How Does This Scam Work?

Greggorios

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Sad. I've taken to eliminating the term "scam" from these kind of discussions because I find it too soft a word. It's fraud, plain and simple, and it's a crime, a crime being perpetrated by cowards.

Tell him you're in no hurry, that you'll hold the guitar until he returns so you can meet him in person when he comes to deliver the cash since you just love meeting other players and musicians. Maybe have a couple of beers and shoot the sh*t about guitars and music. Tell him you'd also like him to meet your new puppy "Tinker Bell" and attach this photo to your reply. Maybe he'll get the message.:D

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Boreas

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This is insanely common, which tells us it must work -- as a scam. The essence is they *want* you to try to see how it can be a scam. Their victims are folks who tried to figure it out -- and failed.

Money order, cashier's check, bank check, credit card, debit card, Venmo, bitcoin, little sister's lunch money.... Just know it's a scam, don't try to figure it out. :)
Accordingly, this is partly why credit card companies charge 2-5% on every purchase to the merchant - to offset fraud that they rarely pursue. Basically, just pass the grief on to other CC users - and still make a good profit! 2-5% on a bazillion transactions adds up fast!
 

Flat6Driver

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It is a scam, but probably not against you. They sound like they are going to use stolen account information to send you money while they arrange somebody to pick up the item. Somebody else is getting screwed.

About 5 years ago, there was an amplifier on ebay listed as new in box for about half the price. It was an impulse buy for me, but the invoice was for a bank in a Soviet block country while the listing showed it in Illinois. I contact fleabay who told me that the seller doesn't have any complaints and that they deal is binding. I paid via paypal so I had some buyer protection from fraud and damn if I didn't get an invoice right back with expected delivery in 3 days.

The amp arrived brand new sealed in box. The invoice in the box showed that they amp was purchased 10 minutes after I bought it on fleabay from a dealer in Kansas City using a credit card belonging to a guy in Kimball Nebraska. If you are following along, this person in the Russian block country used stolen credit card information to buy and ship me an amplifier.

Funny part was that nobody cared. Fleabay said that as long as the seller got paid and the buyer received the item, they didn't care. I contacted law enforcement and they said that the money involved didn't interest them either. I even tracked down the person on the credit card who said that he noticed the charge, reported it as fraud, and it was removed. So, the only person that got screwed was the bank that issued the credit card.

I think that is what is going on in your situation as well. Your main concern is to be sure that the money can't be cancelled after the fact by the buyer. As long as the money has cleared and in your account, I don't think you can get hurt, but somebody else will.

Basically, I am saying that it is a thief and I would not do business with them, but it is set up in a way that you could probably make the deal and not be the one getting harmed.
I saw on another forum where the posters neighbor bought like 5 identical BBQs. So he's probably fraudulently buying them and then selling them right off. Or is a middleman somehow.

In the above example, the bank didn't lose out, they passed the savings on to you! (Or their customers). Rule 1: the House doesn't lose.
 

Milspec

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I saw on another forum where the posters neighbor bought like 5 identical BBQs. So he's probably fraudulently buying them and then selling them right off. Or is a middleman somehow.

In the above example, the bank didn't lose out, they passed the savings on to you! (Or their customers). Rule 1: the House doesn't lose.
That is very true, but a lot of people benefited as well. The scammer got paid, musicland got paid, UPS got paid, the state got sales tax, and I got a highly discounted amp.

I guess that is why so many people didn't care that it was from illegal activity.
 

Flat6Driver

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That is very true, but a lot of people benefited as well. The scammer got paid, musicland got paid, UPS got paid, the state got sales tax, and I got a highly discounted amp.

I guess that is why so many people didn't care that it was from illegal activity.


How would rhe music shop, UPS, the state, or you with the amp even know unless you looked into it closer?
 

Flat6Driver

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They wouldn't


Right...all those folks got legitimately paid. The credit card company is out the money but they treat it as a business loss. One on one someone wins but the CC company gets data to improve yheir algorithm for next time.
 

Milspec

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Right...all those folks got legitimately paid. The credit card company is out the money but they treat it as a business loss. One on one someone wins but the CC company gets data to improve yheir algorithm for next time.
...and that is why organized crime prospers the world over, nobody is outraged and many benefit by them.
 

Marc Morfei

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Huh. I use Venmo all the time. Both when buying, and selling. I never knew it was a scam. It's worked out fine every time I've used it. Way easier than carrying around giant wads of cash.
 

tap4154

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If it's a very expensive guitar and they make the purchase on Venmo, you're going to get a 1099 for it. That's the second reason not to go ahead with the transaction, the first is that they are planning to scam you.
 

SRHmusic

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Huh. I use Venmo all the time. Both when buying, and selling. I never knew it was a scam. It's worked out fine every time I've used it. Way easier than carrying around giant wads of cash.
It's not Venmo that is the scam, but the fraudulent buyer here has likely figured out a way to get something for nothing by timing the payment and cancelation in some way. (At least, according to the ideas being bounced around here on the thread.)
 




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