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Thread started 02 May 2009 (Saturday) 01:28
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Help - scam?

 
louieabellera
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May 02, 2009 01:28 |  #1

[edit] I'll hold off on putting this guy's name here for now, until I can resolve this [/edit]

I dont really know what forum to put this in, but I've seen some 'scam' threads in Market Watch so this is as close as I thought I could get. Anyways, here's my story:

On Monday night I made a thread about trading my 50mm 1.4 for an iPhone. Within an hour I got a bite. The dude seemed extremely legit. With my 50mm I was also selling a 28 2.8. The guy said he'd give me $100 for it. Sounds good.

I was honest with him and told him I dont really know how 'trading' works. Do I send my items first? Does he? Do I wait for the $100 in paypal?

This is what he said - he told me that we'll both ship our items at the same time the next day, and we'll get tracking numbers to each other at a certain time, '...say...12PM'. I told him that I couldnt have it by then, and if we could shoot for maybe 4PM. He said yeah that's fine, I'll see you at 4PM.

I asked him if he had any feedback/references, I looked at a transaction he made not too long ago when he bought a 70-200 2.8. He also gave me his number and the name of his photography studio and where he was located. He also gave me his mailing address.

Now I know what you're thinking, 'you should've waited for the paypal first to confirm he's legit'. He told me he doesnt have a paypal but his nephew, who shoots weddings with him, would transfer me my money the next day, at 11-12PM.

I was skeptical but he said he wanted to have the lenses shipped to him before Saturday, to test them at a wedding. I thought, hey, I'm a nice guy, I'll go to the post office first thing tomorrow morning, push all my other errands aside, and ship the lenses.

Went to the post office at noon, shipped the lenses, ran all my errands for the day, got back home at 4PM, sent him the tracking.

I asked him for the tracking numbers that night after not hearing from him at 4PM, like we said. It turns out he sent the package out with his wife to mail on her way to work, but she forgot it. He also couldnt PP me the money, so he said by 11:30 tomorrow the money would be in my account.

Next morning he says there was a problem with his nephew, or something like that, and he'd have the money to me by noon. Noon comes around, no money. Starting to feel regret about sending the lenses out.

Thursday morning he still hasnt sent out the package, and I still havent gotten my money. He says 'there's a problem with your address, it's coming up as an "invalid address"'. Nope. First time this has ever happened to me in my life. I've done so many deals through POTN, FM, and eBay. This is the first time I've heard it.

I'm beyond frustrated at this point. This pretty much smells like a scam. This is what he sends me: "You know, I can't believe this crap. I can't get ahold of my nephew to paypal. I'm just wasting your time and have completly ruined this deal. I am very sorry for everything. When the lenses arrive I will send them back and we can just forget this ever happened."

Nope. Not gonna happen. I help up my end of the deal, he hasnt. I tell him to call me on my cell phone. (BTW I've called the dude like, 15 times before this, left 5-6 voicemails, and nothing)

He calls me. I tell him. Send the damn iPhone. Send me a money order with the iPhone. The lenses are at your house. The tracking number that I gave you says they're there.

He says, ok cool I'll go right now and send the iPhone.

I text him a couple hours later, and he responds: "the post office was closed. I'll do it first thing in the morning"

I text him at 10AM the next day asking him if he's gone to the post office. He says, "I'm on my way out right now, I'll get you the tracking number when I get back"

3PM after numerous texts and calls, he says he's "Sent. Soon as I get back I will give you the tracking #."

Cool. Awesome. Way to go.

8PM after numerous texts and calls, he says "I'll have it to you momentarily. Unloading and it's yours (the tracking number)."

Around 11PM-11:30 - sends me the tracking number. Awesome. Finally. Right? Wrong. I was in a movie at the time he sent me the text with the tracking number, so when I get home I type it into the USPS site, guess what? "There is no record of this item"

Typo? Maybe. Mis-read the numbers? Possibly. Scam? Sure sounds like it.

Now it's 1:22 AM. I sent him a text saying "Come on man, the tracking number isn't right". I also sent him a PM here on POTN.

How do I deal with this? Obviously, if he actually sent the package, then things will be fine in a couple days when it gets to my house. But if he hasnt yet (which is a strong possiblity. He has said that he's 'going to the post office' numerous times already) what do I do? Is there a way to bring authorities into this? I'm only 19 years old, I'm not too big on all the legal stuff, but I do have his phone number, address, name of his photography business.

Help a brotha out. Obviously if he just accidentally sent the wrong tracking number, and the package arrives on monday, things will be fine. I'll be back to my understanding self, thinking "hey, not everyone can get to the post office in their busy schedules, give the guy a break, he's got family and a business to take care of." But if it DOESNT arrive here on monday, what do I do? Do I tell him to send the lenses back? How does he do that if he seems to miraculously get lost going to the post office anyway?

/end novel.




  
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hotrod100
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May 02, 2009 01:52 |  #2

I've found from personal experience that the postal service can take 24 to 48 hours for a tracking number to show up as valid. Just keep thinking happy thoughts.(that's what I do since I seem to give people the benefit of the doubt even when they don't deserve it:)) Good luck to you and keep us posted.


Rod
50D gripped, 70-200 f/4L IS, Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USM,, Nifty Fifty, 430 EX II, Quantaray QDC 900WA flash, DynaTran AT 3020 tripod, Tamrac Aero 80 bag, Canon ZR900 camcorder.

  
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louieabellera
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May 02, 2009 02:01 |  #3

Well every time I've ever sent something, I check the tracking number and it's always correct and valid.

Also, the tracking number he sent me looks like it's missing a digit.




  
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Sports_Dude
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May 02, 2009 02:13 |  #4

hotrod100 is right. The post office tracking system is nothing like UPS or fedex. I've had some packages shipped that showed no progress until it was delivered.


Sports_Dude
7D Gripped | 17-55 f/2.8 IS | 70-200 f/2.8L IS | 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II | 580EXII

  
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w8291
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May 02, 2009 02:41 |  #5

Sports_Dude wrote in post #7842702 (external link)
hotrod100 is right. The post office tracking system is nothing like UPS or fedex. I've had some packages shipped that showed no progress until it was delivered.

+1

if you have all his legitimate contact information and if things don't work out, you'll have some legal recourse and potential avenues to get back your money or the items. Either one is going to reduce your total value.

(cross your fingers, but plan for the worst)

just to get the legal questions rolling, is this all in the same state? or is he in another state?


  
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kosin
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May 02, 2009 07:59 |  #6

Sports_Dude wrote in post #7842702 (external link)
hotrod100 is right. The post office tracking system is nothing like UPS or fedex. I've had some packages shipped that showed no progress until it was delivered.

Same thing here. USPS sucks with its tracking system.


Greg Gard
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follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.​com/greggardphoto/ (external link)

  
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louieabellera
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May 02, 2009 09:55 |  #7

Same state. He's gotten a legit tracking number to me. We'll see how this turns out.




  
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louieabellera
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May 02, 2009 10:42 |  #8

wait not same state. different state. hah sorry.




  
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OC ­ Photoguy
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May 02, 2009 12:54 |  #9

I've had stuff from USPS show not delivered a day or two after I've received the item. They have a horrible tracking/reporting system. I do think you need to chill out just a little bit on the amount of calls you are making.

Good luck..


Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 40D, Canon G7
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[COLOR=blue]Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS, 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS,

  
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NeutronBoy
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May 02, 2009 13:03 |  #10

go to your Postmaster and see if you can register a complaint for mail fraud. USPS takes this very seriously and has there own armed police force to investigate/arrest mutants like this.


5D Mark II, 40D, 350d
Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS II L | Canon 100-400 IS L [COLOR=black]| Canon 24-70 L | Canon 100mm Macro f2.8 | Canon 50 f1.4| Canon 10-22 | Canon MP-E 65 | Rokinon 14mm f2.8 | Sigma 17 - 70 macro
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JasonBr
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May 02, 2009 13:09 |  #11

I'd give the tracking number a day or 2 to show up in their system. I've had tracking numbers still show as "not found" until a few days after I received the tracked item. If you're in the same state you should get the package in a business day or 2...if you don't, then i'd start looking into recovering your stuff.


(XSI, EOS 650) (18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 70-200 F/4 L, 50 F/1.8 II, Sigma 28-105 F/2.8-4, Sigma 24-70 F/2.8 ) (Speedlite 430EX II)
Jason Brady Photography - Portrait and Event Photography - Bel Air, MD (external link)

  
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zeva
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May 02, 2009 13:14 |  #12

NeutronBoy wrote in post #7844649 (external link)
go to your Postmaster and see if you can register a complaint for mail fraud. USPS takes this very seriously and has there own armed police force to investigate/arrest mutants like this.

Oh creap really? they have their own police force?!


40D :20D: Speedlite 430ex
100-400 F/4.5-5.6 L :17-55 F/2.8 IS :28-135 F/3.5-5.6 IS: 18-55 F/3.5-5.6: 10-22 F/3.5-4.5: 70-200 F/2.8 IS

  
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dcad10
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May 02, 2009 13:38 |  #13

If it was a scam, why would he spend so much time replying to you... It sounds like hes probably a legitimate guy, but in the future, you should probably receive payment before sending out a lens (its easier for him to get a paypal chargeback than for you to get back your lens).
As far as usps tracking #, I will agree with most here who have had "invalid #s". give it a few days to show up before stressing out to much.




  
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LeeSC
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May 02, 2009 14:13 |  #14

zeva wrote in post #7844698 (external link)
Oh creap really? they have their own police force?!


Yep, the US Postal Police. Those guys are like bulldogs on crack!


GEAR

  
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kosin
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May 02, 2009 19:38 |  #15

Now the question is: what is the tracking number for?
iPhone or your stuff?

just messing with you :D


Greg Gard
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follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.​com/greggardphoto/ (external link)

  
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