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Old 20 September 2023, 05:31 AM   #1
schnipples24
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Sofodot - SCAMMER FROM UKRAINE - BEWARE

I purchased the BLRO from user Sofotdot, located in Ukraine.
- Since it seemed like a good deal, I made sure to use Paypal goods and services, and paid via CC. I figured this way, if anything went wrong I could always initiate a claim. I thought it they were a scammer then they wouldn't be willing to accept PayPal. I was wrong.

https://www.rolexforums.com/showthread.php?t=906591

- Everything checked out, he sent me video of the watch with my username tagged, he had a couple other Rolex for sale, it seemed like he bought them at MSRP and was looking to move them quick due to the issues in Ukraine.

- He insisted that his wife would need to ship from Poland, since shipping from Ukraine was difficult due to the war.

- I paid on August 20th, $14.5k through PayPal for his BLRO.
- All correspondence was timely and nothing about the situation seemed suspicious. His wife shipped it from Poland, and I received it today via UPS.

- I recorded myself opening the box as I always do with high value purchases. And to my surprise, he sent me two random books to spoof the weight I suppose.

- I just submitted a claim through paypal, and am providing them with video of me opening the box and pictures of the books he sent. I feel like a complete fool, and am seriously nervous he will somehow convince paypal not to refund me.

- Is there anyway in which I don't receive my money back? Like I said I have literal video of me opening the package where I discover that he sent me two books instead of the watch, and pictures of the package showing what he sent, plus all correspondence where he says he will send the BLRO.

- Also, if you look at the invoice/customs forms, the description of goods/parts is:
2 ksiazki which is Polish for Book.

Personal Information:
Denisova Olya
Paseika 12, Poznan 616664

Email used: [email protected]
Name: Anatolii Sharchuk

- Not sure if any of this is legitimate, but hopefully nobody else bought this from scumbag. I've reported all his for sale posts, hopefully no one else will get taken. And if anyone has any tips on how to make sure I win this dispute, I am open ears. This money meant a lot to me, and I am having a panic attack thinking that I won't be able to recoup it.

https://imgur.com/BXDybAk
https://imgur.com/qCwSdHu
https://imgur.com/81uqBSK
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Old 20 September 2023, 07:02 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear this. PayPal are a nightmare to deal with. Do a chargeback with your card company if they give decent service, I’d say
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Old 20 September 2023, 07:16 AM   #3
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Not to be a dick... why would you consider purchasing luxury watch from Ukraine...
Nothing against the country but as you stated they are in a middle of an invasion. Not a war. IMO.
Anyway PP should be on buyer's side and not the seller.
If PP somehow does not believe you, file a dispute through your CC.
Again, CC should also be on your side, since you are their client.
Hope you used AMEX. Then you are 110% protected under AMEX protection policy.
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Old 20 September 2023, 07:21 AM   #4
schnipples24
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Not to be a dick... why would you consider purchasing luxury watch from Ukraine...
Nothing against the country but as you stated they are in a middle of an invasion. Not a war. IMO.
Anyway PP should be on buyer's side and not the seller.
If PP somehow does not believe you, file a dispute through your CC.
Again, CC should also be on your side, since you are their client.
Hope you used AMEX. Then you are 110% protected under AMEX protection policy.
Thanks for the feedback. I've sent PayPal the video of me opening the box directly after receiving it from UPS. Hopefully there is no dispute with my claim. I've always read that PayPal sides with the buyer, hopefully in this case I have all the evidence. Me opening the box, the fact the invoice says it's for "Books" which is what he sent me. I paid via CC with Visa. I'm hoping that PayPal sides with me, they've escalated the case and given the scammer 10 days to respond, if they don't respond in 10 days I am automatically given a refund. Either way knock on wood I should hopefully be protected. I just don't understand why he would accept PayPal goods and services when running a scam. Why not only accept Wire or zelle, so bizzare.
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Old 20 September 2023, 09:45 AM   #5
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Wait you’re in NY and you thought it was a good idea to buy a watch from somebody in Ukraine? Nothing at all against the country or they’re great people, who are obviously suffering mightily; but from a financial security perspective, the country is number 116 on the global corruption index. This is a common watch available everywhere else, including probably several hundred in New York alone


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Old 20 September 2023, 10:13 AM   #6
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I've purchased many watches from international sellers, including a speedmaster from ukraine a year or so ago. This scammer had multiple watches for sale, all had receipts from authorized dealers. He provided me a video with my username tagged in it. Hindsight is 20/20, but he legitimately had several rolexes in his possession and was willing to accept PayPal G&S.
This thread please is not to question my judgement, but to serve as a heads up for anybody who was thinking of dealing with him. I'm waiting on the paypal dispute now, I've already provided them video of me opening the package and a picture of the form where they declared it as books. Also paid with CC so if paypal doesn't side with me hopefully I can fall back on a chargeback.
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Old 20 September 2023, 10:53 AM   #7
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what's happened has happened. First things first.....be sure to file and get a police report--- to get it on 'official record ' it will go a long way to convince Paypal and C.C. that you're not the scammer but the victim of an international scam.
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Old 20 September 2023, 10:54 AM   #8
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what's happened has happened. First things first.....be sure to file and get a police report--- to get it on 'official record ' it will go a long way to convince Paypal and C.C. that you're not the scammer but the victim of an international scam.
This is the type of advice I'm looking for, thanks. Should I file it at the local precinct? Would I need to go in person to do it, or could I do it via the phone? Thx
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Old 20 September 2023, 11:00 AM   #9
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Do it in the local precinct so long as your address is within their jurisdiction (in FL we have a local branch of the Sherrif Dept. i goto the nearest one to my home.)

Always do it in person- take whatever paperwork and evidence you have with you; face to face contact goes a long way. They would be clearly able to make that you're the victim of a fraud. The report will backup your claims to PayPal & the card company if it comes to that. I hope you're 100% refunded.
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Old 20 September 2023, 11:41 AM   #10
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Thanks sski. That's great advice. What do you think my chances of being reimbursed are? Paypal said he has 10 days to submit his evidence. I'm wondering what he will try claiming? I mean I literally take the box from ups and open it on camera and it's two books inside. Trying to figure out what his angle could be to able to keep the money.
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Old 20 September 2023, 12:16 PM   #11
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It's hard to know the thought process of these scammer types; basically, make $$$ by hook and crook- so be it. Having said that- they usually cast a wide net (let's say 20 a week for example.) Out of those 20- say even 1 works out, that's an easy $15K right there. Not everyone fights these things tooth and nail for various reasons.

He will probably submit photos or a video of him boxing up the watch and putting the shipping label (easy enough to switch the box with the books in the car.)

You stand a good chance I'd say. You were wise to film the unboxing- I never did that in any of my transactions. That in itself puts you on solid ground. The police report is an important formality- it will give you more credibility in communicating with Paypal and Credit card Co. Add the video evidence + the police report and the communication/correspondence & it should work in your favor. (ensure the scammer gets banned- that will be a proof too. Report him to the mods.)

How long it takes, thats hard to tell... just be patient & keep us posted.
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Old 20 September 2023, 10:23 PM   #12
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Get ready to jump through a million hoops…..terrible idea lol
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Old 20 September 2023, 10:38 PM   #13
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Get ready to jump through a million hoops…..terrible idea lol
Uh oh...this is not what I was hoping to hear.

:(

On the customs forms he declared it as "Books". PayPal said he has ten days to respond to the claim. I sent PayPal our communication where it was established I was buying his watch for $14.5k. So I'm hoping it should be a clear cut case where I was scammed and they give me my money back. I'm not sure what evidence he can provide, he claimed it as Books on the form, I have conversation detailing the deal for the watch, I have video of me opening the package showing it's two random books.

I'm honestly sick to my stomach over this whole situation. I've been buying/selling watches for 10 years, this is the first time I've had something like this happen to me. I wasn't able to sleep at all last night.
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Old 20 September 2023, 10:46 PM   #14
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Do not forget to call the credit card company - that’s where the money came from.

Give them the police report of a scam.

PP can only reclaim money from the scammers PP account (which was instantly reduced to zero, I’m sure).


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Old 20 September 2023, 11:06 PM   #15
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Do not forget to call the credit card company - that’s where the money came from.

Give them the police report of a scam.

PP can only reclaim money from the scammers PP account (which was instantly reduced to zero, I’m sure).


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When should I call the credit card company? I've read to not initiate a chargeback while PayPal is conducting their investigation.
- You're point about PP only reclaiming money from the scammer's account, if they don't have money in the account would that mean I can't get my money back? I thought the whole point of Goods and Services was to be protected in these type of situations.
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Old 20 September 2023, 11:09 PM   #16
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Read your PP agreement.
I’ve had two experiences at this.

You know there was a fraud - IMHO, report it to the authorities, the payment processor (PP), and the credit card company.


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Old 21 September 2023, 05:40 AM   #17
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Personal Information:
Denisova Olya
Paseika 12, Poznan 616664
Err... this address is NOT in Ukraine, but in Poland. The invoice is fake, the C/T/O is faked, as UK is United Kingdom, Ukraine is UA, or UKR. What else PP needs to prove a fraud?

Let me also point out, that in this case you are protected also by the European Unions law as Poland is the part of the Union.
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Old 21 September 2023, 06:23 AM   #18
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If paypal doesn't recover all your funds which they most likely won't, disputing the charge with your CC is your best bet.
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Old 21 September 2023, 06:31 AM   #19
schnipples24
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If paypal doesn't recover all your funds which they most likely won't, disputing the charge with your CC is your best bet.
Why do you think paypal won't recover all my funds?
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Old 21 September 2023, 12:11 PM   #20
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I have a feeling the scammer has played all the movies, and knowingly knew you (or someone else) would do exactly what you did with an angle. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I hope it works out for you.
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Old 21 September 2023, 02:35 PM   #21
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Good luck and use your credit card to your advantage… given this is international fraud, maybe a federal report as well as, local law enforcement…


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Old 21 September 2023, 09:00 PM   #22
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Why do you think paypal won't recover all my funds?
They do it without a problem, since the customs documents prove that they did not clear a watch, but only some books. It's a so obvious fraud, that I think, you will have no problem at all with the refund.
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Old 21 September 2023, 10:36 PM   #23
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They do it without a problem, since the customs documents prove that they did not clear a watch, but only some books. It's a so obvious fraud, that I think, you will have no problem at all with the refund.
Thank you for the feedback. This makes me feel a lot better, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I'm so sick over this whole ordeal. Probably going to step back from the watch game for a bit. I just had a kid, and bought this watch to celebrate his birth and was hoping to pass it on. Unfortunately there are shitty people out there.
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Old 21 September 2023, 11:05 PM   #24
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61-664 Poznań is a postal code in the Old Town district of Poznań (Winogrady subdistrict). The title of the shipment is: 2 books.

I hope you get your funds back.
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Old 21 September 2023, 11:25 PM   #25
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I just had a kid, and bought this watch to celebrate his birth and was hoping to pass it on. Unfortunately there are shitty people out there.
Your welcome!

I am sorry to hear your story, this is so sad. I had a similar experience a few years ago with a shipment that didn't arrive, and the carrier wanted to prove that it did. Of course, eventually I won too, but it wasn't on "that" day. We parents always prepare so much for these days, that's why these disappointments are usually worse for us than for the kids, because of the disappointment.

However, I think that even if we meet such scumbags , we should not give up our hobby, as this would be our defeat. But it can't happen, as we are the champions!!
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Old 22 September 2023, 12:19 AM   #26
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Thanks sski. That's great advice. What do you think my chances of being reimbursed are? Paypal said he has 10 days to submit his evidence. I'm wondering what he will try claiming? I mean I literally take the box from ups and open it on camera and it's two books inside. Trying to figure out what his angle could be to able to keep the money.
He will probably submit a fake video of him packaging up the watch and then dropping it off at his version of UPS.
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Old 22 September 2023, 12:29 AM   #27
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Thanks for the feedback. I've sent PayPal the video of me opening the box directly after receiving it from UPS. Hopefully there is no dispute with my claim. I've always read that PayPal sides with the buyer, hopefully in this case I have all the evidence. Me opening the box, the fact the invoice says it's for "Books" which is what he sent me. I paid via CC with Visa. I'm hoping that PayPal sides with me, they've escalated the case and given the scammer 10 days to respond, if they don't respond in 10 days I am automatically given a refund. Either way knock on wood I should hopefully be protected. I just don't understand why he would accept PayPal goods and services when running a scam. Why not only accept Wire or zelle, so bizzare.
OP my apology. Didn't mean to disrepect you or your decsion on overseas purchase. I see you have done your due diligence, there are scammers out there that are very good at selling their scam.
Anyway. I never thought about filing a police report. Didn't know you can or they would provide such service... I lived in Chicago and CPD was never helpful. LOL.

In my experience, I deal a lot of eBay buying and selling. When a deal goes sour. As a buyer, I file both PP and CC dispute at the same time.
And in most disputes/cased CC will protect and honor buyer's purchase policy. Based on all my reason/evidence, CC refunds me the buyer 100% of the time.
And therefore, PP will close their dispute case in favor of the buyer. Since the fund comes from CC and CC has already refunded the buyer.

In your case, I would highly suggest also opening a dispute with your CC just to make sure CC is aware this was a fraudulent transaction.
This will cover you in all angles and perhaps ease your stress level...
Hope this helps.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 22 September 2023, 01:10 AM   #28
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Why do you think paypal won't recover all my funds?

For PayPal to recover funds, the first necessity is for funds to be in the scammer’s PP account. The first thing a scammer does is to convert the PP funds into cash, or use those funds to purchase a product.

Thus, PayPal has nothing to send you.

The entire series of transactions are actually “digital promissory notes”.

The CC company needs to know that PayPal unknowingly processed a fraudulent transaction on the scammer’s behalf and has been unsuccessful in recovering the funds that the CC company guaranteed.


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Old 22 September 2023, 01:25 AM   #29
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He will probably submit a fake video of him packaging up the watch and then dropping it off at his version of UPS.
Nobody cares if the contents of the package were not the watch at customs.
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Old 22 September 2023, 01:29 AM   #30
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For PayPal to recover funds, the first necessity is for funds to be in the scammer’s PP account. The first thing a scammer does is to convert the PP funds into cash, or use those funds to purchase a product.

Thus, PayPal has nothing to send you.

The entire series of transactions are actually “digital promissory notes”.

The CC company needs to know that PayPal unknowingly processed a fraudulent transaction on the scammer’s behalf and has been unsuccessful in recovering the funds that the CC company guaranteed.


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I'm sorry but this doesn't make sense to me. You're saying all a scammer needs to do is withdraw the funds and paypal can't recover money for the buyer? If that's the case then 99% of all claims would be rejected, how does paypal offer buyer protection then?
- asking genuine questions trying to educate myself, not trying to come off as disrespectful. How should I go about the CC claim? I'm heading tonight to file a police report. I created a reddit thread as well and they said not to start a chargeback until the paypal dispute is cleared up otherwise paypal will close the dispute. Thanks.
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