1950 Gibson A-5
1996 Flatiron Performer A
2001 Flatiron Performer A
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.
The same seller is also listing a Gibson Goldrush at a buy it now price of $1300.00
And now they've vanished, good riddance.
This same one came back again on Sunday on a 3 day auction (another sign of a fraud) and listed new D45s for $1300, Goldrush F5 for $1300. Everything he had in instruments rather it was a vintage Fender bass or a Martin D45 was but it now directly from him for $1300. His photos were all different indicating he stole them from other websites. The contact him direct and not through ebay is such a dead giveaway it's a fraud. Not sure why the $1300 as he could have gone $2000 easily on these items which would still be unbeliveable. I contacted ebay and it was gone within a few hours.
Remember the old saying "If it's too good to be true, it's probably false" or something like that.
This has been going on for months. Always $1300, always a graphic that says "contact me directly", always on a hacked account. The only thing that changes is the email address.
Makes me think the is sucessful in nabbing at least one or two fools each time he post and before ebay shuts him down. Once you real in the fool it's easier to complete the scam to finish.
Darn if the same guy I reported to ebay and ebay shut down hours later was back up today with the same instruments under a different ebay ID using the exact same contact off ebay information with the Buy it now at $1300. Looks like ebay would get serious with repeated offenders. I thought they are suppose to run a sting operation with ebay buying the stuff and then catching the theif as he arrives at the post office or wire office to pick up the cash.
Ebay is not interested in doing much for the user. I had my account hacked by some perpetrator and ebay did not do much. I had to put them on the map and they did just what was barely necessary. No more ebay for me folks. Just beware.
What, exactly, do you expect eBay to do?
I´d expect them to monitor their website, check for multiple accounts, act immediately when a user or a third party informs about possible fraud and other improper behaviour and prosecute immideately as well as informing the authorities. This is certainly not what ebay does and what ebay has been doing in the past. They do not interact with their customers in a way that reflects my statement and they are certainly not looking for the customer´s protection of data, the way they treat data themselves. In Germany ebay does not promote a house adress. All of their mail goes to a post box in Frankfurt am Main. The German headquarters are in Berlin. The folks acting on being informed about hacking are located in London or Bruxelles. They do not correspond using adresses or phone numbers like any other company. It is more or less a black box. This I found out after research. If you go the official way they rob you of about 20 cts per minute when you talk to misinformed people in a call center that do not treat the information acordingly. That I call neglecting the customer and his safety.
Ebay should be like any other major business like GM/Ford/GE (well maybe today those are bad examples) but regardless ebay should fix the problems that affect their business from making a profit for their shareholders. If many customers like yourself(and many do) take the attitude got burned once never again they are loosing a chunk of business. No customers to buy no customers to sell. So why are they not doing sting operations like buying this guys $1300 D45 and then following the money to catch a theif? This guy is habitual. He's not giving up because he knows he can snag one or two fools each week and ebay or any law enforcement agency worldwide will not catch him. Most are through foreign countries praying over USA money.
I've watched the "To Catch a Theif" series on MSNBC and yes it's not easy but it can be done and ebay should have the money and manpower to get it done as much as MSNBC can do it for an hour long TV show. I think ebay takes the % count as being the % is so low and minor number of people who get burnt big time it's not worth it to pursue it. A $1300 loss to a 100 people per week is not an issue for ebay. I will say this, the report a fraud program is working faster then it use to so I guess less are being taken for a ride.
The key here is knowing how to spot the scams. While I'm still having trouble setting my VCR from doing that "12:00" blinking light thing, I am catching on how to spot the scammers on ebay.
>>I´d expect them to monitor their website,<<
>> check for multiple accounts<<
They do. Not always easy to catch.
>> act immediately when a user or a third party informs about possible fraud and other improper behaviour<<
They do. The action is not "we'll take your word for it and call the cops right now"
>> and prosecute immideately as well as informing the authorities.<<
For what? Posting an ad that seems to good to be true?
Call your local law enforcement or prosecuters office and see how far you get reporting something like that.
Until someone is injured physically or financially, good luck.
>> This is certainly not what ebay does and what ebay has been doing in the past. They do not interact with their customers in a way that reflects my statement and they are certainly not looking for the customer´s protection of data, the way they treat data themselves.<<
I've found they do as good a job as most web companies, good in several respects, lacking in others. Blatantly improper listings don't last long, and there are more protections if you get scammed than if you, say, bought something at a flea market or out of the newspaper classifieds.
eBay has had scammers since the day it opened. The corporate philosophy has always been to err on the side of making a profit for themselves. They have to be beat up to remove fraudulent auctions because they "might" be legitimate and they certainly don't want to lose out on their percentage of the sale. To be realistic, they probably can't clean up their market. There are too many holes.
"bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
eBay is really a scary place to make a purchase.
I have had an experience because my ebay account had been hacked and my data is on a server in China now. So my experience is not a simple fraud thing. What I found lacking is what you have not commented on. Any major company has an address and an address that you can locate, where you can go, where you can mail your complaint. You can check it up and you can get hold of a responsible person in said company to take your problem seriously. NOT SO WITH EBAY! Like I said, there was neither an address to go to, nor a referrence to a phone number (other than a phony [forgive the pun on this low scale] callcenter number) of a person responsible to work on your specific case. The people that supposedly were in charge could not be reached by phone nor by mail. So this looks like a no good company. Needless to say that this is not the way to better your customer relationship!
Other than that, ApK you don´t seem to be aware of the scams we are discussing. Tom (f5loar) has made the way these people work pretty clear. They steal data and post false information. This is easy to notice. You go ahead and read the posts on the café, the banjohangout and such for these scams. They are out there. And it certainly is an infringement to post other people´s data (that alone is an offence). Accordingly it becomes pretty clear that they do not have the goods they want to sell. That indeed is a major criminal offence. You could be prosecuted for that. And I know that because I have been the active part in prosecuting suchlikes.
While we easily are able to spot fraud in a small market segment like mandolin (and related items) I think it might be easy to spot said frauds for ebay. I know that there are folks out there who do nothing else but monitor sites. Major companies have them to even check out ebay to see if there are property law infringements through selling items that are frauds (like non Gibson mandos dressed up as the real thing; it´s been discussed here). Then there are knowledgable sites such as this one. I would expect the company dogs to get the wind up browsing through here (and sites that cover antiques, cars, furniture, clothing and such). I think it´s pretty easy for us and therefore it should be even more easy for ebay. Even though ebay does not act up to standards that I would request for a decent customer relationship.
I also found out that they do cooperate in a mediocre way when it comes to prosecution and helping the law to track down the perpetrators.
The internet is not a black box anymore and times will change. So the present ebay attitude will and cannot last forever.
>>I have had an experience because my ebay account had been hacked and my data is on a server in China now. So my experience is not a simple fraud thing.<<
I am sorry to hear that. Customers of Bank of America and clients of various Government agencies, and lots of of other companies have suffered similar attacks. Do they need to improve data security? Certainly. Should eBay be singled out among them? I feel not.
>> What I found lacking is what you have not commented on. Any major company has an address and an address that you can locate, where you can go, where you can mail your complaint. You can check it up and you can get hold of a responsible person in said company to take your problem seriously. NOT SO WITH EBAY! <<
I have never tried to reach them so I will take your word that it is difficult. I have had difficulties reaching genuinely responsible people in many large companies. It's certainly not impossible. eBay does respond and change to user input and known frauds do get addressed. When a proven scam in pointed out on a forum like this, the link is usually dead by the time I see it, as is the one on top of this thread.
>>Other than that, ApK you don´t seem to be aware of the scams we are discussing. Tom (f5loar) has made the way these people work pretty clear. They steal data and post false information. This is easy to notice.<<
Not really. First, you have to be eyeballing every one of millions of adds (graphics are not easy to analyze automatically), or following up on what is probably thousands of user report a day, not all of which are correct or valid. Next you have prove who's right and who's wrong.
Like Mike said, the sellers are users too, and I would not want my auction summarily pulled every time some kook claimed he owned the letter "E".
>>You go ahead and read the posts on the café, the banjohangout and such for these scams. They are out there. And it certainly is an infringement to post other people´s data (that alone is an offence).<<
Reusing a snapshot, stock photo or a paragraph of ad copy will not bring the cops out. If it's an IP violation, the IP owner needs to address it, eBay is not everyone's mother or lawyer. If it's merely a violation of terms of service, eBay give users multiple chances.
If you see a Gibson falsely advertised, call Gibson. They will follow it up if they care to.
If you see YOUR Gibson falsely advertised, YOU follow it up with the authorities. eBay shouldn't be expected to do more than pull the add and warn the user.
>> Accordingly it becomes pretty clear that they do not have the goods they want to sell. That indeed is a major criminal offence. You could be prosecuted for that. And I know that because I have been the active part in prosecuting suchlikes.<<
As I understand it (and I understand it because I've asked the prosecutors and police) fraud cases are almost never prosecuted until someone is injured ('attempted fraud' is not anything I've ever heard going to court). If a fraud ad is identified and pulled before someone bites, that's the end of it. eBay is not a law enforcement agency nor do they have an army of private investigators standing by to launch investigations or sting operations. Insertion fees would need to be a lot higher to support that....maybe be a good business opportunity for some motivated person.....
>>The internet is not a black box anymore and times will change. So the present ebay attitude will and cannot last forever.<<
No argument that they can and should get better. I just don't think they are doing all that bad considering the state of the art.
But Caveat Emptor will always apply. And it should. We shouldn't expect (or want) to rely on any company (or government) to take the place of personal responsibility. Better to have the freedom to get burned now and then, IMNSHO.
Why is it eBay's fault that one of their users falls for a phishing scam or has a keylogging virus on his computer? Obviously it isn't. Perhaps eBay should institute a monetary fine on all users who manage to get their accounts hacked causing eBay all kinds of extra work.
"Caveat Emptor" isn't something new. Neither is "There's a sucker born every minute."
Nonetheless, I personally agree with you. Leave checks and money orders (and international buyers) out of it and things are much smoother for me.
For the record, in my admittedly light eBay usage (under 150 transactions, usually for stuff under $100, as buyer and seller in over 8 years of membership) I have used nothing but Paypal for the payments in and out and have never had a problem with eBay or Paypal. In the few times I've had a problem with another member over a transaction, both companies handled my issue well.
it was ebay that got their computer hacked. I was not the only one involved. My computer is pretty much secure and I know why, cause I took some interesting precautions. It is ebay that had their little laptop searched. And they not doing anything about it (except protecting their hard disc better), not prosecuting and not cooperating with the law enforcement agencies is something that does not improve my esteem for them. Why do I know? Because I found out a couple of other folks that had the same problem and after finally tracking down ebay, they admitted to having their little hard disk scanned by some criminal. Since I pushed buttons at the proscecuter´s office I found out that the firm is not cooperating satisfactory.
As to finding out who´s responsible in a firm, the following. You usually have a masthead (Impressum in German) on your website, don´t you. Therefore you know who´s responsible, where to reach them and so forth. Go ahead and try to find ebay´s masthead for your country. You really have to dig around on the site. The way they make it complicated is so difficult for the average user, that they will not find what they are looking for. As for the rip-off-"hotline" and the P.O. Box complaints adress, I have allready stated that in a previous post. No nead to repeat myself. Not the best way to improve your customer relationship, especially when you do not have an adress and a phone number from the (virtual) person that you are supposed to deal with in a situation, where quick action is imperative to protect data and property. To resolve the problem with the hacked account (on ebay´s part) they told me to log in again typing in my full contact data (also my account number, credit card info and such). Now that is what I call insane. They had their computer messed up and they want me to give away banking information when I do not even know, if this information goes into the right channels? Nobody in his right mind would and should.
And ApK, you are misinformed. Atempted fraud is a crime (at least in Germany). I do not believe it is any different in the US. Just because the proscecutor will not prosecute when nobody is injured does not lessen the crime or the criminal intent. I think they should work harder, and I make them work harder.
Also copyright infringements are not only related to civil law. They may also be criminal acts (such as copying cds). It´s all got to do with (intelectual) property.
Also when property laws are concerned platforms like ebay (or youtube) easily promote the idea, that they are not their users keeper. This though seems a little shortminded. They want to reap the benefits from the sales and such and on the same time they hardly do anything for the protection of their users. If such an operation ought to wind up in a win win situation the platform must do more than lie back and claim no responsibility and interest in what´s going on on their site. Courts have allready stated responsibility of the site owner, if they let people promote illigal activities. On the café for example, Scott would be in trouble if he would not monitor this site and shut threads down that for example promote racism, terrorism and such. Therefore the site´s guidelines are rightfully enforced. Such ought to be the case at ebay too, and better as now.
Visiting different forums and seeing similar fraud problems come up here and there I find it interesting, that - in case of musical instruments (that is what interests me most) - the same instrument data (pictures and such) is used more than one time. That leads me to think that it´s the same person (or gang), who tries to fraud somebody. In this case it is more than unbelievable, that neither ebay nor the authorities put a stop to these people. Since I pretty much think, that ebay must store a bunch of information on their site, it may well be that they are able to track the multiple fraud atempts to one perpetrator. IP adresses and such are ealily tracable as is the data that has been used for fraud more than one time.
>>And ApK, you are misinformed. Atempted fraud is a crime (at least in Germany). I do not believe it is any different in the US. Just because the proscecutor will not prosecute when nobody is injured does not lessen the crime or the criminal intent. I think they should work harder, and I make them work harder.<<
I said (and I quote me):
"As I understand it (and I understand it because I've asked the prosecutors and police) fraud cases are almost never prosecuted until someone is injured ('attempted fraud' is not anything I've ever heard going to court)."
If you Google "NJ fraud law" you'll find, in my state at least, that the attempt is indeed included within the crime of fraud itself. However, if you can find me a US case where a case of 'attempted fraud' like we are discussing was prosecuted on it's own, as opposed to to just one more minor charge tacked on to the more serious offenses that actually brought them to court, then I will have new understanding.
I am THRILLED for you that in Germany your prosecutors are so under-worked that they can go after stuff like like that. Here, sadly, they have far too many more serious matters involving violence and the actual loss of lots of money, that are much higher on the list than "Someone reused my ad on eBay and eBay took two whole days to yank it down."
>>That leads me to think that it´s the same person (or gang), who tries to fraud somebody. In this case it is more than unbelievable, that neither ebay nor the authorities put a stop to these people. Since I pretty much think, that ebay must store a bunch of information on their site, it may well be that they are able to track the multiple fraud atempts to one perpetrator. IP adresses and such are ealily tracable as is the data that has been used for fraud more than one time.<<
Think all you want. What you 'think' is neither evidence nor proof.
And you are quite misinformed about tracing computer fraud.
It is much harder than you seem to think if the perpetrator has even the most cursory technical knowledge. And even if the person was a technical buffoon and made it as easy as possible to trace, in order to establish the kind of proof you'd need to punish someone (as opposed to just 'thinking' you're right) requires a significant investment of (usually public) funds and resources (subpoenas, lawyers, researchers, court costs, extraditing the guy from China...you didn't think these scammers were all sitting in a local living room down the block from the police station, did you?...etc), and those resources will not be committed unless there is more at stake than 'someone reused my mando ad.'
If people actually are hooked by this guy I'm sure the authorities would get involved. But if eBay keeps closing the accounts and pulling the ads before he gets a bite? That's the end of it.
You want more, hire a private investigator and your own lawyer, don't lobby for spending MY tax dollars (or even my eBay fees, for that matter) by getting the courts involved at that point.
Last edited by ApK; Dec-11-2008 at 11:08am.
How the flames do flare.
It is funny how my simple statement that customer relation at ebay is virtually nonexistent, that necessary cooperation with the authorities is failing and that by this the esteem of a user towards said firm is slightend leads to the statement "don´t lobby for spemding MY tax dollars (or even my eBay fees, for that matter) by getting the courts involved at that point."
Yes, sure, let ebay do what they do, do not make them improve their customer relationship, website safety, fraud safety and the likes. Let them continue the way they do and let people get ripped off. Transpose this statement to other parts of life and you see that no improved effort to control crime leads to a deteriorating society.
Other than that, the claim that when someone is injured the authorities step in, is what I was commenting about. They do not in the neccessary way, due to lacking cooperation from ebay. I have stated my point in my previous posts.
Other than that I truely claim my freedom of thought and I know what I know and of course I let other people have their opinion. And you can trust me that it is not my intent to let ebay spend any New Jersey´s residets tax dollar on anything.
Last edited by ApK; Dec-12-2008 at 8:24am.
IMHO one point that's underemphasized is that an outfit like eBay works to a large extent on trust -- trust that the merchandise is as represented, trust that if you send your money you'll get the merchandise, trust that if you send the merchandise you'll get money, trust that someone is to some extent controlling the site and keeping out swindlers and deadbeats. Of course caveat emptor (and vendor) is still in effect, and we can't rely on eBay to keep us 100% protected. There are obvious precautions that we all need to take.
But a widespread perception that eBay isn't trustworthy would result in severe dropoff in usage, and major economic damage to its owners. It's in the site's interest to minimize fraud and misrepresentation. Otherwise, the word gets around that you can't trust it, and then it's curtains for a multi-million-dollar operation.
My experience with eBay has been uniformly positive, though I'm a very small-time user. But enough scams and swindles have been pointed out to me, to increase my anxiety and make me marginally less likely to risk money. Can't be good for eBay.
Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
Natl Triolian Dobro mando
Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
Stradolin Vega banjolin
Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
Flatiron 3K OM
Well said Allen,
and that is the reason why forums like this one work well, meaning the classified section too. The trust factor here is generally high, and for a good reason.