee of the items offered  or allowing any reasonable prepaid shipping arrangements , instead wanting full payment up front.  Their identity does not match up,including different  email addresses , different paypal accounts, phone texts from out of state phone numbers (New Jersey) other than their listed resident state
(California). 

my particular experience included the following suspicious activity:
three different paypal account user names used by the seller  ,, My paypal account would not honor the payment transfer to the user account  first established by the seller. A different paypal account was attempted later. once that  too failed,
The member/seller wanted Amazon Gift Cards for the payment.  Amazon refused to honor the  transaction based on the same suspicious email addresses. Amazon Locked my account citing fraudulent activity.
two different email accounts neither  match the Astromart profile
a paypal payment request from an unknown party  came to my email.  Which the member/seller stated they sent.  The request which was  again cancelled within minutes,and a subsequent email sent to me by the owner of that account saying they had not initiated the payment request. I received an apology from Paypal.

The seller refused to accept prepaid shipment by Fedex yet they expected me to pay them in advance so they could ship via Fedex.
The user asked repeatedly for Gift cards in 200.00 denominations. refused payment by cashiers check or personal check.



The original ad for the equipment has since been deleted , however they have  since relisted  pieces of the equipment originally offered.

I feel the community should be made aware.  I want think the best of all who participate in Astromart being reputable.  
I am grateful to Paypal, Amazon and the private party who took the time to write me and tell me they did not initiate the request for payment.

Sincerely,
Ed R.  USN Ret,   Amateur Astronomer since 1968
Posted 11/09/2018 12:19AM #1
I would report them here as well as sending an email to support@astromart.com detailing the issues.

20" MidnighTelescopes f/5
8" f/16 Muffoletto Achro
Meade 6" AR6 f/8.0 Achro
Celestron C11
Parallax PI250 10" F/5 Newt
Vixen FL102S,NA140SS,R200SS
80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk with WO APOupgrade lens, 90mm f/16.67 Parallax Achro
LXD75/LX200, Mini-tower, GP-DX, CG5 ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, G11, GM-100, GM-150EX, GM-200 and a Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
Stellarvue M7 Alt-Az, TSL7 Pier/Tripod
12.5" f/5 MidnighTelescopes DOB Swayze optics
Statham GA
Posted 12/10/2018 04:27PM #2
https://astromart.com/users/109739


Ad

https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-refractor/show/mint-takahashi-tsa-120


His last reply:

DES MOINES,
IOWA
50321

I would prefer to have this shipped as i wont wait for a couple of days as i did earlier without receiving payment.

I would prefer to receive payment via Paypal and have it shipped to you.
Posted 12/11/2018 11:36PM #3
Originally Posted by David Simper
https://astromart.com/users/109739


Ad

https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-refractor/show/mint-takahashi-tsa-120


His last reply:

DES MOINES,
IOWA
50321

I would prefer to have this shipped as i wont wait for a couple of days as i did earlier without receiving payment.

I would prefer to receive payment via Paypal and have it shipped to you.

David, Came here specifically looking for a post on this one. Definitely a scam.  Jimmy Ryan from Des Moines sure does sound All-American but given the various names that ended up associated with this - along with some previous unfortunate experiences on other sites - I'm pretty sure the seller is in Malaysia.  Wonder how many people ended up buying the scope.

Good luck.
Posted 12/12/2018 08:55PM #4
Originally Posted by Adam Lake


David, Came here specifically looking for a post on this one. Definitely a scam.  Jimmy Ryan from Des Moines sure does sound All-American but given the various names that ended up associated with this - along with some previous unfortunate experiences on other sites - I'm pretty sure the seller is in Malaysia.  Wonder how many people ended up buying the scope.

Good luck.

Update 12/12/18 - Tracking # provided by seller and a package has been shipped - from New York, not Des Moines - weight's about right, dimensions totally wrong. Let's change "definitely" above to "maybe", for now. Turning into one of the strangest transactions I've ever experienced in over two decades of online buying and selling, that's for sure. Will update.
Posted 12/24/2018 04:05PM #5
David, Adam,

I believe I have been subjected to the same (or similar) scam.  I responded on 12/14 to an ad for a Tak CN-212, by a user (supposedly) in Port Allen, LA.  After an initial polite exchange, I made the payment via Paypal, and noticed the name on the account was different (already a warning bell).  The seller promised to ship the items via 2-day Fedex, and I did not hear for a couple of days after payment.  After some reminders, I finally got a response with a tracking number.  The tracking number was for two packages sent to my zip code, shipped from NY.  On Saturday, I got a notification that Fedex had delivered the packages, but the items were not delivered to my house.  After some calls to Fedex, it turns out that not only was the destination address wrong (street is correct, but house number is different, and for privacy reasons Fedex won't give me the exact house number), but even the recipient name is wrong.  Attempts to contact the seller were met with no response.  At this point, I noticed (duh!) that neither of the package dimensions could possibly fit a CN-212.  I have since notified Paypal.  The ad is still up on Astromart, so I wonder how many other folks have fallen victim to the scam.

Hope others see this in time.

- Rajeev
Posted 01/12/2019 12:31PM #6
Join the club.  Me too!  I paid $2000 on 12/17 for the CN-212.  Paypal withheld payment for 21 days but he asked me to click on the "receipt confirmation" so he could get paid immediately.  I did not and called Paypal.  On January 4th I received two packages by Fedex from Uncommon Goods in Brooklyn New York, each containing a ceramic "Zen Dog Sculpture." I paid with Paypal (not friends and family) so was able to open a case.  I don't know if the ceramic dogs were sent by mistake or a ploy to be able to reference legit Fedex tracking numbers.  In any event the receipt has Morgan's Simpson's address listed at "4710 Windsor Avenue, Port Allen, LA 70767.
Posted 01/13/2019 11:21PM #7
Hi, Norm,

I opened a case with PayPal too, and they gave him 10 days to respond, but he never did so they refunded my money.

Hope your case is resolved smoothly too.

Cheers,
- Rajeev
 
Posted 01/14/2019 06:01AM #8
Rajeev and Norm, Thanks for posting, don't fell quite as stupid now, though still not a shining moment. Paid through goods so got a refund as well - was actually waiting to follow up until I saw where this was ending up. Felt hinky right from the time I paid. I'll listen to my gut next time. Strange scam with the added twist of an item being shipped... In any event the lesson is pay with paypal goods and they've got your back.
Oh, and two days after I received my refund I picked up an edge 11 hd scope locally for a great price. Sometimes it works out, just not as originally planned.

Good luck and clear skies,
Adam.
Posted 01/25/2019 06:16AM #9
Same here. I was supposed to meet for delivery. Paid a deposit of USD 1000 using paypal. Seemed genuine and he asked for USD 400 worth Amazon gift card which I did send. I do not think I will get USD 400 back but a lesson learnt for future!

BTW why is this seller and Ad still around? I will send an email to support before someone else falls for it.