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Thread: Have I Been Scammed?

  1. #1
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Have I Been Scammed?

    Well, I hope I haven't done something incredibly stupid. While scanning for the going rates on National Triolian mandolins on the interweb, seeing mostly $1000 and upward, I saw one for $56. Seriously. Drastically reduced from $1429. Free shipping. I will grant that it was being offered at a site I'd never heard of, but, well, so were most of the other sites I'd already visited. I went ahead and clicked through to make the purchase, and everything went as usual. So I made the payment, through PayPal, and all seemed fine ... Till I checked the transaction at PayPal, which specified an email address that had nothing to do with the site's url. I went back to the listing<Removed by Moderator, the listing is still active>, or tried to via my google search, and the listing was gone. Odd - it should have still been up. I found it by going to my browser history. The listing is indeed still up, though why it dropped out of google escapes me. The seller's email is <Removed by Moderator. No sense in giving a scammer someone else's e-mail address>@gmx.com - and gmx.com isn't a website, but some sort of emailboxes set-up - somewhere you can set up an email account, nothing more.

    My spidey sense is going haywire. They say that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. I'm glad I went through PayPal, and I keep my PayPal balance at $0, so it draws from a bank account, and the one it's linked to is reserved for online transactions only, and I keep it under $100 at all time - for this very reason. PayPal tells me the transaction is pending. I wonder whether I should cancel it.

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    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    You really honestly wonder if you should cancel it?

    I edited out the links you posted. Anyone that feels they should try and get in on this most excellent deal is free to type in the address information from the image file.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  4. #3
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Well ... I am a relentless optimist and hopeless romantic ...

    And ... done. Yes, thanks for removing the link, though technically that appears to be the scammer's email. But less is more in instances like this. Sorry, I'm a bit frazzled.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Google is your friend. A simple search of the thread title would have been a clue.

    All of that information was taken from a current listing on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/115005043153

    Doesn't mean the eBay sale is legit, but where there's smoke...

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  7. #5
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Goshamighty! I feel duly abashed. Thank you, Mandolin Café, just 26 and smarter than someone much older but not necessarily wiser.

    No reason to suspect the eBay offering isn't legit. I surmise the scammer picked a listing at random to put to his or her nefarious use.

    Thanks, both of you!

    (Note to self: find a 12-step program for MAS. There must be one ... somewhere ...)
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  9. #6
    Teacher, luthier
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Take the pledge. It can be done.

    I will admit that an SS Stewart #3 banjo, complete with the wood marquetry inside the rim and the rare engraved sheathing was a very recent temptation. A beautiful piece of work, we don't see many of them, and this one was in better shape than most. The price was very reasonable and the dealer has an impeccable reputation.

    I used my standard treatment: I waited.
    It worked. Somebody bought it within 3 days of when I spotted it, and relieved me of temptation.

    And I already have a nice banjo. And I just put a new roof on my house, and property taxes are coming due. Not a good time to buy an instrument.

    Try waiting. It works.

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  11. #7
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    A product offered at one-twentieth of the standard market price on eBay -- well, I'm sure there have been legitimate transactions, for a variety of reasons (ignorance, emergency, whatever) along those lines, but "scam" immediately comes to mind.

    Worst case, you're out fifty-six buxx. Best case, you get the bargain of the year.

    I predict "worst case," but PayPal may save the day.
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  13. #8
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    I just thought the "seller" had no idea what he had and what these are worth. I've since looked around at the other things the site is "selling," and they're all at drastic reductions. It's how they try to lure people. I also noticed the prompt in their search engine says, "Search hear." I'm not kidding.

    PayPal allowed me to cancel the transaction and returned the funds to my account. It's a good thing I acted before the "seller" did.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Is the seller a Nigerian Prince by any chance?

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  16. #10
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    I don't think so, but he might as well be. Much of this doesn't add up. The website was at a url with the suffix .top - whatever that is - and I got a welcome email from a different url with that same suffix, calling itself "Addison Jack." Googling that turned up zilch. But as is shown below, the "store" or page is Bclout Stone - pronounce that out loud, if you will. Googling that also found nothing. Add to that the response PayPal received from an email with gmx.com as a provider - yeah, there's a lot of hinky stuff here.

    BTW, the .top domain shows up in the wiki as being "often used for malware and phishing, and is included in the list of banned TLDs." For all we know, this operation could be based in Nigeria. Though the operator's behavior has not been princely. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten out of there as promptly as I did.

    I still am stymied by the spelling in the search engine window, "Search hear." That would have tipped me off if I'd seen it. But I was too blinded by MAS and the tunnel vision it produces.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  17. #11
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    BTW, the .top domain shows up in the wiki as being "often used for malware and phishing, and is included in the list of banned TLDs."(
    I'm glad you didn't get ripped off, but think you should be sure to scan your computer thoroughly as well

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  19. #12
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    So I guess the ad for a brand new Eastman 304 for $ 89.oo is a scam too.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  20. #13
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Someone has been posting mint condition used Gibson and PRS high-end and custom shop electric models for ~$750 to ~$1200 on Reverb, always with a so-called "shop" in Denmark or Mexico. They set up a different "shop" for each guitar. Reverb knocks them off in a day or two, but he keeps coming back like a bad case of poison ivy.

    He's posting them in such a way that no matter what kind of instrument you're looking for, they'll come up. I'm sure that if the instruments exist at all, they're hot. I'm equally sure that if anyone tries to purchase them, they'll never get an instrument.

    The bottom line is if you see a $4000 instrument advertised for $789 [or an Eastman for $89] and you pull the trigger, you're gonna get bit.

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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    An additional heads-up: The Denmark seller I mentioned in my post above has added Fenders to his scheme.
    Some gullible soul has just put one in his cart.

    The shop names often are 2 words that rhyme, and his guitars usually have the "Reverb Bump" on the ads. The ad copy often reads "unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging." Nevertheless, there are photos of the "unopened" instruments in the ads that do not appear to be manufacturer's photos.

    His favorite advertised price right now is $789. Next week, it might be different.
    Last edited by rcc56; Nov-21-2021 at 11:23pm.

  23. #15
    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    I´d just like to point out that to some your date (not only your money) can be quite valuable.
    Olaf

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  25. #16
    Dan Sampson mando_dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Drat, the Loar Lloyd I just bought isn't mislabeled?!!!
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    A metric tonne of sympathy for journeybear. I know for me such an experience is kind of shattering. Its not just that I don't get what I wanted, its that suddenly I see the whole humiliating story, and myself as the fool in this grifter movie.

    Its crazy how easily the natural urge to distrust everyone can be subverted by wanting something. (This is easily demonstrated by how quickly we can recognize that someone else is being scammed, or we can see scams in waiting for those lusting after objects that we are not particularly interested in. But when its us, or when its something we want... ouch.) And the alternatives, never wanting something, or never trusting anyone, are unacceptable and impossible anyway.

    Journeybear hang in, and know everyone who appears so smart and discerning for not falling for it, have in reality all fallen for it in the past. Welcome to the club can I by you an adult beverage, and let me tell you how much I lost when I thought I was buying a....
    Life is short, play hard. Life is really really short, play really really hard.

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  28. #18
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Thank you so very kindly for the sympathy, empathy, and telepathy. I appreciate it so very much. Rest assured, I am over it, quite healed, no long-lasting damage done. I was over it by Post #3, #5 at the latest. Once all ties with the scammer were severed, PayPal announced money had been returned, and my password was changed, a great sigh of relief issued from my beleaguered brain. There was nothing much more for me to say, even though other people had more to say, and did, and I debated calling for the thread to be closed. But I thought better of that, as surely some will learn from my stupidity. Yes, teachers can be stupid (in some ways and instances) and still teach those wishing to learn. I also thought others might have stories to share and information to provide - rcc56 did so in excruciating detail, for example. So I'm all right, no worries. And my latest online purchase, a set of Sony MDR 7506 headphones - thanks to all who so recommended - is scheduled to arrive within hours, a day early. Life can be good.

    But I will definitely take you up on that adult beverage or two, when I'm next in the Northeast. Retirement has freed up massive amounts of time, so I'll be much less rushed. And I'll also have a few instruments on board, as one of the main reasons for said journey will be to pick them up from my luthier. I'll make a point of going there first so I'll have more for Show And Tell.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  29. #19
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    I came across a "Vintage Stradolin Mandolin with Bell Brand tail piece" for a mere $50.95 on a site that sold teen clothes. I did find a site that has some stats about site like these: https://www.scam-detector.com/ The site I found was labeled low in trust.
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    Default Re: Have I Been Scammed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I came across a "Vintage Stradolin Mandolin with Bell Brand tail piece" for a mere $50.95 on a site that sold teen clothes. I did find a site that has some stats about site like these: https://www.scam-detector.com/ The site I found was labeled low in trust.
    I think you made a big mistake. You could have had a great
    Mando and several rocking outfits from Abercrombie & Fitch for under $100

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