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Author Topic: Seeking guidance to avoid getting scammed online  (Read 4800 times)
KD0UYD
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Posts: 9




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« on: April 05, 2013, 08:43:07 PM »

Hi all,
This will be my first post on eham. I just recently got my ticket and will be going for my general in a month or two. That being said I want to buy a base station/portable ahead of time and have decided on the Yaesu Ft897D. I posted a wanted add on the classifieds here on Eham and have recieved several messages of people offering to sell their used base stations. The deal I'm most interested in is for an 897 plus power supply, ldg z100 auto tuner, all power cords, and a couple of different meters, and cobra jr antenna w/balune (all equipment described as being in excellent to new confition)for $850 plus shipping and insurance which came out to roughly $60. I'm ok with the price because its a good deal to me and within my budget for everything I need. I'm starting to get a little nervous though because it is a lot of money on the line and I've read many articles of people getting ripped off through wanted ads. I checked the seller's call sign and it checks out with the info he has provided me, seller has provided a phone number, sent me detailed pictures of all the items included together and seperately, and quickly responded to all emails from a non-throw away email address. I have no reason to believe at this point that the seller is anything but legit, however, I found an ad from 2009 on qrz where the seller was selling another piece of equipment and the IP address listed from that add was from a different city than the one listed on his license but after a little researching I found that the IP address listed in that add was only 4 miles from the city listed on his license. I also asked the seller if everything is in working order and he stated that he bought it from a retiree going into a nursing home and that it worked great when he was watching the prior owner use it before buying but that was a few years ago and it's been stored on a shelf in his closet ever since. I believe I may call him and ask him to send me a picture of the radio powered on or possibly on and receiving a signal. I'm a newbie with all of this and I'm thinking everything is ok with this deal but there is a lot of money on the line and I would like some other opinions or suggestions on what to look out for. I've done everything I could think of to verify everything. Thank you.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2013, 05:30:38 AM »

See the reply I gave you in the 'Elmers' forum.  73!
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K0OD
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Posts: 2557




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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2013, 06:24:36 AM »

Quote
"seller has provided a phone number"

I'd ignore that number and call him at his number in the phone book or 411. Assuming it's listed. 

Quote
"I may call him and ask him to send me a picture of the radio powered on or possibly on and receiving a signal. "

I can find a picture of almost any radio in minutes with Google's Image Search. Tell him to put his QSL in front of the radio in the snap shot or something else that's distinctive (say two pens) to prove the image is of his specific radio, and is a current picture.

By all means speak with him. Listen for an accent. The hard-to-master English language is a wonderful tool for revealing overseas scams.

   
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12854




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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2013, 08:19:13 AM »

Most on-line sales are legit but there seems to be a growing number of scams. In addition, even a legit seller can be unaware of technical issues. For example, the seller may use the radio daily on 20M and believes that the radio is in good working order. Unknow to him the power output is very low on 10M - which happens to be exactly where you want to use it.

Sometimes you can negotiate a return policy but if you return the radio to him "fried" he may think that you abused it.

Often time, especially for someone inexperienced, the best bet is to purchase used equipment from a dealer like AES that has bench checked it and offers a 90-day warrenty. It'll cost you more but it greatly reduces your risk.

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NK7Z
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Posts: 799


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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2013, 02:59:57 PM »

Quote
"seller has provided a phone number"

I'd ignore that number and call him at his number in the phone book or 411. Assuming it's listed. 

Quote
"I may call him and ask him to send me a picture of the radio powered on or possibly on and receiving a signal. "

I can find a picture of almost any radio in minutes with Google's Image Search. Tell him to put his QSL in front of the radio in the snap shot or something else that's distinctive (say two pens) to prove the image is of his specific radio, and is a current picture.

By all means speak with him. Listen for an accent. The hard-to-master English language is a wonderful tool for revealing overseas scams.

   

I use Google image search to see if the image shows up anywhere else...  If so, then I know it was borrowed...  Google for "Google image search"...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W7KB
Member

Posts: 57




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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2013, 04:15:16 PM »

My personal belief is to buy new and obtain a warranty or to purchase from an individual that I know.The odds are in your favor to make your purchases in this fashion.Buying new gives one the peace of mind of knowing they are the first owner and knowledge that they have operated the equipment properly and buying from a friend or known seller offers the possibility of a refund.Anything else is like rolling dice and hoping you come up a winner.With the current amount of scams,dishonesty and schemers we see on these forums,it really doesn't pay to take chances and be burned by individuals to save a few dollars.If one can't afford to buy what they really want,then save enough and wait to do so.In the long run you will have saved the diffference in replacement or repair costs on these items and will also have saved yourself a lot of anger and frustration.Save a few bucks now or pay later,it is up to the individual.Every one of my purchases are new or are from an individual I have known for some time that can be trusted to offer an honest item at a reasonable price.That way,both parties are completely happy with the transaction...73...Dennis W7KB.
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W5LZ
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Posts: 477




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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 05:26:49 AM »

I can certainly understand being a little skeptical about a 'good deal'.  I can also understand why someone would want me to verify that the equipment I'm selling is in fact working and in the condition I say it is.  Considering all the 'scams' present anymore, I am also sort of 'skeptical' of buying anything used.  That means that I do typically require some reassurances.  One way of having that 'reassurance' is by requiring payment in a form that allows some recourse, credit card for instance.  I'm sure I've missed some very nice deals, but I haven't been scammed in a while either, so it has worked out for me.  You have to do what you think is right for you.
Good luck.
 - Paul
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AH6RR
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Posts: 803




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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2013, 11:00:33 AM »

If the seller only wants Western Union payment then it is a scam. If he takes PayPal then you have a way to get your money back if the equipment is not what he has said it is but do not pay as a gift with PayPal. You could use a PO Money Order but it takes months to get your money back. Another way to check if it is legit is to look the sellers call up on QRZ and see if the email address is the same as the one he sent the offer from if not it still might not be a scam because I use my ARRL email address for receiving emails but they do go out from my real email. And as others have posted find the sellers phone number online or by 411 and call that number.
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K9SJB
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 03:10:17 PM »

All good points especially the phrasing of email and request for USPS money order.  I've an 897D and if it were for sale I might ask 800 -900 so the price seems right.  Ask for more specifics and see if you can get a photo of all gear in one pile.  Don't worry about calling the guy, we all like to talk.  Info should match QRZ.COM and also arrl.  You can search arrl for info.  My 2 cents

73 k9sjb
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G8WRB
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Posts: 11




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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2013, 05:16:09 PM »

To check the seller has the item, ask to see a picture with something of your choosing in it. I wanted a couple of test cables to go with a network analyzer. These cables are expensive, so I did not want to be scammed.


I asked the seller to send me some photographs with a battery in the picture.

Here are 3 of the pictures he sent me.

This one would be quite easy to fake, as the battery could be stuck on a white background fairly easily

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

But these two would not be so easy to fake.

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 they can't provide pictures with items you request in them, such as loo roll, cup/mug, battery, knife etc, then walk away.

I'd download the manual, have a good look through it, then ask the seller some questions on the phone about it. Using phone, he would not have time to look up the answers. You would get some idea of

I would pay with Paypal, but fund the purchase with a credit card, not from a bank account of Paypal balance. That gives you some extra protection over Paypal.

I would not rely on anything qrz.com says. My account happens to be my real call sign, but there is nothing stopping me creating an account on there with someone elses callsign, as long as there is no account present.

To be honest though, given this is your first rig, I would suggest like one or two of the other posters, that you buy new or used from a reputable dealer. Again I would pay on a credit card.

Whatever you do, under no circumstances send money via western Union, Moneygram or wire it directly to their bank account.

If by chance you find this seller wants Western Union, please drop me a private message with his email address. I enjoy baiting these scammers. There's a few hams on 419eater.

Dave
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2013, 08:36:24 AM »

Quote
G8WRB:
To be honest though, given this is your first rig, I would suggest like one or two of the other posters, that you buy new or used from a reputable dealer. Again I would pay on a credit card.


I agree.....
Most definitely!
New hobby, first rig, lots of questions...yikes!

I would go so far as to say you should NOT buy
your first rig from a private party over the Internet.

(A big reputable dealer like AES, HRO, etc, is different,
they typically come with at least some sort of warranty in writing)
Get an Elmer, or another local experienced ham, and buy locally.
In person.
See/feel/look/listen/transmit with the rig and all
the associated gear hooked up to an antenna...on all bands.
You can meet an experienced ham through a club, a
recommendation from a dealer, or a Web search for
local hams in your area. They will be delighted to help you,
and can give terrific free advice. They will know the right
questions to ask, and the right answers.

In other words.....kick the tires! Grin

I don't mean to sound like a a cynical curmudgeon,
but $900 is a lot of money to send to a total stranger.
And with the vast amount of online fraud these days,
why chance it?

Would you rather walk out of the seller's house with a
smile on your face, knowing you got a good radio, or chew
on your fingernails for a week or two, wondering what or
even if
the radio will arrive and as advertised?

I really want your first experience in ham radio to be positive.
Hope to hear you on the air someday soon.
73, Ken  AD6KA
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 08:39:53 AM by AD6KA » Logged
W8LGZ
Member

Posts: 42




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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2013, 02:14:33 AM »

Best way to not get scammed on line? Always buy NEW from a reputable dealer. You get a warranty, the radio has not had the golden screwdriver put to it (proverbial "MARS" mod, power cranked up beyond spec, service menu messed with...), other problems the seller "doesn't know of", etc.

Just my 2 cents.

Jim
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KD0VEY
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2013, 04:03:40 PM »

I have bought and sold thousands of items on the net for my business, and AH6RR is right on.
Use PayPal only. Their policies protect both the seller and the buyer. Plus, you can buy things without your wife ever seeing the money. Don't say it is a gift when using PayPal - This is what scammers want you to do. Credit cards will protect you the same way. If the listing says money order, personal check, bank transfer and no PayPal, you can pretty much assume it is a scam. When spending large amounts of money I have no problem meeting a seller or buyer 1/2 way. But, I am retired and have the time to enjoy road trips.
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6034




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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 04:37:58 AM »

I have bought and sold thousands of items on the net for my business, and AH6RR is right on.
Use PayPal only. Their policies protect both the seller and the buyer. Plus, you can buy things without your wife ever seeing the money. Don't say it is a gift when using PayPal - This is what scammers want you to do. Credit cards will protect you the same way. If the listing says money order, personal check, bank transfer and no PayPal, you can pretty much assume it is a scam. When spending large amounts of money I have no problem meeting a seller or buyer 1/2 way. But, I am retired and have the time to enjoy road trips.

Don't make the mistake of thinking PayPal is God's gift to the internet.  I did--and I got burnt by PayPal.  Someone ended up with a nice item that he claimed was garbage, and I ended up with no item, no money, and a knock to my 100% feedback rating to boot.
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KD0VEY
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2013, 02:14:20 PM »

I thought it was a given that you use delivery confirmation with Paypal. If you don't you will lose any payment you receive when the recipient says he/she never got it. Delivery confirmation is all you need to confirm that the buyer received your item. It may not be god's gift to the internet, but it is better than any other way of paying - Unless you meet in person.
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