Buyer beware ….. You could be buying stolen property on online auction sites!
Remember back in November when we were hit with 7 large fraudulent orders (purchases made with stolen credit cards)? We were never able to get any police or other authorities to help us track down the thieves…. And we lost over $6,500. I thought this sort of thing was behind us. I was wrong.
Last week, it happened again. We received 3 orders on back-to-back days for large die cut machines. Each order was for 1 machine, ordered from 1 address, shipping to another. On the 3rd one, my little heebie-jeebies started flaring up. I should have caught it on the first one. I contacted our credit card processor and gave them the info, and sure enough, there is a 99.99% probability they are fraud. Let me rephrase that, one of the orders is 100% fraud, and I found out with a little bit of internet sleuthing.
The story goes like this. An order came in last week for a Sizzix Big Shot Pro machine, purchased by someone in North Carolina and shipping to another person in Illinois. I *should* have known better….. but we shipped it. Yesterday morning, as we are discussing (ok, fuming) the thieves being at it again with fraudulent orders, I exclaimed “I bet you anything that Big Shot Pro is on ebay right now”. Acting on this, I searched ebay, and sure enough, I found a seller selling a Big Shot Pro for $100 less than our price with the location listed as the SAME small town in Illinois where I shipped ours. The name of the seller was also the same as the recipient of the machine. Too many coincidences. I contacted Paypal right away and they did some research. Turns out, the guy selling is a “broker” whose business it is to sell items for other people for a 30% commission. He’s been an ebayer with a HIGH approval rating since 2002. Paypal immediately took his side telling me he’s not the crook. OK, then, why is he selling my machine!!
After much back and forth contact, everyone (Paypal and Ebayer) is in agreement that he has my machine, and that it was purchased with a stolen credit card. The Ebayer insists he didn’t know it was stolen, and that is was commissioned by one of his clients to sell the machine. He promised to find out info about his “client” and share that with Paypal/Ebay, and to ship my Big Shot back to us. We shall see. At this point, I’m not really believing anything until I see that package come back. I’m still out $75 in shipping (because of course, the crook chose Priority Mail shipping…. He didn’t care, stolen cc!)
Moral of the story is: BEWARE what you buy on Ebay !!! It could be stolen merchandise!!! Had someone bought this machine, they would have gotten a very good deal: $250 for a Big Shot Pro that we sell for $350. (by the way, $250 is less than what Sizzix allows AUTHORIZED Sizzix stores to sell it for, so you won’t find it cheaper in a store or anywhere else) A very good deal indeed for STOLEN property!!! Meanwhile, a small retailer is out a $350 item + $75 shipping + the service fees that will be charged to us when the credit card bank claims we let a stolen credit card number be used (yes, that’s called a “chargeback” and they charge us $25 for that privilege.)
The 2nd fraud order from last week is an Ebosser. I can’t find it on Ebay (yet), but I see a lot of brand new Ebossers selling on Ebay for cheap too….. wouldn’t surprise me if some of those were stolen in a similar manner.