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SELLERS BEWARE. Got Burned by Fake Cashier's Check. - Page 2  

post #31 of 87
You know the problem is that even when these people are eventually caught, not that much happens to them (in their way of thinking, jail may not be such a big deal).

I had an interesting conversation with someone who originally came from India. He commented that you could leave your wallet in the middle of the street, come back the next day and it would still be there. In their culture, those found steeling would have a hand or arm cut off. He raised an interesting question about which civilization is more civilized. One where there is little to no theft or one where its rampant. Makes you think.
post #32 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by AcuraCL

Take some consolation that, in the long run, everyone gets what they deserve, one way or the other.
Yes, the scammer has been dealt a fate worse than death- viewing images with VB, FPN and poor black levels :D

Trying to keep a sense of humor...

For the record, I really liked my PLV60, and wouldn't have minded keeping it as a spare/travel projector, but I needed the funds for the AE700...
post #33 of 87
RBG -

Sorry to hear about your loss. Thanks for bringing up this important problem.

Probably not the right place to discuss this however, internet fraud has become rampant. It has become risky buying or selling big-ticket items over the net.

I recently placed a $700 notebook and $800 shotgun for sale on the net. Over the course of 2-3 weeks, I received at least 10 apparently bogus offers. The perpetrators' story has been a variation on them saying they will issue a money order (via Western Union) or bidpay and want to arrange Fedex shipping themselves because they are out of the country. At first, their stories sound plausible, but the more research I did, the more skeptical I got. Bottom line: send nothing until payment has cleared. I don't see any other choice when accepting this form of payment.

Actually, purchasing a big-ticket item would seem even more risky because typically, one would send payment in advance of receiving the goods.

This has become a big issue for buying/selling on the net.
post #34 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Rgb
This concludes the course in Internet Fraud 101. Tuition was only $1360
Sorry, you've had such a mess, only thing I can say is - it would sure have hurt my feelings _sad smile_

Thanks for sharing it with us and helping others be aware.

as to paypal

Quote:
Originally posted by Slink22
I agree with the use paypal sentiment. It seems like a couple of people have had an issue with paypal
_lots_ of people have had issues with paypal. For an interesting read go to www.paypalsucks.com.

It's a shame because there is a need for this service, as is evidenced by this thread.

Regards

Ken L
post #35 of 87
Thread Starter 
If every AVS forum member (currently 129,886) sends me a penny via Paypal, I can recoup most of my loss... :)

Maybe we can start doing this for every member who has been scammed (with proof)....but given the trends, we would all end up paying out enough to cover our own projectors :(
post #36 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by bob53
I've been lucky so far but the bank gave me a few tips:


2) All others - Send green cash :) or wait for the check to clear before sending anything.

-Bob
As I said, UPS/FedEx/etc would probably take counterfeit/color laser printed money, too.

There is zero value in paper monetary instruments when making a transaction at a distance.

Even getting a paper monetary instrument directly from the hand in a face to face meeting is no guarantee, except with money you can verify all the current anti-counterfeit features plus use one of those reactive markers...
post #37 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
You know the problem is that even when these people are eventually caught, not that much happens to them (in their way of thinking, jail may not be such a big deal).

I had an interesting conversation with someone who originally came from India. He commented that you could leave your wallet in the middle of the street, come back the next day and it would still be there. In their culture, those found steeling would have a hand or arm cut off. He raised an interesting question about which civilization is more civilized. One where there is little to no theft or one where its rampant. Makes you think.
Excellent point. I think we (the US) are overdue for new legislation and better controls of transactions using available monetary instruments and payment methods. Harsher penalties need to be levied for things like certified/cashier's check/money order counterfeiting, making it at least as serious as US currency counterfeting, if not more serious. Banks and couriers offering COD transactions ought to have basic levels of monetary instrument verification.

This is 2005. A UPS guy could carry a wireless device that scans the check. The MICR numbers and other relevant info (including new anti-counterfiet feature checking) could easily be verified through prior arrangements with major banks or a bank clearinghouse established for the purpose of this type of commerce. Banks need to be held accountable for strong anti-counterfeiting features requirements on their checks.

The Paypals of the world are heading in the right direction, but they could be better. The best protections I've ever had were with credit card transaction, having easily claimed fraud and being credited back for up to $2000. Since most good credit card companies cover Paypal charges, too, this is probably one of the safest methods to date as a buyer (scamming buyers attempting to reclaim funds from Paypal notwithstanding).

Of course, UPS informs me after the fact that they offer a "COD Secure" service- basically separate insurance/ escrow-like account for COD transactions via UPS.

The shipping business I used wasn't aware of this, I wasn't aware of this service, and COD Secure is not readily obvious on the ups.com site.
post #38 of 87
Thats horrible. I hope things work out for you both. I bought a Panasonic AE300 on the AVS videogon site and wasn't happy with it, so the buyer took it back. Paypal'd me the money back before I even sent it back. Of course, he was an AVS member, so that lends to reason why he wasn't a criminal. No garantee's. I also bought a Marantz remote recently on eBay. Didn't cost me much, but it didn't work, and the seller will pay me back, so I've returned it. I could get scammed, but the eBay user has good feedback and is still active so its likely he'll honor my refund.

My suggestion is to set up a sting using the North Carolina Police. It wouldn't be very hard. Coordinate with the Police and a shipper and you could probably catch the person.
post #39 of 87
Sorry to hear about your guys' horror stories, but the same goes for buyers and sellers. Some dishonest person could easily make an ad for something on Audiogon of Videogon claiming he has something to sell and asks the seller to wire the money and just never send anything out to them. The buyer could be sitting there waiting for a whole week before realising what happened. Watch out guys, always do local-pickups unless you're really desperate.
post #40 of 87
I had a guy try to buy my car with a fake cashiers check one time, as soon as I got the check I figured it was fake, Probably something to do with it saying 7,000.00 Dollaries from the 1st bank of Panama!!!
post #41 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by cpc

My suggestion is to set up a sting using the North Carolina Police. It wouldn't be very hard. Coordinate with the Police and a shipper and you could probably catch the person.
Given what the Fraud Sargeant down in Durham, NC said, and his obvious awareness of the problem and detailed knowledge of the guy's MO, I don't know why they haven't simply posted several ads on Videogon/Audiogon to set up a sting. Maybe they have?

At least here in Detroit, the bad guys try to rob you face to face, where you have a chance to fight back and carry your own Big Stick ;).
post #42 of 87
Thread Starter 
Was cashier's check counterfeiting common prior to 8-10 years ago? Or has it become more common because of available cheap scanners and laser printers?

I am asking because common wisdom in the early 90's and earlier was that a major bank cashier's check was Golden- i.e. the foolproof way to buy/sell via mail/UPS/etc. As I mentioned earlier, I never had a problem in the days before the public Internet came into being.

When there were only independant services like GEnie, Compuserve, Delphi, and even AOL (yes AOL was cool prior to about 1996), only tech saavy people were online, and nearly everyone was trustworthy, it seemed.

Since the Internet hit, enabling the mass public to go online, the lowest common denominators of society have contaminated the online scene.
post #43 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by awtryau89
RgB,


One final bit of information. In talking with my lawyer friend, he suggested that I contact my homeowner's insurance about this. Just out of curiousity I did this and believe it or not they will cover this. It is classified as theft by deception. I filed my claim with them and hope to have a resolution soon to get most of my money back.
What documentation/ proof of the theft were you required to produce? Did you need the original fraudulent document (cashier's check, etc)?

If you don't want to post it publically, please PM me.
post #44 of 87
This guy tried to buy something from me too. I was also going to use UPS COD, but for some reason I didnt close on the transaction. The next week I re-posted my item and someone else from the same address replied. I remembered this and I did not ship the item. Im sorry that this happened to you. Maybe Paypal is the best way to sell things nowadays although I hate their upcharge (but thats better than losing all your money).
post #45 of 87
The worry about local pickups is that since you are carrying lots of cash to purchase the product. Another type of crime could occur. One that holds you up at gun point by a gang of criminals who knew at what time you would be coming to pick up the product.
post #46 of 87
Seems like some kind of spinoff to the escrow account companies might work out best.

Buyer wires funds and seller ships the device to the escrow company. If all is well, buy gets the device and the seller gets the funds. A whole new industry in the making.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Rgb
What documentation/ proof of the theft were you required to produce? Did you need the original fraudulent document (cashier's check, etc)?

If you don't want to post it publically, please PM me.
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.
post #48 of 87
i don't want to be reading this.... lalalalalala

I just sent off a money order for a grand for my first projector. : (

Oh well, I am sure this will go fine as 95% of other things do.
post #49 of 87
I also received a "fake" cashier's check from a customer, drawn on Riverside National Bank of Florida, for $4900, from a purchaser "Augusto Enterprises Inc". It looks pretty real, watermark on the back and all, but just something about it looks kind of fake. I had my bank call Riverside before I deposited it and they said it was not a real check drawn on their bank, and my bank faxed a copy to Riverside fraud department. I fortunately didn't deposit it, and I still have it in my possession.
The buyer wanted me to send a $1500 "sellers" fee to him and send the projector to a different address in Africa IMMEDIATELY after I received the check. The check was mailed to me from Canada, but no return address, so is not really traceable, except the emails I received.
What a rip-off these guys are trying to pull.
Good luck,
Dan
post #50 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew P
This guy tried to buy something from me too. I was also going to use UPS COD, but for some reason I didnt close on the transaction. The next week I re-posted my item and someone else from the same address replied. I remembered this and I did not ship the item. Im sorry that this happened to you. Maybe Paypal is the best way to sell things nowadays although I hate their upcharge (but thats better than losing all your money).
Are you referring to Robert Diamond in NC?
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by JimP
You know the problem is that even when these people are eventually caught, not that much happens to them (in their way of thinking, jail may not be such a big deal).

I had an interesting conversation with someone who originally came from India. He commented that you could leave your wallet in the middle of the street, come back the next day and it would still be there. In their culture, those found steeling would have a hand or arm cut off. He raised an interesting question about which civilization is more civilized. One where there is little to no theft or one where its rampant. Makes you think.
Not to mention in other cultures there is something called SHAME. In the USA, we have movies like "Catch Me If You Can", where the bad guy gets hired by the FBI, but not until he spends millions having a ball. It is our culture that allows stealing, and no increase in jail or penalties will do anything until people feel shame for what they do. It is what seperates the good from the bad. Good people feel guilt and shame, bad people don't.

Having said that, I hope you track down the guy who ripped you off and get some time alone with him in a dark alley.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by edwardr132
The worry about local pickups is that since you are carrying lots of cash to purchase the product. Another type of crime could occur. One that holds you up at gun point by a gang of criminals who knew at what time you would be coming to pick up the product.
I wouldn't expect this to be very common if you go into a residential house. It is possible for very large amounts, but people who do things like this where they live or where a friend lives probably wouldn't be on the streets for long. If you are going to the worst part of town that might be another matter though.

When I sold one projector for a price in the $20k range, we went to his bank and he got me a Cashier's Check in my name right from the teller as we both stood at the teller's window. That is the kind of deal that really makes me feel safe.

--Darin
post #53 of 87
Different name, but very similar if not the same address.
post #54 of 87
I gave up on ebay and just use craigslist.org when selling items. The drawback is that the transaction is not an auction resulting in the highest possible price. At least, the buyer gets to see the item for sale and I am dealing with local people. If a prospective buyer doesn't live in the area, then I can usually wait for one that does. Living in a metropolitan area, there are always buyers for the items I sell. Of course, this works only if you are in one of the communities that has a Craig's List. Here is a list of the communities:

albany new
albuquerque
anchorage
atlanta
austin
burlington
boise new
baltimore
boston
buffalo
charlotte
chicago
cincinnati
cleveland
columbus
dallas
denver
des moines
detroit
eugene new
fresno
hartford
houston
honolulu
indianapolis
inland empire
jacksonville
kansas city
las vegas
LA
louisville
memphis new
miami
milwaukee
minneapolis
monterey new
modesto
nashville
NYC
new orleans
norfolk
oklahoma city
omaha new
orange co new
orlando
philadelphia
phoenix
pittsburgh
portland
providence
raleigh
reno new
richmond
sacramento
salt lake city
san antonio new
san diego
santa barbara
seattle
SFO
spokane new
st louis
stockton
tampa bay
tucson new
tulsa new
wash DC
wichita
calgary
montreal
ottawa new
toronto
vancouver
winnipeg
uk & ie
birmingham
dublin new
london
manchester
edinburgh
cardiff
belfast
au & nz
adelaide
auckland
brisbane
melbourne
perth
sydney new
amsterdam new
barcelona
berlin new
brussels
copenhagen
madrid
milan
oslo
paris new
rome
stockholm
zurich
asia
bangalore new
hong kong
manila
seoul
singapore new
tokyo new
buenos aires
mexico city
são paulo new

Noel
post #55 of 87
rgb, sorry to hear of your loss. Internet fraud sucks a big one.

To all those recommending Paypal, here are a couple of experiences of mine. As a seller, posted item on ebay and had someone win the auction using the Buy It Now option. sent funds via Paypal but I was suspicious due to the person requesting the item be sent to a different address than listed with Paypal. Delayed shipment over the weekend and discovered that the person had filed a chargeback in anticipation of the item shipping out but it only showed after the weekend. Had I shipped on Friday I would have been out of luck.

2nd experience as a buyer. again, over ebay, won an auction and paid for it via Paypal. Seller sent a "Thank you" via email, told me item would be shipped ASAP. Waited 1 week, still no item. Emailed them again asking for tracking number. They said the item was on its way and should be arriving shortly. I replied asking for the tracking info again. Got no reply and after waiting a couple of days, sent an email asking for tracking info or I would take action. Seller replied that the item was sent via USPS, hence no tracking info but shoud be arriving shortly.

After 2 weeks, I asked the buyer to return my money since USPS does not take that long. At the same time, I filed chargeback procedures with Paypal. After a week Paypal replies that chargeback failed due to inability to recover funds from the seller's account. No, Paypal would not reimburse me for the loss of $800+ and they only allow ONE chargeback attempt per transaction.

Sent an email to the seller threatening full legal action if they did not return my money. Seller replied that item was on its way and to not threaten her. after more than 4 weeks, I gave the seller an ultimatum to return my funds or I would file charges. I received an email from someone claiming to be the person's mother who admitted that her duaghter had defrauded several people on ebay and the mother was willing to "work with" these fraud victims to return their money if they did not file criminal charges. I agreed and after an additional 2 weeks, discovered that this was just a stalling tactic.

After 2 months of nothing, I filed criminal charges with the police in my hometown, in the seller's hometown, and using the email where she stated that she had sent it via USPS, filed charges with the FBI for mail fraud as well. Notified Paypal and ebay that I had filed all these charges and 4 months later, Paypal finally reimbursed me for about 1/2 what I lost. The incident occurred almost exactly one year ago.

If you buy something using Paypal, fund it with a credit card. Paypal offers hardly any protection if you fund it through your bank account. If you sell something and receive payment via Paypal, and they pull a chargeback after shipment on you, Paypal also does not offer much protection. Paypal may be convenient, but they protect the thieves more than they do the honest folk. Only use Paypal if you are absolutely sure you can trust the person you're dealing with. i.e. don't bother selling a several thousand dollar item over ebay to someone with a 100% feedback rating built on buying $0.99 Pokemon cards or something. Be equally suspicious of someone who has built their rating from buying or selling clothes in the $10 - $30 range and is now trying to sell high dollar electronics.

These days, if I sell anything over the internet, I only accept Paypal with a confirmed address, or someway to prove that this person has bought items like this in the price range with no problems. I prefer US Postal Money Orders since this involves the FBI and all checks or MO's must clear before anything gets shipped out. Any of the "Need it ASAP, please ship next day air upon receipt of payment" gets turned down. Nothing leaves before I get the funds now.
post #56 of 87
I think you should "do the right thing" in this case. The shipping company was just an innocent third party and should not have to deal with this fraud. That should remain between you and the scammer. The shippers are just doing their job. It's pretty much your responsibility to make sure that the funds you are paid with are genuine.
I agree with the other posters who recommend NOT shipping any merchandise until the payment has actually cleared (for real).
Best of luck.
By the way, I'd contact the US Postal Inspectors if mail fraud was involved here.
post #57 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Five28
I think you should "do the right thing" in this case.
I agree that " doing the right thing" is the way to go.

However, it is not necessarily that easy to say what "the right thing" will turn out to be.

The check was made out to the shipping company and a "legal" situation exists. What is "the right thing" may vary dependent on locale and local laws.

I would suggest that the thread originator continue getting further information, obtain good legal advice and take all of the time he needs to determine whatever course of action he will be most comfortable with.

Regards

Ken L
post #58 of 87
Quote:
Originally posted by Five28
I think you should "do the right thing" in this case. The shipping company was just an innocent third party and should not have to deal with this fraud. That should remain between you and the scammer. The shippers are just doing their job. It's pretty much your responsibility to make sure that the funds you are paid with are genuine.
I agree with the other posters who recommend NOT shipping any merchandise until the payment has actually cleared (for real).
I believe in doing the right thing in life, but in this case the shipping company knew it was COD and they charge extra for COD, right? How is it the sellers responsibility to make sure the check is valid when it is the shipping company (or companies) that physically get the check? And it was even made out to the shipping company. My take is that if shipping companies are going to accept COD to them, then they better put a policy in place to make sure they don't lose their shirts. And since COD is a service they offer in exchange for a fee I don't see it as unreasonable to expect them to address this now and in the future.

If the shipping company was going to change their policy in the future and realized they their current policy was just a mistake then I would be more likely to help them out. However, if legally I didn't owe them a penny and they weren't going to change their documentation or way of doing business at all, then I would say this is a decision they have made in exchange for a fee and need to figure future losses into their fees. Just like insurance companies, they shouldn't be accepting fees for a service and then asking people to give them money they aren't legally owed.

In short, they should put policies in place to make sure they are not the ones who get left holding the bag legally or they should include the risk in their fees.

I would also be more lenient with a small mom-and-pop type company than a big company who should have lawyers and accountants helping setup their policies knowing that fraud happens.

--Darin
post #59 of 87
Quote:
This guy tried to buy something from me too. I was also going to use UPS COD, but for some reason I didnt close on the transaction. The next week I re-posted my item and someone else from the same address replied. I remembered this and I did not ship the item. Im sorry that this happened to you. Maybe Paypal is the best way to sell things nowadays although I hate their upcharge (but thats better than losing all your money).
IF THIS IS TRUE THEN YOU NEED TO GET WITH THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN THE TOWN/COUNTY THAT IT IS BEING SHIPPED TO, AND COMPLETE THE TRANSACTION SO TO SPEAK, TELL HIM TO SEND YOU THE CHECK, THEN JUST SEND AN EMPTY BOX OR SOMETHING, BASICALLY GET WITH THE COPS SO WHEN HE PICKS UP HIS PACKAGE THEY PICK HIM UP.
post #60 of 87
Interesting situation with the COD and the shipping company.

I am in 2 minds here. The shipping company acted as your agent in distributing the goods and collecting payment. I strongly suspect it comes down to both local (US / state) law and their terms of service.

If their terms of service do noe explicitly force you to indemnify them or "save harmless" the business from any loss, then its their problem.

I strongly suspect however that acting "as an agent" for YOU, would have some legal meaning in respect as to who is ultimately liable.

Bad to hear tho about being scammed. I think my most expensive purchase over the internet using auction sites as been under NZD 100, I'm just not that brave.

Hope they either fry the scammer, or you aren't left out of pocket

Sen
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