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Author Topic: JOE ROBIN - SCAM ARTIST  (Read 10992 times)
K4RYR
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« on: September 10, 2009, 04:35:52 AM »

WATCH OUT FOR THIS GUY, HE IS ALL OVER THE VARIOUS WEB SITES THAT SELL USED HAM GEAR AND WILL SCAM YOU OUT OF YOUR EQUIPMENT - HE IS A CRIMINAL!!!
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VE3CZI
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 11:45:11 AM »

Hi Richard:
I've been getting emails also from this Joe Robin.  I can tell from his grammer and language he is "NOT" a member of the Amateur Radio Community.
Tnx for the heads up...Norm VE3CZI
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 01:22:33 PM »

Not just ham radio. The same 120 Leicester Street turns up in performance car part classifieds warnings. And tractor parts, etc. We rarely put anything on Craigslist that it doesn't dredge up at least one of these. And don't think people don't fall for it with their entirely unwarranted faith in cashier's checks and money orders.
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K7AAT
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2009, 09:30:47 AM »

This guy contacted me, too,  recently.  On the last communication he indicated he would send me a money order even though I told him it might take weeks to clear before I shipped the product ( to ship myself... not use his shipper ).  I almost took him up on that as I saw no down side back finally declined as I don't want to deal with scammers at all.

   Ed
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KT4HX
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2009, 01:31:50 PM »

He is still alive and well. Been getting emails from him, but didn't feel right (the language thing).  Did a search and found this thread, so have told him to take a hike.  Thanks for posting this.
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KF5T
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 05:41:15 PM »

Joe Robin just tried the same scam on me. The whole deal smelled fishy to me, so I did a google search for Joe Robin and scam. My computer lit up with information.  Thanks to eHam for making this information available. I was able to shut down the transaction before providing him with any personal information.

Neal KF5T
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K6RIM
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 04:05:47 PM »

I almost fell for Mr. Robin, too.  The business about using "his shipper" seemed fishy, so checked the eHam Forum and quickly got plenty of hits about Mr. Robin and his scam.  Thanks, eHam.net!!
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KC4HGH
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 02:28:40 PM »

Joe Robin: Scammer

(Also posted on another website by myself, KC4HGH)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've dodged a scam that I have been told by an active trader/seller/buyer that has been going on for well over a year. I have listed a radio in the "For Sale" section of this and other websites, for a friend of mine. I was contacted via e-mail by "Joe Robin", who expressed interest in the radio. He (?) asked for pictures of the rig, which I promptlly e-mailed back. He said it was a sale, confirmed the price with me ("#xxx.xx and you ship" was my terms) and said the funds would be forthcoming....I told him to send the exact amount, payable to my friend.

Next, I got an email saying that the funds would be on the way; when I got the Money Order, I should take my funds from it, immediately proceed to the nearest Western Union office and forward the rest of the funds to his client (to an address in London) so he could pay for the shipping and the rig would be picked up in 48 hours...1st red flag. He also gave me the tracking number, which was a UPS NDA number and I told him to MAIL the MO to my PO Box....2nd red flag, but a little one, since mistakes can be made.

I notified him and said that UPS does not deliver to PO Boxes and that I contacted UPS to redirect the package; they said the SHIPPER would have to do that. When I notified him of this fact and that HE would have to change the routing, he was silent on that...3rd red flag.

Two business days later, I got a postcard from UPS telling me of an "undeliverable package", and I went to the facility the very next day and got the package. When I opened up the envelope, there was a check, drawn on a bank in Seguin, TX, and it was shipped from South San Francisco, CA...maybe a little red flag, but the REAL BIG RED FLAG was that it was for $2700.00!!!!. When I got back to work, I immediately e-mailed him and asked what was the deal and why the extreme amount? Was he laundering money? Also, being the only breadwinner in the family, I can't just take off, stand in line to send someone funds of an extreme amount and lose time on the clock. He replied, saying he understood, just do it as soon as possible and let him know, so they could send a pick-up tag for the radio. By this time, the alarm bells were clanging and the red flags looks as if they were flapping in a hurricane....

That is when I called my trader/seller/buyer friend; he said that this was a scam that has been going on for over a year. This originated in Africa and migrated to England. The Cashier's Check/Money Order/etc. is drawn on an account just opened, or even a clever copy is made, bypassing any legitimate bank or lending institution; as soon as the buyer is alerted that the goods are shipped, the account is closed and the check bounces around for a few weeks until the banks find out it is bogus...then the unsuspecting seller's funds are drawn from his/her bank and they lose the goods, to boot! It is just a "shell game" and there's really no money there....

I called UPS, gave them the tracking number and told them that I got a package I didn't want; the address was almost unreadable, so I asked for the shipper's address so I could send it back. I was informed that UPS would pick up the package and they'd send it back at the shipper's expense.

Three business days later, when the package still hadn't been picked up, I again called UPS; they said that they tried to call me (I never received a call) and the problem was, the shipper's account had been closed. I thanked them and told them that I'd destroy the unwanted product...I never told them about the scam.

I thought I'd call the bank in Texas to see if this was a TRUE check, since I cannot make out any watermarks, but, why go to the expense and trouble? While I was investigating this, he contacted me again, asking if I'd received funds. I haven't replied. I figured I'd expose the scam here, then let him know I destroyed the "funds".

I just thought I'd relate my experiences with "Joe Robin". From here on out, it is either CASH in my hand or a Postal Money Order, if dealing with an "unknown"....and, by the way, the radio is still safe and is still for sale.

Beware of "Joe Robin", et. al........
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AD6KA
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 07:29:50 PM »

"he said that this was a scam that has been going on for over a year."

I don't know about "Joe Robin" but this scam has been going on for many, many years.

The scammers are counting on two things:

1) That you'll actually forward the extra funds to their "brother/mother/sick friend".

2) That the victim doesn't know much about banking procedures and laws.

OK, just because a check "clears"
and your account shows "funds available" does NOT mean the check/money order/cashiers check is good!
This "Funds Available means CLEARED" to most folks is what the scammer is counting on to make his money.

Banks have up to a YEAR to come back and claim the funds for a bad/stolen/forged check from you. When you sign the back of a draft (I'll use the word draft for money order of any kind, personal check, cashiers check, credit untion check, etc) you are actually signing a contract with the bank making YOU LIABLE for the funds on that draft, even if it is counterfeit or stolen or fraudulently written on a good commercial account. To keep the wheels of commerce rolling, banks use check clearing houses just to make sure the bank & account number are real and the funds are there AT THE TIME the clearing house sends the inquiry. The actual money from the draft may not actually be PAID (also called HONORED) for 6-8 WEEKS.

So, in effect, those "Funds Available" on your bank statement three days later are just money that the bank is LOANING you against your signature. (Remember
what I said happens when you sign the back of a draft?) Also, really good check scammers will "Flash" a checking account. That is, deposit money in it for the brief period when they know the clearing house will be checking it, then removing the money. When the check goes to be PAID, or HONORED, the money is long gone.

Some of the fakes are quite good, especially the ones drawn on credit unions. There are a lot of these coming out of Romania and Russia, even though they are drawn on American banks and credit unions.

TIP: Never call the phone number of the "bank" or "credit union" on the check to see if it is good. The number will go to a boiler room operation who will of course say it is good. Call or visit your own bank and talk to the manager. Tell him that you want to be notified when the check is HONORED or PAID, not "cleared", if you suspect anything fishy. This may take some time, and may cost you a fee, but if we're talking abut a big check....Remember, YOU are LIABLE for the funds...UP TO A year LATER, AND THEY can legally take them out of any account(s) that you have with them. Now you may not be liable (in most states) for FRAUD unless the bank can prove that you knowlingly and in bad faith tried to collect on a bogus draft.
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N4MJG
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 07:54:28 AM »

I too got from him 2700 guess what i did i went to bank they told there is no water ink and they told they will sent it off have it destroyed, they told me that i got scam but radio is still here, this person think that waiting for me to western union wired fund . I THINK NOT !. person don't even know i did went to bank and they took care of it for me !!!

Joe Robin nice try who ever you are


73
Jackie
N4MJG
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010, 12:00:16 PM »

If you do ask him for the bogus check and receive it there's another way to mess with his head and waste his time.

Western Union uses a 10 digit number for for wire transfers called an MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number). For some countries, like Nigeria, they also ask for a "Test Question and Answer. Email the guy back with a made up MTCN and test question/answer. He may just head on down there and try to collect. For security reasons most Western Union offices in Third World Countries are located inside banks, or are part of the services the bank offers. Meaning he will have to go up to the teller's window. Submitting a fake MTCN could get him in some hot water. Probably not arrested, but he will be persona non grata in THAT bank from now on.

If/when he writes back and says "You gave me the wrong MTCN number" just say "Gosh, I'm SO sorry about that, the correct one is......" and change one digit. Rinse and repeat as needed.  If he asks you to scan and email him the slip, say that you don't own a scanner.

Of course some of these guys are smarter than others, and he may call or go online to WU and check if the MTCN you gave him is real or not. But as long as you don't write him anything suspicious he should fall for it.

OR....tell the guy that you're an invalid and can't get to a WU office, but you're more than willing to do a Bank Wire Transfer, which you can do on the phone. Ask him for a bank account. Be sure to get the SWIFT CODE. (Do NOT give out YOUR account details, duh.) Then send a copy of his emails and the bank account info to: www.ic3.gov/ , The Internet Crime Complaint Center, and they will shut down the account.

I don't know why Western Union even still lets people wire money to Nigeria. (Probably because they're just as corrupt as the Nigerian Govt). Due to international pressure to fight money laundering, Nigerians may no longer send funds OUT of the country via WU.
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 02:21:15 PM »

It is always good to trace IP Address of any incoming e-mails from people responding to your online seller's ad. You can do a Google Search on how to trace an IP Address if you don't know how. Let's just say it's easy. You cut and paste the header of the email into a special search engine. If you don't know how to get the COMPLETE header of your incoming emails, Google that too, or check your email program Help File.

Just because a person's email address is:
GOODHAM@YAHOO.CO.UK doesn't mean the email is from the UK at all, it may be from Nigeria or anyplace else.

Re: Suspect UK Email Addy's....if the scammer is posing as a UK ham or UK resident he will often give a fake (or real) UK address and a UK sounding Telephone Number.
IF the phone number starts +044 (UK Country Code) THEN starts 702, 703, 70x, etc..BEWARE! That 70X number is REDIRECT CODE, usually to Nigeria.

Note: Incoming Google Mail or G Mail will NOT show you the IP Address. Download a free trial of "Read Notify" software. It WILL get the IP Addy off of a Gmail. And tell you when he opened YOUR email, at what time, how long he looked at it, etc. Neat program.

ALWAYS REPORT any suspicious emails. The address is amoost universally "abuse@yahoo.com, or abuse@gmail.com, abuse@xxxxmail.com". Be sure to send the entire email WITH COMPLETE HEADER, Important!
Don't just forward the email. Cut and paste the Complete Header into your email to the abuse folks.
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K0OD
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Posts: 2544




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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 05:45:38 AM »

Great info Ken. I gather you're a fan of http://www.419eater.com/

Yes, over-payment scams have been going on for a very long time.

Years ago, before 419 scams migrated from regular mail to email, I used to wonder why our post office continued to deliver obvious scam letters to American citizens.

I could usually spot one of those "Nigerian" envelopes before I even opened it. Why couldn't our postal inspectors?
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AD6KA
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2010, 09:45:18 AM »

By K0OD
"Great info Ken. I gather you're a fan of http://www.419eater.com/ "

Hi Jeff!

Yup, I sure ham, good stuff there.
Shiver is a terrific baiter! I like the scammers he tricked into getting tatoos. (Though questionable ethics vis a vis transmission of diseases by tattoo needles). OTOH I say, die, scammer, DIE!

Another great is:

http://www.thescambaiter.com/

I find the archives easier to navigate.
Check out the "Completed Baits" section.
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K0OD
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 12:07:05 PM »

As a long-time web site retailer I can tell you that fraud losses by professional sellers are amazingly low... in our case, less than our brick & mortar store losses on bounced checks. Almost none.

We have several lines of defense. Not selling outside the United States helps, and of course we know all those seaport city transshipper warehouse addresses (which are sometimes legitimate). Nowadays, I like to use Google's Street View to see whether the buyer's "home" is really a grimy warehouse on Miami's docks! Our site captures the IP of every order.

We sell our most valuable products only by phone. It's fun to hear these thickly-accented crooks attempt to explain why they need a 500 pound order air expressed 5,000 miles. I'll put them on hold to get "our security officer's approval." They're always gone when I return to the phone.

Studies have indicated web seller fraud losses are around 0.2% and had been DROPPING yearly. (that may start to rise as the economy worsens). Rates are certainly higher for some products than others. Website sellers are very hardened targets.

That leaves Craig's List/eBay-type sellers, like hams selling occasional equipment, as the preferred soft targets.
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