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Posts Made By: Ed Rafferty

September 16, 2018 12:59 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Solar System

Saturn 2018

Posted By Ed Rafferty

outstanding rendering of 
Saturn,  as a Mewlon 300 operator, it is great to see the imaging capabilities of the FRC 300, an impressive instrument. cheers!

Ed

September 16, 2018 01:13 PM Forum: Takahashi

Collimating a Mewlon

Posted By Ed Rafferty

indeed,
Fred at TNR was instrumental in providing the information about collimating my Mewlon years ago (2005),  though as long as Ive used it, and traveled with it,  I have checked it several times and found it to remain solid.  

Cheers, 

Ed 

September 30, 2018 02:33 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Posted By Ed Rafferty

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

January 29, 2019 11:15 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Posted By Ed Rafferty

Originally Posted by Thomas Fischer
Morgan Simpson, fraudulent poster for CN-212 has another add for a EThos 21mm, 446532,  he or she does not give up
 Thanks for the heads up Thomas!  

I have a great idea,  lets see just how legit this "Morgan Simpson" is.  According to Facebook, it says she is 26 years old, has a few kids, and  MyLife .com says she holds several email accounts. uses  area code is 225 ,  which coincides with the Baton Rouge, LA .  Area. 
The interesting correlation with my previous  scam experience was  the fraudulent user posed  as a female. .   after finding out some info,  I made an offer to purchase  fairly. with Cash.

I responded to that ad with an offer to purchase,  "Simpson"  replied to my offsite email only stating they accepted my offer.  I replied on the Astromart site  and confirmed "Simpson's" acceptance of my cash offer, and told them since I was close by,  I could pick up the unit directly smile .   "Simpson" asked my location.  I replied I was less than an hour away from their location in LA.  I also asked to keep the conversation on Astromart website to keep things Legit.   and    I have  received no responses since... I  made 2 appeals to see if they would rather send the item than have it picked up.  and still no replies.

another key factor in the "Simpson" responses,  poor use/application of the English language.    

Update: after 24 hours, the user "Simpson" has not responded to any correspondence Ive sent.  

February 4, 2019 10:07 PM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Posted By Ed Rafferty

Originally Posted by Ilya Kachkovskiy
Hi All,

I believe this

https://astromart.com/classifieds/astromart-classifieds/telescope-refractor/show/stellarvue-sv115-t-20

is the same person.

They also requested Amazon gift cards, but eventually sent paypal money request. The item was marked as shipped, but no tracking number, no real name and no address on the account.

I have reported them to Paypal. It was an "official" transaction (pay for goods) with specific Astromart ad reference, so I should be protected.

Hopefully not too many people "ordered" this item.
Ilya,  it looks like the ad has been removed.   Do you remember What/who was the user name who posted that Ad? 

In the future, if  anyone in the user group should make a contact with a seller offering goods / or services that appear suspect,  you are welcome to post their user names here, and likewise , take a moment send an email to support@astromart.com  to let them know as well.  Most recently some members have been successful at identifying and ejecting these frauds who attempt to rip off our community.

It is going to take a team effort to identify and expell the fraud users, It is my hope that all will join in and perhaps  establish a  "neighborhood watch"  to  illuminate the bad actors  and  get them ejected. or at least flagged by the Astromart team to the point where they cannot attempt to rip off this great and long established astronomy community.  

If any user who feels they have made contact with a fraud,  do not hesitate to submit a report,  and likewise, list or mention the user names on this thread too.
Best Regards to all, 
Ed

February 18, 2019 08:18 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Posted By Ed Rafferty

Originally Posted by Amy Simonds
I was scammed by this person...sent money via paypal and paypal is taking care of it for me...!

Everyone please be careful of this scam artist...!

Amy Simmonds
Thanks Amy for the heads up.  What was the Name of the  Fraudulent  Seller?   

March 2, 2019 07:48 AM Forum: AstroMart FAQ

Reporting a seller for Fraud or Scam Transactions

Posted By Ed Rafferty

Originally Posted by Ilya Kachkovskiy
Paypal was very helpful. At the day of my last message, I submitted a paypal claim (because it became very clear that I'm not getting the item). Normally, there is a certain time before the claim escalates, to give the seller a chance. I called Paypal and explained that they can wait but it should be clear for them by now that this person is a scammer, so it may be safer to close him now (who knows what kind of cash out plan he has). They agreed and escalated, the claim was closed the same day. The guy appealed, and the appeal was denied next day. He tried to add some gibberish as a tracking number.

I've spotted a few similar ads later. I was wondering how they are getting the photos. In both cases, there was an ad for a similar (rare) item. One possibility is that they ask the seller privately for more photos, and make a new fake ad based on them. Anyway, I emailed these thoughts to admins, I clearly do not have enough data to say for sure.
Ilya, outstanding followup , its good to know Paypal does have the ability to act quickly if they are called directly. Ad spotting is definitely key to the elimination process,
another key,  if the scammer takes the conversation off of astromart, it begins to get suspicious. Likewise,  it opens the door to snare the culprit, but to all who want to help catch these thieves, proceed with caution.  

During recent conversations and successful networking with other astromart members and our efforts here to date, we have been able to get a location of origin on this individual which is being investigated by local Police in that area.  any and all leads posted on this thread and others, or sent to me in PM, do get follow up,that is what it takes,  and the Astromart admins are doing a great job of ejecting these frauds when discovered.  Cheers to you for establishing another choke point and cut off process thanks to Paypal. If anyone can hit these frauds hard, it is paypal.

  Thanks for being vigilant, more eyes reviewing and detecting suspicious ads is a good thing, and it definitely helps our astronomy community.   I urge every member to illuminate their discoveries of suspicious ads here  so we can proceed to get these frauds eliminated from our community.

 Ed