Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Ebay scammer returns £110 in cash

I was scammed by an opportunist on eBay. I then employed some guerrilla tactics such as Google stalking and contacting his Mum to finally get the money back. Here is my story.

I bought some concert tickets on eBay back in October 2007. The concert wasn't until March 2008 so i wasn't expecting to receive the tickets until Jan/Feb 2008. The seller had a feedback rating of 548 with 97% positive.

I went back to eBay every month or so just to check on the seller. However when i did this at the beginning of January I discovered that the seller was no longer an eBay seller.

I emailed the seller to no response. I assumed that I wasn't going to be receiving tickets so i chased up eBay to see if i could claim a refund. Due to the fact that it had been over 60 days from the initial purchase i was informed by eBay that I'd left it too late to claim through them. They also informed me that the seller was no longer a registered eBay user.

I have personally checked our database and I can confirm that "theglens2857" is no longer a registered eBay user. This is because eBay suspended them for breached of policy... For privacy reasons I'm afraid I can't share details about another member's account.

eBay for reasons best known to themselves refuse to add a dispatch date to each product (or even just ticket sales) or restrict tickets to being sold within their 60 days which surely would prevent this problem. I did suggest this in my dispute email but got the standard 'Yeah right' response.

My only choices left were get the money back myself or contact the police. I figured I'd try the former option before resorting to the latter.

I had the seller's real name and address from the confirmation email eBay sent me on initial purchase and after a brief bit of Google searching i found his phone number, discovered that he lived with his parents and was probably a teenager.

I phoned up and got through to his mum and politely left a message asking him to call me.

I then sent him an email,

Hi Craig,

I bought some Cure tickets from you on eBay in October (ref no:12345) paying you £110 and am still awaiting the delivery of them.

Ebay informs me (see below) that you are no longer registered with them so the only
option I have is to deal with this myself. I rang your home number earlier today
and left a message with my phone number with your mum i believe.

Please can you let me know whether you are still sending the tickets (these have now been released so you should have them) or if not then refund me my £110. (pay the
money in paypal to my email address)

I'll give you another ring in a couple of days if i don't hear back.

Regards

On the bottom of this email I also forwarded my response from eBay and added in the following paragraph,

Your only option is to take this matter further with the police, eBay will gladly
help the police with their investigations if needed. Please ask the investigating
officer to email us by using the "report information to eBay" link on the
following page:
http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/tp/isgw-fraud-ebays-role.html

If he read the forwarded email i thought this might be a subtle hint to ensure he responded.

I then received this in response,

Hi
sorry i never got back to you sooner but as you know i am no longer a
registered member of ebay so i cant reply to your messages, please forward on
your address and i will get a cheque sent out to you at the end of the week

As my friend gZa cynically quoted to me, "And the cheque is in the mail, and I love you, and..." - see the full quote on imdb (from the film 'To Live and Die in L.A.') .

Unsurprisingly no cheque arrived in the post (yes, I love you) so i then sent the following email, at the same time i also emailed other purchasers in order to gather information for a potential police investigation.

Hi,

I haven't received any cheque in the post. Did you send anything last week?
It should have arrived by now. I'm now contacting ebay to get all the relevant
details for the investigating officer. From experience this takes a couple of
days so if you've already sent a cheque or send one now then it will arrive by
the end of this week and I'll cancel the investigation. Either way let me know.

Regards,

An hour later the following arrived in my inbox (from a different email address) ,

refund sent today special delivery should be with you before noon tomorrow
tracking number ZV588452251GB

I checked the tracking number and it was genuine, the following day an envelope arrived to my house containing £110 in cash.

Although initially annoyed at being scammed like the fool i am I'm now finding it all rather amusing (probably because I'm no longer short by £110).

Here is what this experience has taught me:

  • If you're buying concert tickets make sure they are being delivered to you within 60 days, if you don't receive them make sure you start a 'dispute' on eBay BEFORE the 60 days are up irrelevant of what the seller may tell you (they're in the post / i love you etc.)
  • If in the end you do have to resort to the police here's a good guide on how to report fraud on eBay.
  • Then write a blog article about your experience, it's particularly cathartic. This guy also had the same concert ticket issue, he actually contacted the police though.

If this doesn't work and you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can try scamming the scammer...

2 comments:

Jo said...

Hi Ed,

Have been scammed by same guy (theglens2857) but had no joy getting money back yet (195 for Take That tickets bought last August) have got address and number I think is his home address off 192.com (ebay didnt want to know back in november!) but wondered if you could verify same or give me any contact info you had? any help would be appreciated, also is his name Calum or Craig? emails had calum on, account had craig??

Many thanks

Ed Sexton said...

Craig or Calum, good question, i think i wrote to him using both names and still not sure which is right. However i'm pretty sure i found him as 'Craig' on this page detailing his swimming exploits(search for the surname).

His name and home address was at the end of the "You Won eBay Item" email that I got on winning the tickets originally.

I typed his postcode (KA18 4AY) and surname into the BT online phone book to get the phone number i rang. You'll have to keep hassling him though.

You can still go to the police even after eBay ditch you as long as you've kept a track of all emails sent back and forth for evidence because at the end of the day it's fraud.

Hope this helps, let me know how it goes and don't give up.