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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's an awesome true story about one man's story about how fellow Mac users helped him to catch a counterfeiter who shorted him of the $2900 US for selling his Powerbook on eBay.

Mac Addicts to the Rescue

Guaranteeed to make you feel warm and fuzzy all over! :D
 

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Well done!
Stories like these really get my blood boiling :mad:
I've been burned similarly on eBay in the past - glad to hear the a-hole was caught this time around.
Mac users unite against the scum of the world! :D
 

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It's an entertainling story but I can't say I've got a lot of sympathy for the guy. In the first place he was actually defrauding eBay. It's a big no-no to list things and then take tham down after arranging a private sale (which is exactly what he did).

If it had been a legitimately completed eBay sale he would have had fraud protection available to him.

The second dumb thing was the COD. I've done lots of buying and selling on eBay and I never, ever trust someone with a new eBay username (which this guy must have had) or negative feedback. There's no way I'd ship something to someone COD, even if FedEx was handling the exchange. I'd be very suspicious if someone was unwilling to send the money in advance (to a vendor with a spotless feedback rating) which is exactly how 99% of all eBay transactions work.

You can significantly reduce your risks of getting burned on eBay (as a buyer) by always dealing with high feedback vendors and (as a seller) by waiting to have the money in hand before shipping (PayPal is great for this), cancelling bids from people with negative feedback ratings and insisting that new eBayers email you before bidding.

Oh and also by not trying to scam the system.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mycatsnameis:
If it had been a legitimately completed eBay sale he would have had fraud protection available to him.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Users are over confident with eBay's claim of being backed with their 'Fraud Protection' program - unaware that the maximum of reimbursement is only $200 USD/$315.00 CAD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Follow-up article from the UK Register:


Mac fraud bust: the Inside Story

Police in Markham, Illinois charged a 38-year old man this afternoon on two counts of forgery. The arrest is the result of extraordinary perseverance and pluck from a 21 year old New Orleans student, aided by the online Mac community.

Melvin Christmas obtained a G4 PowerBook from a student Jason Eric Smith, and paid for it using a counterfeit check from LaSalle bank. "He has prior arrests for forgeries," the arresting office Sgt Jim Knapp told The Register today. Knapp charged Christmas at around 4pm ET today, and said it was likely that four more counts would be added over the coming weeks. Police discovered stolen IDs at Christmas' residence on Notthingham Avenue in Markham.

Returning from his Thanksgiving holiday, Eric Smith discovered that the buyer of a newly bought PowerBook had paid for the machine with a phoney check. Smith changed his mind over the machine, opting to buy an iBook and Airport base station instead. He took his appeal for information to the community boards, and was inundated with help. "I wouldn't have got nearly as far as I did without their help," Smith told us today.

Collating cellphone subscriber information from other Mac users who had had similar experiences, Smith tracked down Christmas, and embarked a sting operation. "I had two other auctions, and Christmas replied to both using identical emails," he explained.

But finding law enforcement representatives who were willing to participate in Chicago or New Orleans was proving fruitless, until Smith found Detective Knapp. "Eric had some difficult times with agencies," Knapp told us. In fact Smith had contacted the FBI, the Secret Service and Chicago police without finding an representative who could
act quickly. "But I kinda like this - I enjoy doing it."

Smith told Knapp that he'd been contact by five other victims with similar tales. Knapp, posing as a delivery courier, made the arrest himself. For which Smith is hugely grateful:-

"Honestly, the real person who matters in this story is Sgt Knapp. For finding him and really going at it like he has. Chicago police didn't care."

Other victims who contacted Smith said they'd lost iMacs and PowerBooks too. All the equipment was Apple.

Smith has been an Apple user since he was five years old: his first experience he told us was with a Mac Plus in 1986 in Nashville. "My father was an architect and was one of the first in Nashville to use computer aided drafting (CAD)", he explained.

Amazingly, Smith gave Christmas one last chance to turn himself in:- "I called Melvin Christmas and told him what was going on. I said 'You've screwed me over and I know where you live'". By this stage photos of Christmas' residence had been posted on the Mac boards, but the alleged fraudster remained oblivious. Didn't he look, we wondered? "He acted like he didn't know what email was," Smith told us. "He actually got really greedy."

Smith says he's file a civil suit, but doesn't expect to receive any damages. But there's a happy ending: a senior Apple executive who Smith declined to name has offered him a courtesy employee discount on a spanking new G4 PowerBook.
 

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I watched the whole thing play out from the day he found out he got scammed to the arrest. He posted on the MacNN forums - it was quite dramatic.
 

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I just read his whole story. I just want to know if he got his Mac back in the end. Sheesh...talk about a cliff-hanger.


Although, I am very glad he nailed the bugger. Those online sales can be murder. Selling my Pismo online to a total stranger was also very nerve breaking. Luckily, my sale went perfectly! My ol' Pismo is in a happy, new home in Halifax now. :D
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mycatsnameis:
If it had been a legitimately completed eBay sale he would have had fraud protection available to him.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your Naiveté is astounding... fraud Protection is a joke. It's only there to give the false impression of security. With Ebaying you are truely at the mercy of the seller/buyer's sence of decency.

I have only been defrauded once and it was a lost cause. Pretty good since I've used Ebay for years.

_F
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by dibenga:
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mycatsnameis:
[qb]If it had been a legitimately completed eBay sale he would have had fraud protection available to him.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your Naiveté is astounding... fraud Protection is a joke. It's only there to give the false impression of security. With Ebaying you are truely at the mercy of the seller/buyer's sence of decency.

I have only been defrauded once and it was a lost cause. Pretty good since I've used Ebay for years.

_F[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're right, I neglected to put "limited" in front of that phrase but it has no bearing on my primary point that he essentially defrauded eBay out of over $100 by engaging in running a list-and-delete auction.

Clearly there is no comparison to the magnitude of what was perpetrated on him but what he did was also fraud, pure and simple.
 
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