SELLERS BEWARE. Got Burned by Fake Cashier's Check. - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 87 Old 12-11-2004, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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darinp2's last post above summarizes well the consensus of opinion I've culled from my lawyer, insurance company, co-workers and wife.

Rightness from a charitable point of view has no relation to rightness in the rule of law, and specifically assignment of liability.

Ignorance of liability does not excuse one's ownership of liability in a given situation.

If the shipping company did not want the liability of COD transactions, they shouldn't have accepted them. Or restricted them to cash only. Or been informed about UPS's COD Secure service, and offered it to me. The shipping company is the expert in shipping matters whose expertise I relied on.

Yes, the shipping company is an innocent party to the crime. So is the UPS guy who picked up the package from the shipping company. So is everyone who touched the package and bad check in transit, and finally the UPS guy who handed it to the scammer.

The situation is not simple. Assuming the bad check was made out to the shipping company (I have not seen it, but they shouldn't have been able to deposit it without their name on it, and their name was probably placed on it because the return address became the shipping company's address when UPS took the package), I have no recourse. The Durham NC police can't make a report unless they have the original check. My insurance company probably won't cover the loss if the check wasn't made out to me, but I need to find out more details with my insurance company next week.

Bottom line- a loss has been incurred. Losses are covered with appropriate insurance. The loss is assigned to the party who is liable. The liable party needs to file an insurance claim. I am hoping the shipping company will be able to file a claim with their insurance.

All this said, I would like to help out the shipping company, and have provided them with all the emails of the transaction, and will be willing to give them the item details (serial number, photos, etc, for their insurance purposes). And sleep has been fleeting since last Wednesday.

While charity is admirable, the realities of business transactions dictate restraint.


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post #62 of 87 Old 12-11-2004, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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A thought experiment:

If all the packages waiting to be picked up at the shipping company were destroyed in a fire at the shipping company, who would be liable? UPS? They haven't signed for the packages yet. The shipping company's insurance would probably have to cover the value of all the destroyed parcels for the customers that left them there.

Another:

A customer enters the shipping company and walks up to the counter with a parcel. He shifts a heavy parcel over already on the counter left by another customer, causing it to fall off, hitting the current customer on the foot, breaking his foot badly. This customer has no health insurance. The parcel that fell also broke its contents and it's contents are valuable. UPS has not arrived to have anything to do with the broken parcel yet.

Who is liable? The shipping company (Mail Boxes Etc, Staples, Kinko's, or similar go between) is most likely liable for the customers injury plus the broken parcel that belongs to another customer.

These are the risks and costs of doing buiness, even a simple business model like holding a box for a few hours.


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post #63 of 87 Old 12-11-2004, 04:25 PM
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For big ticket items try www.escrow.com. A $1200 transaction such as the one being discussed here would cost $39 for escrow services. Split between the buyer and seller, that is about $20 for some piece of mind on both ends of the deal. I used an escrow service for a $2500 transaction a few years ago and it went smoothly, though it does take a few extra days to complete the transaction.

Sorry to hear of so many bad experiences. I hope all these scammers eventually get their due.

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post #64 of 87 Old 12-11-2004, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rgb
darinp2's last post above summarizes well the consensus of opinion I've culled from my lawyer, insurance company, co-workers and wife.

Rightness from a charitable point of view has no relation to rightness in the rule of law, and specifically assignment of liability.

Ignorance of liability does not excuse one's ownership of liability in a given situation.

If the shipping company did not want the liability of COD transactions, they shouldn't have accepted them. Or restricted them to cash only. Or been informed about UPS's COD Secure service, and offered it to me. The shipping company is the expert in shipping matters whose expertise I relied on.

Yes, the shipping company is an innocent party to the crime. So is the UPS guy who picked up the package from the shipping company. So is everyone who touched the package and bad check in transit, and finally the UPS guy who handed it to the scammer.

The situation is not simple. Assuming the bad check was made out to the shipping company (I have not seen it, but they shouldn't have been able to deposit it without their name on it, and their name was probably placed on it because the return address became the shipping company's address when UPS took the package), I have no recourse. The Durham NC police can't make a report unless they have the original check. My insurance company probably won't cover the loss if the check wasn't made out to me, but I need to find out more details with my insurance company next week.

Bottom line- a loss has been incurred. Losses are covered with appropriate insurance. The loss is assigned to the party who is liable. The liable party needs to file an insurance claim. I am hoping the shipping company will be able to file a claim with their insurance.

All this said, I would like to help out the shipping company, and have provided them with all the emails of the transaction, and will be willing to give them the item details (serial number, photos, etc, for their insurance purposes). And sleep has been fleeting since last Wednesday.

While charity is admirable, the realities of business transactions dictate restraint.
The bottom line is if someone has to take the hit it they will be able to deduct the loss much easier than you and end up in the same financial positon as they were before, where as even if you can deducti the loss you wont get the full value.

Always better for a buisness to take the hit than a private individual.


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post #65 of 87 Old 12-12-2004, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by i8piglet
The bottom line is if someone has to take the hit it they will be able to deduct the loss much easier than you and end up in the same financial positon as they were before
Sorry, but they would not end up in the same financial position as before. There are no 100% tax brackets for businesses as some people seem to think (assuming that a tax deduction for a business means that an item didn't end up costing them anything). Now, if their insurance covers 100% of the loss without raising their rates then that is a different matter.

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This is the AV Science Forum. Please don't be gullible and please do remember the saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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post #66 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 12:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by awtryau89
I am still in process with the insurance company. I have had to provide a police report, Fed Ex delivery proof, quotes on replacement value, pictures of the unit and serial numbers. I have not been asked for the check. I do have a copy but not the original. I am sure I may have to provide more documentation.
Thanks for the insurance info.

I just got off the phone with my homeowners insurance, and they are still processing the claim. An adjuster will call me later this week to tell me my coverage, if any, and what they need from me if they plan to cover the loss. If you get any further information/proof of loss requirements for insurance purposes, please let me know either in this thread or via PM.

I also spoke with the shipping company this afternoon. One of the owners was still very emotional as I tried to get simple information like if they have the original bad check (they do) and whose name is on it (the shipping company's business name). Mentioning the word "liable" in determining insurance responsibility did not go over with a positive reaction. Also, it appears our local police won't take a report from the business owner.

I am assuming the Durham NC police (where the items were delivered/stolen in the scam) will accept a report with the original bad check per their instructions last week, but I am not certain who should be filing the police report.

The shipping business owner admitted to contacting their insurance company during the last phone conversation this afternoon, which is a step in the right direction.


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post #67 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
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A Google research object lesson:

Before the shipment of the items, I did a quick Google search for "COD scam" to check the status of the security of COD transactions.

All the links I read mentioned how safe COD was for seller's! Several "Buying and Selling Online" FAQ's highly recommended selling COD by money order or cashier's check!

After I was told about the counterfeit check last Wednesday, I googled for "cashier's check fraud", and got hits on discussions boards like this discussing counterfeit money orders and cashier's check's via COD. If I had read these before shipping, I never would have made a COD transaction.

Just goes to show how the right words in a search engine makes all the difference. And the right words in this case did not include "COD"!


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post #68 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 12:48 PM
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I put my Sony VPL-PX1 on Ebay last night and by this morning I had one of those emails. I knew better as it happened to someone I know as well. I am going to play along with the guy and see it I cant reverse the scam and get a few real dollars out of them. Going to tell them my bank needs 20 bucks to cash the check , and se if he will send me 20 bucks cash.
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post #69 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 01:14 PM
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Here is the email I got today for my vpl px1 on Ebay

HELLO SELLER, I WILL LIKE TO MAKE ENQUIRY ON THIS PARTICULAR ITEM. IT URGENTLY NEEDED IN MY CLIENT STORE. I WILL LIKE TO BUY IT AND I WILL BE PAYING YOU WITH A CASIER CHECK WHICH YOU WILL CASH AT A CASH POINT. I WILL LIKE YOU TO DO ME A FAVOUR COS I WILL LIKE TO SEND SOME MONEY TO MY BROTHER IN-LAW IN AFRICA. THIS GUY NEEDS SOME MONEY TO PAY FOR AN OPERATION. HE HAS CANCER OF THE LUNGS WHICH NEEDS AN URGENT OPERATION. I WILL SEND YOU A CHECK OF $4000.00 WHICH YOU WILL CASH AT ANY CASH POINT AND YOU WILL DEDUCT YOUR ITEM"S MONEY FROM IT AND IMMEDIATELY WIRE THE EXCESS FUND TO HIM. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO SEND THIS MONEY TO HIM BUT I AM NOT PRESENTLY IN THE STATES AND I AM NOT SURE OF WHEN I WILL BE THERE AND THIS MONEY MUST BE PAID BEFORE HE CAN BE OPERATED UPON. IF YOU AGREE, I WILL WANT YOU TO SEND ME YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS WHERE THIS CHECK WILL BE SENT TO SO THAT ARRANGEMENT WILL BE MADE ON SENDING THE CHECK TO YOU. REPLY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANKS
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post #70 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 05:43 PM
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Send a box of rocks... get the cashier's check from him, cover it in dog poop and mail it to the "Brother In-Law."
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post #71 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 06:42 PM
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Bwahahahaha!!!! Excellent idea. I'll bet the brother in law is from Nigeria too.
What a transparent scam attempt!

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post #72 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 07:29 PM
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This just begs for a smart counter attack.

Tell him that you'll be glad to do it, but you'll be going to Nigeria in the next couple of weeks for the Interpol conference. If he'll give you his address, you'l l just drop by to complete the transaction.

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post #73 of 87 Old 12-13-2004, 09:26 PM
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Rgb,

Since the business owner has talked to their insurance company, perhaps you should try and get the two insurance companies to start talking. No sense in banging heads with the business owner when insurance companies do these kinds of negotiations all the time.

Doug
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post #74 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Kamloops-

Thanks for the contribution.

I *wish* the guy that got me and the shipping company had mentioned Africa or something about sending a check with more money than the value of the items, because I would have known immediately it was a scam.

The issue with my transaction was that the email exchanges appeared similar to many other transactions I've conducted, with many of the right questions asked and answered. I think the better scammers know how obvious the scam is if they mention a foreign country or excess funds in the payment check. They are getting better...


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post #75 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Taperwood
Rgb,

Since the business owner has talked to their insurance company, perhaps you should try and get the two insurance companies to start talking. No sense in banging heads with the business owner when insurance companies do these kinds of negotiations all the time.

Doug
Thanks for the tip. I will bring this up with the shipping company. I don't lool forward to my "conversations" with the shipping company :(.


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post #76 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
This just begs for a smart counter attack.

Tell him that you'll be glad to do it, but you'll be going to Nigeria in the next couple of weeks for the Interpol conference. If he'll give you his address, you'l l just drop by to complete the transaction.
Better yet, put a small tracking device in the box or a fake casing for the item, preferably a GPS type device like a used cell phone with GPS, and as soon as the tracking number shows delivery, have the local police track down the bad guy within a few hours...


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post #77 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 05:06 AM
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Rgb

Now that's good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Probably be able to recover other products as well.

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post #78 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 05:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I just got off the phone with my insurance company. I have no "theft by deception" clause, so I am not covered by this scam.

The insurance adjuster said that I wouldn't be covered even if I had received the cashier's check directly with my name on it. I am covered for "theft from a known location"- i.e. from my person or home, etc.

The adjuster was puzzled why I thought I might be liable, since the check was sent to the shipping company, and I have my money. She was patient and understood the whole story. I told her I would experience a loss if i give the money back to the shipping company. The adjuster said that the shipping company accepted the check and needs to deal with the issue, calling their insurance company, which may or may not cover the loss, depending on the details of their coverage.


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post #79 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 06:11 AM
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Rgb

She may be right. Did you agree to anything that assures reimbursement in case the shipping company is defrauded??

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post #80 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
Rgb

She may be right. Did you agree to anything that assures reimbursement in case the shipping company is defrauded??
If you mean did I agree to reimburse the shipping comapny when I signed the shipping company's invoice/ shipping form, then no, there was no agreement when the business transaction with the shipping company was executed re: reminbursement for COD fraud.

Again, the shipping company owners see it as a matter of honor issue. The shipping company is having a hard time seeing the liability issues involved.


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post #81 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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BTW, if anyone frequents pawn shops deal hunting in or around Durham, NC, be on the lookout for the stolen PLV60 and RCA DTC100, repeated here:

PLV60 stolen looks like new and is complete in box. Serial number G1701472. It was double boxed inside a Panasonic E21 21" monitor box.

The DTC100 serial number: 011219693 Double boxed inside a Sony 200ES 17" monitor box


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post #82 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 08:44 AM
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Here's a good story... also true by the way...

Friend of a friend, purchased this plasma tv on ebay, CHEAP. It was like $3000 cheaper than normal. Now, my friend who was buying this, thought either it is stolen and he's selling cheap or it's a scam. Well, auction ends he wins, and he actually has a telephone conversation with the seller about payment terms. The price was like $5000 or something, don't recall actual price but it was in the thousands. Well the seller or scammer, calls my friend and says OK, I understand you might be scared about sending me the money before you have the product. So, the seller proposes to my Friend the following. Send me the money via western union, and password protect the funds. I didn't know you could do this, but apparently you can send funds to someone via westen union, and only if they know the password can they retrieve the funds. My friend thought, wellt this sounds safe. Well, he wired the money, and the seller or scammer, sent him an email saying OK, western union tells me that the money is there, so I will ship your Plasma TV today, and when you get it, email me the password. Well, that same day the money was picked up and obviously the guy sent nothing ( the seller was in Canada, by the way, so he sent the money via western union to Canada). Make a long story short, it was some sort of inside job the police found out later, and he did his money back, took a while though.

Save Your Frequent Flyer Miles !! Barber's jobs are also being exported to China, you will have to fly to China now for a hair cut.
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post #83 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rgb
Again, the shipping company owners see it as a matter of honor issue. The shipping company is having a hard time seeing the liability issues involved.
LOL! That's funny, and pretty naive. Scammers don't have honor... and you aren't the scammer here.

Your insurance agent is correct... this has nothing to do with you any longer. You have your money... they need to wake up and realize the risks of running the business they are in.

Their recourse is clear--- contact their insurance company. If they are not insured then they need to get insured ASAP... which in this case it sounds like they will learn a lesson cheaply. Imagine if you shipped out a Qualia and they were out $20,000 without insurance.

Personally, I'd stop dealing with them as there isn't anything you can do for them.

- JP in TOronto
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post #84 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 09:18 AM
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This makes me want to deal with those shipping companies rather than ups/fedex direcly.

But in my own way, I am King. Hail to the King, baby.


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post #85 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 11:56 AM
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Anyone with a laser printer can make phony checks. You can easily buy the proper magnetic toner and paper off the Internet. Repeat several times: Funds must clear before merchandise can be shipped!

I always try to verify the other party's identity and address multiple ways via Mapquest, a Google search, and a reverse phone/address lookup portal like http://www.freeality.com/rever.htm.

Some of the boards I hang out with deal with automotive parts. It's not common, but many of these people will gladly help collect money by pounding on a door if it's not too far away. Some will even offer to rough up the alleged scammer to help them with their faulty memory. Someone could probably start an internet fraud collection business for a percent of the take.

Several forums have stolen item listings plus listings of fraudulent sellers and buyers, but I'm not aware of any for A/V gear.
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post #86 of 87 Old 12-14-2004, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
This just begs for a smart counter attack.

Tell him that you'll be glad to do it, but you'll be going to Nigeria in the next couple of weeks for the Interpol conference. If he'll give you his address, you'l l just drop by to complete the transaction.
I am going to remember and use this- excellent comeback.
Dan

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no vb/sde or 1dlp
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post #87 of 87 Old 12-16-2004, 01:10 AM
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For a little comic relief, here is a link to a Web site of a business woman who has been having fun messing with the Nigerian-type scammers:

http://www.bustedupcowgirl.com/scampage.html

Chris

"It's [expletive] lame to watch Jaws, a film that uses the 2.40 ratio as well as any ever produced, in the wrong format on HBO." -Steven Soderbergh, Oscar-winning director

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Closed Thread Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP

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