View Full Version : Was your Christmas as good as mine?
26 December 2006, 18:30
Hi everyone, my name is Vianna and I'm from New York and I have been a victim of a scam. It's ashame to say this but I was not scammed once but twice in a week back to back. I ran an auction on eBay for t-mobile sidekick 3and 1 GPS navigation system. I was contacted by an Amir Buba from Amir Stores Place, he came from Alibaba.com and he gave me a good deal. On December 12, 2006 I wired him his payment for the orders which where over 3000usd via Western Union. When I came home he called me and stated that I needed 1160usd more for customs. I went and wired it WU. When I came back home he contacted me again and stated that he was going to send me an additional 20+ sidekicks to replace the money for the customs fee and that he made a mistake on the customs price. He stated that it was not 1160usd but 2760usd. By then, all I had left was 500usd in the bank and I wired it to him again. I stood up all night waiting for him to contact me with the tracking numbers and when he did the next morning, they were fake. He asked for an additional 980usd because Fed Ex had a yellow tag on them. By then I had already known that I was a victim of a scam. I had contacted everyone from the FBI, Internet Crime Complaints Unit, Western Union, Better Business Bureou, eCommerce and so on. That same day, I contacted all of my customers explaining the situation...did they believe it??? out of 40+, 3 did. The rest think that I am a fraud.
The next day, I contacted a company who came recommended by a friend of mine who used them once. So I contacted them, their name is Merit Electronic Plaza supposedly located in the UK. I made another order for the sidekicks 3 which came out to 1160usd. This time I made a wire transfer from bank to bank. Explain to me why after I sent them that money, they wanted me to send 970usd to a Nigerian Priest called Tracy Bach or else I will not get the order that I have placed. Can you believe this??? My customers think that I'm a fraud, my kids get no Christmas presents because I have no money and I get scammed 2x's in a week. How pathetic is this? If I can catch every person that scamms....so help me God.
26 December 2006, 19:30
OH my God........
26 December 2006, 20:40
I'm terribly sorry to hear you were scammed. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of fraud of this kind on international trade sites such as Alibaba. If you could provide a little more information about each of these merchants, any names, addresses, contact phone numbers, bank information, etc. you were given, it may help others avoid being scammed by the same companies. They often come back to the same sites, with nothing but a changed name, and attempt to scam others.
For example, Amir Stores Place does not appear to be on Alibaba any longer, so the scammers may come back with a new name and the same mobile number, contact and payment details. Since Merit Electronic Plaza appears to still have a listing, you should probably report the fraud to them, as well. It's a bit unusual that your friend who recommended them had a completely satisfactory experience. Typically, scammers stick to the same nondelivery scam all the way. Then again, it's possible they sold a limited amount of merchandise until it ran out, then decided to scam subsequent customers for 100% profit.
Also, if I understood your post correctly, were you selling merchandise on Ebay that you did not yet have in your possession? I don't deal much with Ebay, personally, but I'm curious as to whether that is a common practice.
For the benefit of others who may be planning to buy from sellers on trade sites, Merit Electronic Plaza's Alibaba profile is a good example of suspicious contact information.
Merit Electronics Plaza
Contact Person: Ms. Michelle douglas
Job Title: Director/CEO/General Manager
Address: 30 Gold Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, United Kingdom
Zip/Postal Code: 12345
The merchant has no TrustPass profile, meaning there is no customer feedback and there has been no verification by a third party that the company even exists. The contact informaiton is rather sloppy, without any professional attention to formatting (notice the lack of capitalization on "Douglas"), the address mixes Nigerian geography (Ikeja, Lagos) with UK geography (United Kingdom), and the zip/postal code is a fairly obvious random group of numbers. It's certainly not a UK-style postal code. They mix letters and numbers.
Checking the telephone and fax numbers at http://www.numberingplans.com/?page=analysis&sub=phonenr reveals nothing but the message Note: This telephone number is most likely a United Kingdom number. Specific information on this number range is not available. This might mean that this particular telephone number does not exist. Should this be incorrect, be sure to notify us.
Possibly non-existent phone numbers are definitely a red flag, as are ones that come back as UK "personal numbers".
28 December 2006, 00:16
Thanks for your response. The information for Amir Stores Place is as follows, so buyers beware: Amir Stores Place Limited: Amir Buba is the "president" and the address is 12 Oyenuga Drive Ijesha Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria 23401. Their telephone number is: +234 8028798799. In response to Merit Electronic Plaza, I have contacted Eric from Alibaba.com. I do not want to shut them yet because I am currently waiting for instructions from the Secret Service. Being that they want to me to send the 980usd to a Bach Tracy, 12 Avenue Road, Lagos, Nigeria 23401. The cell phone number that Michelle Douglas gave me was +447024096899. When I dialed that number it did not work. She had given me the number to that Bach Tracy, claiming that he is a priest in the Nigeria and the 980usd was for his SOS, supposedly for his church. The number that was giving to me to call was +2348062830078. They have a phoney courier service by the name of Corporate Courier Messenger in the UK. When I contacted the owner of the site, which by the way was here in the US, he immediately shut down the site. The website was: http://www.corporate-messengers.com/trackpackage.htm . The phoney tracking number was: 257619937714. The wire transfer that I had sent to these people was to a Joseph Oskosha, SwitCode: CITIUS33, Bank Name: First Inland Bank Plc. 36147178 (USD A/C). Routing Number: 021000089. When I explained to the Secret Service about this situation also, they advised me to put a Fraud on the wire transfer which I did. I asked my Bank Representive where exactly was this bank located and they stated that it is in the US but they could not advise me further.
As far as eBay is concerned there are alot of scams with the sellers. While I was running the auction I received numerous emails from scammers in China...such as www.kemn189.com, and some others that I can not even remember. When you're running an auction on eBay, you do not have to have the items at hand. People use dropshipping companies to send the products to the customers. After this experience, I will not run an auction with any foreign company again, unless I have the merchandise in my hands where I know the consumer while be getting it what they have paid for. I have numerous dropshipping companies that I deal with in the US that I can trust, the problem was that they did not have the merchandise that I needed at the time of the auction, so I went foreign. I hope this information was helpful. I, personally, am in a crusade to stop all scammers. Being scammed is a horrible feeling. Especially for the amount of money that was lost. I didnt want to go out for a few weeks because I knew at the time that if I was to see a Nigerian, I was out for the kill. But behind every down fall, there is always light at the end and hopefully we can do something about it to make it stop.
28 December 2006, 01:33
Having at one time been fairly active on e-Bay, I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. It can really hurt when someone rips you off.
Amir Buba is the "president" and the address is 12 Oyenuga Drive Ijesha Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria 23401. Their telephone number is: +234 8028798799.
Unfortunately, Lagos is a ground zero for this type of fraud. The phone number he gave you is a cell/mobile phone. Any phone numbers that start with +234 8 are mobiles in Nigeria.
The cell phone number that Michelle Douglas gave me was +447024096899. When I dialed that number it did not work.
This is what is called a personal re-direct number in the UK. This could be directed to just about any valid phone number around the world. Since the person who *calls* the number pays a premium, many North American phone companies do not allow this sort of call to go through.
The number that was giving to me to call was +2348062830078.
Yet another mobile.
Unfortunately, it's people like these who ruin it for a lot of legit companies both in Nigeria and around the world.
28 December 2006, 01:33
Just a bit of additional information about the phone numbers and addresses. It's wonderful that the authorities are taking an interest, so often, they don't, but it's been our general experience that scammers tend to provide information that doesn't lead much of anywhere. Luckily, though, they also tend to be creatures of habit and usually use the same contact information and scamming names for some time. Every detail you posted may help others avoid being scammed.
+234 8028798799 appears to be a Nigerian mobile, probably paid for in cash and anonymous/registered to false details. Unfortunately, the authorities probably won't be able to find out much about the scammer from this phone number. +2348062830078 returns much the same information.
The Nigerian address probably won't be much help, either. Western Union policies are a bit misleading. When you send money "to" a receiver, they often have the option of picking up the money without any ID, possibly even in another country besides the one you "sent" it to. There's no guarantee they will even pick it up in Nigeria, or anywhere near the address they provided. Unfortunately, Western Union cannot and does not actually confirm the identity or residence of the receiver. With some of the following non-personal information about the transfer (the transfer number, the approximate amount, the sender's name, the test question and answer) transfers can usually be picked up with no ID at all. Even when ID is provided, it is often fake. Forged passports and licenses are not uncommon in Nigeria. The scammer could literally attempt to pick up the transfer in pretty well any of the offices worldwide, so there won't be much help in an address provided for a receiver for Western Union.
Fake courier and bank websites are fairly common in scams. Also, unfortunately, are scammer accomplices located in the US or Canada. They usually use the same prepaid anonymous mobiles that lead nowhere. The sites are often registered using stolen credit card numbers and fake details.
The bank account information, and the fact that the bank appears to be located in the US, is encouraging. If a willing accomplice has that account, the chances of finding at least some useful information about the scammers is good. However, it is also possible that this account is held by another victim. It's not unheard of for scammers to victimize a second person, hiring them for a fake job where they process payments on commission or sending them what they think is a financier's loan for some sort of fee, then asking them to wire the money by Western Union or bank transfer out of the country. Essentially, they use a second victim as a quick way to launder money. That inquiry may also lead nowhere.
As you found, dealing with foreign suppliers is definitely a risky business. Even with non-scammer companies, navigating the intricate import/export laws, and dealing with any problems that might arise through legal channels is very difficult when crossing international boundaries . We do generally encourage people to stick with suppliers in their own countries or foreign suppliers that are recommended by the manufacturer themselves when possible. The information you provided was very helpful, thank you for taking the time to do so. We have a lot of visitors to the site who are looking for information on suppliers or possible suppliers. I'm sure your experiences and the data on the scammers you encountered will be of use to many others.
11 January 2007, 14:31
Yes sir I think we should send a posse after that man kemn189. I lost $ 5500 to him. I my truck up for repo tomorrow. Looking back, I still can't believe I was that gullible. Next I'll be evicted. I've written just about every government agency, but what good is our government anyway. Most are crooks just like kemn189. I can honestly say murder has crossed my mind for the first time in my forty years. China wants good relations , they should get off their butts and return the funds to us. Does anybody know if they,ve apprehended him ?
11 January 2007, 16:33
It's quite doubtful that this person will ever be apprehended, unfortunately. I've removed your email address from your post. Posting your email in a public forum is a prime invitation for having your email address harvested by scammers and spammers. And posting your email address in an anti-fraud forum, as someone who has been scammed, is a double invitation to being emailed by scammers. Particularly ones who pose as law enforcement or "money recovery" agencies.
21 January 2007, 22:55
WWW.KEMN189.COM ARE SCAMMERS. DON'T SEND YOUR MONEY TO THEM, THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY AND NOT SEND YOUR ITEM TO YOU.
I have been ripped of $1000 from these guys. All I wanted to do was make some money and buy some cheap items and sell them on ebay. But these guys are scammers man. I should've known. There aren't much posts about these guys on the net but I can assure you that they are scammers.
DON'T SEND YOUR MONEY TO THEM.
NAME OF THE SCAMMER: SONG HE.
DON'T DEAL WITH THEM.
I HATE THEM AND WANT TO KILL THEM FOR RIPPING ME OFF!
21 January 2007, 23:23
A quote from their website:-
All items we list on this website is brand new and original with sealed box. and comes with official warranty.
Which implies they are being supplied via an official route. This can be checked by contacting the brand owners website for the product you are wishing to purchase.
The also display credit card insignia but I do not see any Credit Card order forms. This is a good indication of a scam operation.
If you have not recieved goods as per your order, you need to report it to the authorities.
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