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-   -   being scammed by a pledge member. please help (https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=576064)

sleddog 21 December 2017 02:35 PM

Jim, you’re playing on the right side of the fence, however, you’re diving in without contemplating all the angles/smoke and mirrors these filthy thieves use to fleece people of their money!
Truth be told, as long as high dollar items are offered for sale, and you have careless uninformed buyers chasing the “Next best deal”, you’re going to have the praying scum lurking in the background ready to steal some money..

In regards to the below suggestions for TRF to start vetting the pledges and methods (credit card details), members making them, here’s why that won’t work either:

What happens when the pledge account is hacked after the true member gives up their login details via a fake link? We’ve had multiples of those happen this year!!! Is this something the mods are also expected to control?
Once hacked, their PayPal details & credit card details are now of no concern are they! A scammer is now using a legitimate account to thieve....

Bottom line is, and we as leaders of this forum have said countless times, is to arm yourself with all the information and knowledge of whom you’re dealing with! Do not make a deal, unless you are sure things are on the level, otherwise, don’t do the deal!
We can not control who deals with who, we can not control who sells and does not. It’s a risk to think otherwise.

To be honest, I’d be OK with the classifieds shut down.
Would that be fair? Would that stop the scammers, and those being scammed? Or would both sides of the coin just move to the already known lairs of the online sales sites?
We all know this crap won’t stop until buyers arm themselves with facts, and not simply wire thousands to someone they don’t know from a bar of soap!

My sympathies to those taken for their money.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Smyth (Post 8123392)
Lots of good ideas here but some of them were followed and the guys still got burned. To sell here you have to become a Pledge member. You Pay with Paypal. From what I remember setting up Paypal was a real PITA back in the day. So the people that run this forum have some control on how this works.

Do the Moderators give the Paypal info of the Seller to the person that got scammed? Can there instead be say a $15 Paypal fee and also a $10 Credit Card fee? Make it multiple charges where the person's identity has to match on each one. Or make it a 1-2 year stay here with say 100+ post with content (not just smiley faces building up post counts) before they can sell anything. If they love watches they will stick around.

There's plenty of other venues for selling other than here. We should protect the guys here at all costs without making it labor intensive for the mods. There has to be a safer way. I want to feel comfortable buying and selling here and this one just hit me the wrong way.


jcs2000 21 December 2017 03:30 PM

Always pay with PayPal or a Credit Card. No PayPal or CC payment option no deal.
The only exception in wiring money is to a Jewler with a physical store front with an address that can be googled, confirmed and that u have also called using a number posted on their website. In general the difference in price (especially if out of state with no sales tax) is neglible to sellers who insist on only wires. It only takes one bad transaction to essentially put u in the hole with respect to savings for pretty much your entire life.

K12AN 21 December 2017 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Smyth (Post 8124804)
Was it wrong? His 1st post that hes also scammed on a 116600 was at #124 . You guys I believe have all the sales of Karle12 locked down so I cant research this. Should be easy enough for a Mod too look up. But this poster has been on this board for 5 days and bought a watch from Karle12 on this forum and is on his friends list? Something doesnt add up.

I am a highly suspicious person by nature and my instincts are usually spot on. If I am wrong with K12AN I apologize in advance. He offered to post up all his info? I am ready when he is with the Police report. I believe him and Karle12 are the same person. Too many coincidences.

Don't blame you for being suspicious... Wish I was more before jumping into this "purchase".
I can only say I joined the forum in good will and started browsing the classifieds straight away. Saw a good deal on the watch and saw karle12 had good feedback from previous sales and that he'd been a member for a year and posted a lot.
I added him as a friend because I was buying a watch from him and this is normal on other forums I'm on for cars, sports etc. I genuinely thought he was!
Don't see why the seller would pretend to be someone else, as he can still read this open forum without membership.
Anyway, yes I'm a newbie and unfortunately I've been scammed and a lesson has been learnt. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and made an impulse buy.

Digitran 21 December 2017 09:03 PM

It is so sad to read the stories of those who have been scammed. I came very close to being scammed once and I can can understand how it feels. Not only you are a victim but on top of that you have to prove it. It rips you apart and it leaves you with deep trust issues. Devastating.

tbonesteak 21 December 2017 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcs2000 (Post 8125119)
Always pay with PayPal or a Credit Card. No PayPal or CC payment option no deal.
The only exception in wiring money is to a Jewler with a physical store front with an address that can be googled, confirmed and that u have also called using a number posted on their website. In general the difference in price (especially if out of state with no sales tax) is neglible to sellers who insist on only wires. It only takes one bad transaction to essentially put u in the hole with respect to savings for pretty much your entire life.

PayPal leaves the seller wide open to be scammed. Furthermore, they insist you use their shipping label... if using a service like Parcel Pro, how do you insure 15 grand on someone elseís label? UPS/FedEx only insure watches up to like $1,000 bucks.

K12AN 21 December 2017 09:57 PM

I've submitted fraud reports with FBI and UK authorities...although when doing so I realised how little I know about the seller.
How are they even able to access the bank accounts which victims have paid into? Surely the account holder is a victim too..unless they're involved?

I am trying to be pragmatic about this now. It was a luxury purchase and although I am very annoyed with the seller (and myself), I still have my health and family etc.
I am a strong believer in karma, so this person will get what is owed to them and everything will balance itself out.
Hopefully I can save up and buy my first Rolex soon.

nursejm 21 December 2017 10:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcs2000 (Post 8125119)
Always pay with PayPal or a Credit Card. No PayPal or CC payment option no deal.
The only exception in wiring money is to a Jewler with a physical store front with an address that can be googled, confirmed and that u have also called using a number posted on their website. In general the difference in price (especially if out of state with no sales tax) is neglible to sellers who insist on only wires. It only takes one bad transaction to essentially put u in the hole with respect to savings for pretty much your entire life.



Even PayPal as mode of payment is not safe, read stories wherein the buyer claim a dispute that the package he received is empty. Paypal has a tendency to side with the buyer during disputes..
Buying a watch online is a big risk.. Either the seller, buyer, shipping company employees can be the thief.

bearjere21 21 December 2017 11:12 PM

buy the seller; there's so many power seller on this site it's so hard to miss and the price is always negotiable with them.

usling15 21 December 2017 11:24 PM

This scenario is very familiar to me. Couple of years ago when I just got started in this illness I purchased a Breitling M2000 diver. Fellow from Arizona ( with strange grammer).
Wired to a name different that his, said it was his wife. Watch was a week late, said he was sick. Two weeks, had to go out of country-vacation. Three weeks later sent me a check for $10,000.00 from a college in New Hampshire. Said he owed $ 7500.00 to someone else. Asked me to keep $2,500.00 plus $500 for my trouble, & forward balance to the other "recipient". I had realized my stupidity at week 2. Threatened to turn me in to the FBI !!

Chiboy 21 December 2017 11:47 PM

The bummer is that whatever system you put in, people with bad intentions have the advantage. You have to be very vigilant and not let your excitement overwhelm your common sense. I am newish here (1 1/2 years) and imagine it's best to "get to know" folks here who post meaningfully over time or buy from TS. I got my watch from DSW, thankfully, but it's hard to navigate the waters if someone is clever and intent on scamming you. Face to face seems like a decent way to go, and in the US you can fly many places for $200 to meet up.

Digitran 22 December 2017 12:12 AM

Stolen pics is a huge issue. Some time ago I discovered pictures of a watch I had bought online in my home country, on the sales section of a watch forum in the US! (not this one). I immediately contacted a mod and within 10-15' the ad was taken down.

In the future, if I decide to sell a watch I will make sure to use a watermark so that potential scammers cannot use my pictures. Please be extremely careful when buying online.

Thathorologist 22 December 2017 12:41 AM

I understand that being a Pledge member basically means nothing but, what if Pledge members went through a security clearance before becoming a pledge member?
Like they would have to submit their references to mods and provide identification and proof of address, I think that would scare the scammers away, of course so much work for the mods but at least people wouldn’t be hurting like this.
Here are 2 of my suggestions for 2018;
1) Every Pledge member should put a watermark of Their Handle on posted pictures. A watermark that cannot be photoshopped. (Watermark doesn’t make people trustworthy it will only reduce the amount of pictures that are being stolen off of forums) Maybe a Piece of paper with TRF ID and Date the watch is being posted with 3 different time zones, NYC, Denver and LA timezones. And place the paper right in the middle of the picture like on the Thai RolexForums
2) Every Pledge member should verify identity and address before making a $25 donation.
Please feel free to add to this list.

Cryten 22 December 2017 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thathorologist (Post 8125811)
I understand that being a Pledge member basically means nothing but, what if Pledge members went through a security clearance before becoming a pledge member?
Like they would have to submit their references to mods and provide identification and proof of address, I think that would scare the scammers away, of course so much work for the mods but at least people wouldnít be hurting like this.
Here are 2 of my suggestions for 2018;
1) Every Pledge member should put a watermark of Their Handle on posted pictures. A watermark that cannot be photoshopped. (Watermark doesnít make people trustworthy it will only reduce the amount of pictures that are being stolen off of forums) Maybe a Piece of paper with TRF ID and Date the watch is being posted with 3 different time zones, NYC, Denver and LA timezones. And place the paper right in the middle of the picture like on the Thai RolexForums
2) Every Pledge member should verify identity and address before making a $25 donation.
Please feel free to add to this list.

The problem with asking for ID is that fake ID is too easy to get hold of, and it will create another way of allowing people to trust sellers without doing their homework, and creating liability/blame issues for Steve and the Mods.

There's plenty of good info on here about how these scammers operate, and how to avoid being scammed. Unfortunately too many people rush into wiring complete strangers their hard earned money with out enough due diligence.

Welshwatchman 22 December 2017 01:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleddog (Post 8125066)
To be honest, Iíd be OK with the classifieds shut down.

Me also.

Tony64 22 December 2017 02:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chiboy (Post 8125655)
I am newish here (1 1/2 years) and imagine it's best to "get to know" folks here who post meaningfully over time...

I generally agree with you on this, but even as I read your post I noticed that another poster just 3 before you has just been banned, and he's been a member for a while with a few hundred posts.

We've seen some longstanding forum members, some with thousands of posts, suddenly banned. I'm not suggesting that they're all crooks, but if they're ban-worthy are they trust-worthy?

Best protection if you're wiring funds, short of using a true TS or going to an AD, is being absolutely certain you can track down the seller if something goes awry. Verifying a place of employment is one way. Make sure the seller's got skin in the game and can't easily slip away into the darkness.

:cheers:

cornerstore 22 December 2017 02:32 AM

Reading through this thread two things seem to stand out. First, many TRF members of long standing have no idea what and how pledge membership works. I suggest to those members you donate to see the mechanics and support the site you seem eager to use when you have issues or want to purchase something. Second, talk of closing classifieds, that is illogical. The site has hundreds if not thousands of successful and smooth transactions. Why close it and then send Members to potentially more problematic transactions elsewhere. This is not ebay or Amazon and you need to conduct yourself accordingly. Best way to protect yourself is be more engaged with the site, educate yourself before you attempt to buy an expensive item on line. Nothing on line is ever 100% safe but there are ways to minimize your risks. OP, I feel your pain, as a buyer I have been scammed on two occasions and hopefully I learned from it. It does not stop me from dealing with people, just more cautious going forward. I sincerely hope it works out for you OP.:cheers:

Two times scammed : once on Ebay and the other I posted in the wtb section with my email( big mistake) for folded links. On a positive note I did get a notice the money spent on the links will be partially coming back to me as per a class action lawsuit against Western Union. Every one of the dozen or so transactions I have had on the buy or sell here have been flawless. Wire transfers if done properly gives both parties security and ease of tracking if deal goes south.

MonBK 22 December 2017 02:34 AM

A very intelligent reply to the problem. :clap: :thumbsup: ^

tbonesteak 22 December 2017 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tony64 (Post 8126071)
I generally agree with you on this, but even as I read your post I noticed that another poster just 3 before you has just been banned, and he's been a member for a while with a few hundred posts.

We've seen some longstanding forum members, some with thousands of posts, suddenly banned. I'm not suggesting that they're all crooks, but if they're ban-worthy are they trust-worthy?

Best protection if you're wiring funds, short of using a true TS or going to an AD, is being absolutely certain you can track down the seller if something goes awry. Verifying a place of employment is one way. Make sure the seller's got skin in the game and can't easily slip away into the darkness.

:cheers:

This is exactly what I said on the previous page...

If you are not 1,000% sure who you are wiring money to, walk. You need to be 110% confident you know who is receiving the funds. The seller should have zero issues letting you know and providing accurate information either if they expect you to wire them funds.

Furthermore, just because you know isn't good enough - if they're an executive at a publicly traded company, you've got good recourse should they try any funny business (which I doubt anyone is jeopardizing a 6 or 7 figure income for $10k)... If they're Joe Schmoe criminal, you've got a huge headache (and you should just walk to begin with).

sleddog 22 December 2017 03:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thathorologist (Post 8125811)
I understand that being a Pledge member basically means nothing but, what if Pledge members went through a security clearance before becoming a pledge member?
Like they would have to submit their references to mods and provide identification and proof of address, I think that would scare the scammers away, of course so much work for the mods but at least people wouldn’t be hurting like this.
Here are 2 of my suggestions for 2018;
1) Every Pledge member should put a watermark of Their Handle on posted pictures. A watermark that cannot be photoshopped. (Watermark doesn’t make people trustworthy it will only reduce the amount of pictures that are being stolen off of forums) Maybe a Piece of paper with TRF ID and Date the watch is being posted with 3 different time zones, NYC, Denver and LA timezones. And place the paper right in the middle of the picture like on the Thai RolexForums
2) Every Pledge member should verify identity and address before making a $25 donation.
Please feel free to add to this list.

You failed to read my post on # 151 didn't you?!

What good is all that info when that members account is hacked and taken over by the trolling thief? All we have then is a thief inserting their scam onto what was once a legit account..

This is the big problem here also.
We can say things on here until we are blue in the face, and still we have people who chose to ignore it, or fail to read it. Hard to help someone when the info that's right in front of them is ignored or missed.

Thathorologist 22 December 2017 04:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleddog (Post 8126241)
You failed to read my post on # 151 didn't you?!

What good is all that info when that members account is hacked and taken over by the trolling thief? All we have then is a thief inserting their scam onto what was once a legit account..

This is the big problem here also.
We can say things on here until we are blue in the face, and still we have people who chose to ignore it, or fail to read it. Hard to help someone when the info that's right in front of them is ignored or missed.

I couldnít agree more, I think every man should stand for himself.
DD before buying.
Confirm the sellerís identity
Ask for Work Phone and verify it
And trust your senses, one red flag should be enough to raise doubts and concerns.
If something doesnít make sense, move on to the next seller.

cornerstore 22 December 2017 04:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thathorologist (Post 8126283)
I couldn’t agree more, I think every man should stand for himself.
DD before buying.
Confirm the seller’s identity
Ask for Work Phone and verify it
And trust your senses, one red flag should be enough to raise doubts and concerns.
If something doesn’t make sense, move on to the next seller.

When selling or buying I find a red flag is when someone is a multi year TRF member with few posts as opposed to a pledge member who is engaged and contributes to the sites expenses. Makes me wonder why they post so infrequently and why they don't see the value in supporting the site that provides them a service. I have one suggestion for the classified section : only pledge members with a minimum of 100 posts get access to the buy and sell area. Might save everyone some grief :cheers:

sleddog 22 December 2017 07:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cornerstore (Post 8126330)
When selling or buying I find a red flag is when someone is a multi year TRF member with few posts as opposed to a pledge member who is engaged and contributes to the sites expenses. Makes me wonder why they post so infrequently and why they don't see the value in supporting the site that provides them a service. I have one suggestion for the classified section : only pledge members with a minimum of 100 posts get access to the buy and sell area. Might save everyone some grief :cheers:

Except when a member becomes hacked by carelessness.
Then as far as the 100 post count, it’s easy to bump up that number, and I’m not talking about one word posts... So where do you draw the line! 500, a 1000?
None of that matters when a scammer controls another’s account!

Simple fact is, be careful. Know what, where, and who, for Certainty! If not, DONT make a deal.

Old Expat Beast 22 December 2017 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Welshwatchman (Post 8125928)
Me also.

Same here.

Bstewart 22 December 2017 08:17 AM

I’m sorry I have nothing of value to add here, but I am truly sorry OP and anyone else scammed. That’s a lot of money. I couldn’t bear that.

HL65 22 December 2017 09:19 AM

If you want to assure you are never scammed only buy from AD’s and highly regarded well known sellers. It’s not like there is a shortage of them here. I don’t understand why anyone would bother looking elsewhere. To try and save a few bucks and surrender true peace of mind makes no sense to me. So to the OP sorry and hard lesson to learn. For all others as many members and I have said exercise caution and stop gambling. For me I’ll stick to AD’s and the best of the best of TRF. Merry Christmas all...be safe and smart out there!

AK797 22 December 2017 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HL65 (Post 8127015)
If you want to assure you are never scammed only buy from ADís and highly regarded well known sellers. Itís not like there is a shortage of them here. I donít understand why anyone would bother looking elsewhere. To try and save a few bucks and surrender true peace of mind makes no sense to me. So to the OP sorry and hard lesson to learn. For all others as many members and I have said exercise caution and stop gambling. For me Iíll stick to ADís and the best of the best of TRF. Merry Christmas all...be safe and smart out there!

I agree completely, if you are taking a better price then you are taking a risk that is built into that price, and just like on the track if your horse doesn't come in you can't go complaining to the bookie. Buyer Beware, always and everywhere.

cornerstore 22 December 2017 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sleddog (Post 8126773)
Except when a member becomes hacked by carelessness.
Then as far as the 100 post count, it’s easy to bump up that number, and I’m not talking about one word posts... So where do you draw the line! 500, a 1000?
None of that matters when a scammer controls another’s account!

Simple fact is, be careful. Know what, where, and who, for Certainty! If not, DONT make a deal.

Good point, I really don't know how that works? I presume it's primarily a sell side issue?

K12AN 22 December 2017 07:20 PM

I am one of the victims of this fraud.
I've wired the funds to a person's bank accounts and haven't received the goods.
My question is, is the person who's account I've wired it to the seller or is their person also a victim? Or is it a fake account set up?
Either way this account should be frozen right?
How can this be done?
I filed an FBI report, but should I also contact the bank of the seller (Chase Bank Texas)?

Bob the brush 22 December 2017 07:31 PM

It would break my heart (and my bank balance) to loose a load of money to some low life scammer scum. I have bought two pre owned Rolex and both transactions were flawless, and the watches were as good as, if not better than described, I checked out both sellers and spoke to them, texted them, emailed them, got them to phone me back at prearranged times, saw photos of the watches at set times and dates, did all I could to satisfy myself that sales were legit. Took a bit of effort on my part, patience on theirs, which they did without comment, and this was rewarded by them getting what they wanted money wise and me getting fantastic watches with very little worry. Caveat emptor folks, caveat emptor. Have fun, this Christmas, keep safe, and may you all have a prosperous and scam free 2018. Cheers.

Styles Bitchley 23 December 2017 01:52 AM

Not much to add here, but wanted to say what a helpful education this thread is. Ensuring a seller is legit is more complex than I realized. This should be essential reading for any green buyers/sellers (like me!).

I really feel for the OP and K12AN and hope you get this resolved satisfactorily.


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