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Author Topic: Can this be made a "sticky"? Get photos of other items in main picture  (Read 25355 times)
G8WRB
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Posts: 11




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« on: April 11, 2013, 02:38:58 PM »

Something I have done on more than one occasion is to ask to see a picture of an item with other item(s) in the picture. Hence are some pictures of Agilent test cables used to connect to my 20 GHz vector network analyzer. I asked the seller to put a battery in each photograph. I think it is clear the seller did have the cables in this case, as it would be very hard to fake 2 of these photos - perhaps the top one not so hard, but even that would need some skill to do well

http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent%2085131F%20sn38116-04117%20001.jpg
http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent%2085131F%20sn52620%20002.jpg
http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/Agilent%2085131F%20sn52620%20003.jpg

If for some reason you can't see the photos - they have spaces in their names, which is never a great idea. They are in this directory

http://www.vnacalibration.co.uk/help-reduce-scams/

Of course this does not guarantee the seller has any intension of sending you something, but at least you know he/she does have it in their possession.

In that transaction, the cables were $1350 and I imported them from the USA to the UK. I paid with Paypal, which gives me some protection. Had the seller want.ed Western Union, I would not have bothered, even though I could see he had the cables.

I thought the deal was actually too good to be true, as one seller had already declined an offer of $2500 for these cables, but I got them for $1350 in the end. But I had the sence to check the items existed and paid by a method which gives me some level of security.

On another occasion, I picked up a rig about 100 miles from me. Before wasting my time travelling there to pick it up, I insured the seller actually had it, by asking for some pitcures wtih a coffee cup and loo roll in them.

You can ask for anything in the picture, or several things.  

I'm absolutely amazed people get ripped off sending money via Western Union, Moneygram, cash or wiring to the bank accounts of complete strangers.

I think this should be made a sticky, but perhaps others disagree.

Documents like a driving license are quite easy to fake to look OK in an email. Documents are 2D objects. Faking pictures of 3D objects like above is a lot harder.

I have suggested this idea before on here, but given people are still getting ripped off in a way that is preventable, perhaps it should be made a sticky so it stays at the top of the forum.

Dave, G8WRB.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 03:03:55 PM by G8WRB » Logged
K8SOR
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Posts: 58




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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 06:03:39 AM »

I have done this many times. I have asked that the seller put something like a spoon, or put a knot in the cable.
This usually weeds out the scammers.
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 3466




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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2015, 12:13:08 PM »

Great post, and while I agree that overall this is a great idea, as a person who knows just enough about Photoshop to be dangerous Grin I want to add in some extra advice.

You only have one shot at this, you can't keep asking a legitimate person for more photo's after he has sent you the first set, so make the first request count.

Don't just ask for a picture of a battery next to a cable.  In the above example in the first picture it would be a five minute job to add a battery in like that,  In the second two pictures the batteries and cables (combined) are positioned in a way that would make it much more difficult to Photoshop, but still possible with a good deal of work, but overall IMO something  most crooks would not attempt.

What I am saying it to ask the first time for the objects and the merchandise to be positioned in a difficult manor and always ask for high resolution photos.  If the person sends you some 480x320 pictures you will never be able to zoom in and see if Photoshop work has been done.

Now I know some of you are thinking, what are the odds that a scammer knows how to use Photoshop.  Well it's actually higher than you think if they do scamming for a living.  Secondly most people know someone who can use Photoshop and they may ask them to do a picture and the person doing it does not even know that they are aiding a scam.

Let me give you a example that I did once.  I asked the person to put a empty wine glass in front of the radios display with the empty part of the glass in front of the LED display and snap a hires photo of the whole front panel head on with the rig turned on and set to a certain frequency. (Notice I outlined it exactly so that I wont have to ask again).    The wine glass distorts the displays light  in a way that is really hard to reproduce and if you even try, when it's enlarged you can see the where the brush work is taking place.  Also do not be afraid to take your own picture showing the person exactly what you want and forwarding it to them before hand.

73s
Rob


« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 12:15:30 PM by KD8MJR » Logged

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Mark Twain)
W0BTU
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Posts: 2086


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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2015, 05:19:04 PM »

Something I have done on more than one occasion is to ask to see a picture of an item with other item(s) in the picture. ...  I paid with Paypal, which gives me some protection. Had the seller wanted Western Union, I would not have bothered, even though I could see he had the cables. ... Documents like a driving license are quite easy to fake to look OK in an email. Documents are 2D objects. Faking pictures of 3D objects like above is a lot harder.

You're a smart man. This is excellent advice.

Qrz.com asks for a callsign in the photo with the item. That's very good, but I have seen expensive items for sale there with the callsign subtly --but obviously-- added with Photoshop or Gimp.


... while I agree that overall this is a great idea, as a person who knows just enough about Photoshop to be dangerous Grin I want to add in some extra advice. ...
 I asked the person to put a empty wine glass in front of the radios display with the empty part of the glass in front of the LED display and snap a hires photo of the whole front panel head on with the rig turned on and set to a certain frequency. ...  The wine glass distorts the displays light  in a way that is really hard to reproduce and if you even try, when it's enlarged you can see the where the brush work is taking place.  

Ditto!

Too many people are too trusting. There has always been crime, but this old world has deteriorated to the point where there are now more greedy no-conscience criminals than we could possibly imagine.
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 1396




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« Reply #4 on: Today at 05:59:55 PM »

open the picture in Photoshop or GIMP.  if it has layers, it's been doctored.  just that simple.
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W0BTU
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« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:58:14 PM »

open the picture in Photoshop or GIMP.  if it has layers, it's been doctored.  just that simple.

Whatever "Doctored" might mean, not all image formats can have multiple layers. Even if a picture does not have multiple layers, how can that prove that it hasn't been "doctored", or that the seller has a hidden agenda?

I am quite comfortable with both Adobe Photoshop and Gimp. I can edit a picture, which may or may not involve adding layers, and then flatten it which merges all layers into one (removing all layers).

Maybe you know something that I don't.  :-)
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