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ATTN! EBAY SCAM!! WATCH OUT!!!(30 posts)

Mar 5, 2003 11:23 AM
This is long but I don't want anyone else to be scammed so I am giving you the whole story.

As a few of you know, I am a full time/pro bicycle racer. Other than a select few, most of my peers and I make very little money so to supplement our income, we sell our old equipment. I sell my stuff only after the contract has expired or 3 years as gone by, so I don't sell a lot of my stuff but nevertheless, I have sold a few items items on the internet without problem. This week, however, I became the victim of a growing scam.

A while ago, my good friend/training partner (and competitor, too, I guess) and I traded some of our spare equipment to each other. The equipment that I got was a new time trial frame (I was going to use to experiment with position as I cannot use it in competition as it is not made by my sponsor). When I went to build it up, I realized that the seat tube was too long so I couldn't use it. I decided to put it on eBay.

I listed the frame and within 24 hours, an individual extended an offer to pay my full asking price ($1400 plus shipping) if I agreed to end the auction immediately and ship the frame to his shop in Indonesia via Fed Ex. I got a credit card number from the guy (he said that's the only way he could do overseas transactions) along with name, address, and phone number.

I had a friend who owns a bike shop run the cc (it went through perfectly) and I spent 4 hours filling out customs and shipping paperwork. A few days later, I get an email from the guy saying that I need to call Fed Ex so that they can release the package to his address. So I call Fed Ex and the rep on the phone says that it's a formality for release because of all of the credit card scams going on in Indonesia. Suddenly very interested, I ask the rep for more info. Well it seems that people in Indonesia are getting stolen cc numbers and ordering things off of Ebay and the internet and when the CC company goes after the vendor, the vendor is out money AND product. I get concerned here, so I tell her to hang on to the package for a day.

I call the bank that issued the card and they can only answer yes or no questions: No that's not the name on the card, no that's not the address, no that's not even the right hemisphere, yes the card number is probably stolen. So I email the guy that he needs to send certified funds or he can't have the frame. Of course, no response. I tell Fed Ex to send me back the frame.

So the frame is on the way back to me (presumably) and while I still own the frame, I am out $450 for the Fed Ex shipping, and the eBay listing. Needless to say, I don't have that kind of money laying around but still, it could have been much much worse. I just want you all to be aware of this as it is conceivable that this kind of thing can go on with ANY auction or internet ad that any of us put out there.
sorry to hear about your incident, but it's actually.....K-Man
Mar 5, 2003 11:39 AM
a pretty old old I mean there has been alot of talk about this since the fall on google.rec.marketplace RBR MBR and a lot of other forums.
A newer scam is copying your auction. Thee have been quite a number of bogus Ebay auction where someone copies your ad and photo and places a duplicate auction, selling your bike and getting the $$. Do a search right now on Ebay in the cycling group and use the word "heckler" there are 3 ads for the same used bike. not saying this is an exact case, but quite suspicious and I would not bid on any of those ads.

do another for Fizik AlianteColorado Ron
Mar 5, 2003 2:07 PM
and you will see two identical auctions for the same saddle....or at least that's my take on it. Buyers need to be very careful when using e-bay.
Mar 5, 2003 11:41 AM
Sorry to hear you are out $450. This almost happened to a friend of mine a few weeks ago. He was selling a Seven and a buyer contacted him from Indonesia. I can't remember what prompted him to check the card, maybe it wouldn't clear the first time he ran it, but he called the card company and they gave him the same story you got. He e-mailed the guy that the card wouldn't clear and he needed a certified check. He, of course, got no response. Luckily, he had not shipped the bike out.

It used to be buyer beware, now it has to be the seller too.

Mar 5, 2003 11:50 AM
I ran into the same thing.........only before auction ended I contacted Fed Ex to get shipping rates........the customer service rep explained the who scam to me down to every last detail the buyer was asking me to do: First he had to pay by credit card thru a merchant, Second it had to be shipped via Fed Ex no matter how much the price because he has a relative who works for them. Once I found out what Fed Ex told me I contacted the buyer and said I would not sell to them.......I never heard back from this buyer again. I did notice this buyer had SEVERAL bids on a lot of high end bikes to which I gave the heads up to some of those sellers.
Look into writing it offKristin
Mar 5, 2003 11:50 AM
I'm sorry that happened to you. I asked on this board once if it is possible/ethical to do what this buyer did...offer to buy the bike early on the sly. I was told that this is extremely unethical and EBay has some strict policy against it. (Though EBay policy is worth only the paper its written on.)

I'm not sure how it works in cases of fraud where you actually paid FedEx the $450. BUT, I know that if you have more than $100/value stolen from you you can deduct the loss on your 1040a. Look into it an see if this applies. It won't get you $450 back, but it will get you something.
Ending earlySherpa23
Mar 5, 2003 1:32 PM
Actually it's not unethical and it is allowed by eBay. If you list in your auction that you reserve the right to end it early because of an offer outside of eBay (like if you listed the item in other places, too, which this frame was), then it's ethical. In addition, eBay lets you do so and lists the reason for the early ending as "item has been sold." Look it up, you'll see. Now, if you ended the auction early because you didn't like the high bid or you didn't want to pay the selling fees, that's unethical.
Mar 5, 2003 2:06 PM
When I posted here, my question was about offering a seller more to end the auction early--I didn't want to wait for the auction to end. One of the respondants sent me a link to an EBay page that states that this would be tragically wrong of me. So I guess I assumed it was expected that sellers would not end early. Sorry.
Personally, I would never pull anything that has a bid. (nm)TFerguson
Mar 8, 2003 4:36 PM
Old news, new twist.Alexx
Mar 5, 2003 12:04 PM
This is just another permiatation of the 'Nigerian scam', and, had you been paying attention to this (or any other board, BTW), you would've known about the rising number of these offshore scams.

To make it short, the best rule for buying/selling on E-Bay is this:


i caveat emptor (or maybe vendiat emptor??)
probably caveat vendor or something like that nmdzrider
Mar 5, 2003 1:51 PM
We Canadians love it when you do that (nm)Frith
Mar 5, 2003 3:27 PM
Old news, new twist.moo2
Mar 6, 2003 6:35 AM
Actually, this is nothing like the classic Nigerian bank scam.

The Nigerian scams classicly involve some poor (or rich as it were) Nigerian, (either government or royalty) who's got a ton of money, but needs to get it out of Nigeria before the government gets their hands on it. This is where the victim comes in. Usually, the victim is offered a large sum of money as payment for letting this Nigerian person use his bank account as a depository for these Nigerian funds. Of course in order to accomplish the transfer, the Nigerian person needs the victim's bank account number. As soon as it's given to him, Blammo! The victim's money is removed from his bank account, and the perpetrators are long gone. Basically, that's the premise.

Indonesian cases are usually not "scams" per se. Generally, it's some teenager who's obtained stoled credit card information on the internet (from IRC mostly). These kids then use the stolen cards to buy things on the internet. Services, mostly rather than goods since goods require a shipping address.

I've investigated tons of these cases at my work.
always a new scam...nmzooog
Mar 5, 2003 1:47 PM
makes you wonder what happens to the bikes when they get them..kenyee
Mar 5, 2003 1:53 PM
They're not exactly going to get much for them in Indonesia...
Black market, probably. nmKristin
Mar 5, 2003 2:07 PM
Maybe they sell them on ebay! NM52-16SS
Mar 5, 2003 2:52 PM
makes you wonder what happens to the bikes when they get them..gtscottie
Mar 6, 2003 9:54 AM
Doesn't matter how much they get for them. After all they got them for free
re: ATTN! EBAY SCAM!! WATCH OUT!!!gybeho
Mar 5, 2003 3:16 PM
We had the EXACT same scam pulled on us a while back for a couple of Colnagos that we had up for auction on ebay. After we sent the bike to Indo, we got a little nervous and had Fed Ex hold the bike up for us. Thank god we did, because sure enough, it was a scam. The credit card co. said that they have been having a bunch of trouble with this. BE CAREFULL
Sell it to U.S. bidders onlyLC
Mar 5, 2003 7:02 PM
You save yourself alot of shipping hassle and potential fraud is cut way down.
but not all foreigners are evil...Iwannapodiumgirl
Mar 5, 2003 7:43 PM
I live in Sydney, Australia and wish I could bid on some e-bay items. I e-mail the sellers and I receive no response...

Last time I checked, we were one of the USA's closest allies... that has to count for something?!?!
funny, I say the same thing about Americans...satanas
Mar 8, 2003 10:44 AM
I'm also an inmate of Sydney, and it seems regrettable but true that many aren't interested in anything outside their borders - perhaps they don't believe it could be real?

As for Oz being a close US ally - HAHAHAHAHA - hostage would be closer to the truth.

Xenophobia and cultural imperialism are not the best solutions....
Doesn't mattermoabbiker
Mar 6, 2003 5:15 AM
As long as you avoid the obvious fraud countries like Indonesia and what not, your chances of fraud is no more than dealing with US bidders. Don't feel so safe thinking you have the upper hand when dealing with bidders that you can prosecute. Law enforcement will NOT help you, other than give you the run-around. There are thousands of these horror stories you can search off the web.
ow... sorry to hear thatweiwentg
Mar 5, 2003 8:05 PM
a number of sellers on rec.bicycles.marketplaces (these guys were bike shops) have been warning about this. a solution is to actually call the credit card company and ask them to verify the card number, instead of just running it through the machine. this way they can tell you if anything is amiss with the card. it was also mentioned that if the card is stolen and they approve the transaction, the company is then reponsible, instead of the seller.
I'm sorry this happened to you. I wish someone had posted that info here; maybe you wouldn't be going through this.
Isn't this self promotion?Sprint-Nick
Mar 5, 2003 9:23 PM
Sorry to hear the news Sherpa... I hope your able to sell the frame and recoup some of the losses.

Anyway to my point. I just want to point out that Sherpa can say things like he's a full time/pro racer and not get flamed yet I ask something that indicates something like me travelling/some of the things I've done and I get flamed. I know I obviously have a bit different rep on this board but come on.

I'm not gonna miss this board all that much until it picks up again.

I tried Nick but...rogue_CT1
Mar 5, 2003 10:24 PM
I tried to support you Nick, I tried to lay off you but here you go again, you twisted a perfectly good thread into something about you. Why do you always do that? That is why people flame you so much. I don't have a problem with you but it really is getting old.

Here I was reading along, learning about something that I really had no idea was going on. Then WHAM! right in my face is yet another post about Nick, by who else? NICK!!!
For God's sakes, why does it matter that Sherpa stated he was a full time pro? That was not the reason behind his post.

I think I speak for the vast majority on this board when I say we are tired of it!

Jeeez, and you wonder why you get flamed so much. Do you just not get it?
Uh yaSprint-Nick
Mar 6, 2003 7:44 AM
Uh ya... I try to make every thread about me. Thats it...

I was asking a valid question. Why can Sherpa state he's a pro and not get flamed but I get flamed when I say anything remotely pointing out anything. I'll admit at times I did recreate quite a rucuss but trust me I don't need attention.

Uh yarussw19
Mar 6, 2003 10:19 AM
Nick, I hate to tell you this, cuz I actually thought you were getting the shaft too damn often, but it's true... you just hijacked a thread to turn the discussion to you. And the fact that it's working is bad enough; but that you don't see you take the crap you do is because of stuff like this is even worse.

Sherpa told a story in detail that was designed to keep all of us from being screwed.. that includes you! He told the ebay scam story for your benefit as much as anyone else.
To be honest the part about his selling off his equipment has no relevance to his status as a cyclist, but he threw it in to explain what he was selling. It's a detail that painted a more vivid picture of the situation. It was not a "hey, look at me and all my accomplishments" statement. And that is what separates his posts from yours. Not only do you often do that in the threads you start, but now you have hijacked his informative post to do it again.

I though you had some intelligence, Nick, but you were misunderstood. If that is the case, I can not possibly understand how you fail to see the difference.

Nick, I have advice for you, and you can take it or leave it, or tell me to go to hell for saying it.. I don't care....
I think you will get much further in your career as a cyclist if you learn a bit of humility. Don't talk about yourself 24/7 and start listening to others. I will guarantee you that if you start to acquire sponsors and act like a spoiled child, you will lose those sponsors as fast as you can talk. Sponsors look to help people who are making a positive impact on the sport. They want role models to associate their good name with. With that in mind, start to work on your reputation as someone who will go out of their way to help another cyclist or a team mate. Be the guy who will work for the team and you will get a lot further than the guy who has to always be the team leader. You could ask me how I know all this, but then I would have to tell you my cycling background and it would be self-promoting. But just think about this, if you were in a position to help a cyclist by giving them something (be it product or money) would you give it to Sherpa, who is trying to help people with his story here, or yourself, who is trying to turn Sherpa's misfortune into a thread about you. Do you see where this is going... it's just a microcosm your whole world in this one thread.

Thanks RussSprint-Nick
Mar 6, 2003 7:53 PM
I respect your opinion and your right. Thats why I first responded to Sherpa's post in the message then make my point (which was also made through the topic of course).

So my intention was never to hijack the threat... just to make a point at a time when people who do not need to be named got pissed at me for asking something that mentioned me moving.
Mar 6, 2003 6:20 AM
Watch out for anything involving credit cards from Indonesia.

I work for a web hosting company, and we do a lot of credit card transactions over the internet. Part of my job is to investigate fraud cases. I can tell you with all certainty that 85-90% of our credit card fraud cases originate in Indonesia. This is a big thing in Russia as well. It is so bad in fact, that some merchant service providers automatically deny anything coming from Indonesia, since it's just not worth the risk.

Otherwise, the Indons are nice people :) My wife is from Malaysia, which is just down the way from Indonesia.