Quantcast

Gosh, I'm annoyed today! Scammed online

SoapMakingForum

Help Support SoapMakingForum:

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
Random post, but I'm feeling super frustrated and need to vent. My partner and I bought a cheap 2nd car earlier in the week. We bought it from a website called TradeMe, which is NZ's equivalent to eBay. When I was bidding, I remember thinking that there was something slightly fishy about the person I was bidding against. They kept increasing their bid in increments of $5 and managed to push the price up to $100 more than I wanted to pay, but I managed to win the auction. I did a quick check on that bidder, got my cyber detective skills on and checked if the seller had any Facebook friends by the name of the bidder.and they didn't. So I figured I was being paranoid.

We picked the car up on Monday, paid cash and drove home. It's a good car, nothing wrong with it in that sense. For some reason, I stumbled across the auction again today and decided to delve a little deeper into that bidder's account. They listed a car for sale back in December last year, and funnily enough the description listed the same phone number and name as the person who we just bought our car from! I was furious at this point. I google searched and discovered that it's called shill bidding. If a seller wants to bump their auction price up a bit, they use a second account or a friend/family member's account to bid on the auction. If they win, they just relist the item. It was so obvious now that this was what they had done!

I emailed the seller, and they came back with some rubbish story about how that's their partner's mother's account who wanted to buy the car - riiiight, why not just sell her the car without going through an auction site and paying seller's fees?! And why list another car on that account in your name?!

So I asked him if we could return the car for a refund, or at least get a partial refund of how much we paid after his second account started bidding. He's not co-operating at all, and I'm getting more and more frustrated. I even contacted TradeMe's fraud team, and they've confirmed that it's definitely shill bidding. They can see more behind the scenes than I can, so I'm guessing the IP addresses match, and things like that.

I've told him this, they've contacted him and now I'm waiting. I live in a small, close-knit community and I'm just pissed that someone would do that. It's morally wrong, and it's actually illegal in NZ. Shill bidding is also against TradeMe's T&Cs. I'm hoping that if he won't co-operate, TradeMe will step in and get our refund sorted.

What's even MORE frustrating is that I was tossing up between this car and another one at the beginning of the week. The other car came up after I had won the auction. The other car is the bargain of the century as the seller is leaving the country and is taking "any offer" for the car. He hasn't advertised it well, and I managed to offer him the same price as what we paid for this new car. His car is 4 wheel drive, 10 years newer, half the mileage, etc. It's a steal. But I went through with the sale of the first car as I thought that by the end of the week, he would have had a better offer and we would have lost out twice. Turns out we still have the best offer and are buying that car!

Gahhhhh. This is terribly long, I'm just horribly annoyed and needed to get that out. It's probably really confusing and long-winded on paper. :crazy::crazy::crazy:

To start a conversation... Have you been scammed (shill bidding is a scam!) online??
 

IrishLass

Staff member
Admin
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
16,888
Reaction score
10,625
Location
Right here, silly!
I've not had experience with shill-bidding, but I just wanted to say that I'm so happy that you were able to buy the newer car from that other person that's moving! Yay!

IrishLass :)
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
Me too! It'll be super handy as we have a little puppy (he's 10 weeks old tomorrow) and we can take him to the beach and out for long, muddy walks and not worry about his mucky little paws ruining our "nice" car hah! Plus, it's big enough for good old road trips.

I guess there's always a good thing to crappy situations, but I really need to get a refund sorted with the seller of the other car or we're going to be very low on money for a few weeks... It doesn't help that I just splashed out on soap supplies. :x
 

galaxyMLP

SPONSOR
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,338
Location
Florida
I'm sure that the company will abide by its rules and also the law in NZ and will at the very least give you a refund for your purchase. More than likely, not only will you get a refund, but the seller will be kicked off of TradeMe and depending on how many offenses, if its something that is illegal, they will get reported to authorities. Places with bidding like that thrive on good biding practices. I'm sure the seller will get what is coming to him/her.
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
I hope so. I had hoped to resolve it with the seller privately before involving the auction site, but he doesn't seem willing to co-operate.
 

galaxyMLP

SPONSOR
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
1,838
Reaction score
1,338
Location
Florida
If hes done it alot, there would be no reason to co-operate for him. He was hoping you would let it go and not involve the auction site. You did the right thing notifying them.

And if its anything like eBay here, even if the seller doesn't want to re-fund with his own money, the company will front you the money and then settle this dispute with him. He will have to pay at some point but you won't be out that money the whole time. I know paypal is really good about that kind of stuff if you used an equivalent service to pay.

Oh, wait, you paid cash. That's gonna be a bit harder. Hmm.
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
Yeah, it does make things slightly more complicated. I'm giving him until this evening (it's 3pm here) to get back to me after my last email, as he's probably at work. Then I'll call the auction site again.
 

not_ally

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
2,939
Reaction score
1,686
Location
Los Angeles
Such a pain. Don't understand such dishonesty, don't those kinds of people feel crappy about themselves? I'm glad that you got the puppy-mobile, too.
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
You'd think so, wouldn't you? I did mention to the seller that from a moral perspective, it's pretty low. Then I learned that, even worse, it's illegal here!

Puppy-mobile! Love that.
 

Seawolfe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
3,272
Reaction score
2,984
Location
So Cal
If the people who run the site are on this and see your story corroborated by the data, this is SO going to bite that seller in the butt!
One of the advantages of online buying and selling is that reputation is everything.
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
True. The issue here is that it's a private seller, no company. Although I have seen him buying and selling a good few cars, he's not classed as a "dealer".
 

Jstar

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2014
Messages
1,061
Reaction score
702
Location
Tx
Id personally push it as far as it will go, even to small claims court..you just may end up with a refund AND the car. Good luck!
 

skayc1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
293
Reaction score
251
Location
I live in NC
Once I hit my limit, I would have let it go, & the sellar would have had to buy his own car lol.
 

LittleCrazyWolf

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
192
Reaction score
142
Location
East Coast
Any update spenny92? I'm hoping that you were able to get your money back and I'm hoping that scammer got blacklisted from that auction site.
 

snappyllama

Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2014
Messages
3,912
Reaction score
3,047
Location
Near Charlotte NC
Oh, that's a bummer. I hope the person will make it right (though I doubt it). If not, hopefully the site will do something to remedy it.

I've heard so many horror stories about buying used cars from individuals. My sister in law bought a car and had it just long enough to put four new tires on it and spend the last of her money on some needed safety repairs. She was a single mom with a one-month-old when police knocked on her door to inform her they were taking the car as it was stolen property. Apparently the vin on the dashboard was from another car that had been scrapped... that was the car title she legally owned. The person she bought it from was never found. So she was out all of her savings, with no car and an infant living in the country. The policemen were very apologetic, but there was nothing they could do.
 

Dana89

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Messages
289
Reaction score
244
I understand that what the seller did was very wrong, but did I read the post right? You got a car that runs ok for 100 dollars? That is an awesome deal.
 

fuzz-juzz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
869
Reaction score
482
Location
Australia
It's really annoying isn't it.
I hope you'll be able to sort it out.
Scammers are everywhere unfortunately. My husband was bidding on eBay item the other week. Price jumped about 150% in the last few seconds even though it's not worth that much. We didn't win the item luckily but some poor soul did.
 

spenny92

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
256
Reaction score
161
I do have an update! I emailed the seller over the weekend and let him know that if he wasn't willing to co-operate with either of my options (partial refund or take the car back), I'd be filing a claim on Monday. He replied saying he was going to see his mother-in-law to discuss what they could do. He said that he feels I'm being unfair to him, but that his MIL insisted that he pay me the difference between our last genuine bid and what we actually paid, so around $400. My boyfriend now feels bad for the guy, but I still don't even buy the story. If his MIL genuinely wanted the car, surely she'd have been like hey, take the car back, give them a refund and I'll buy it from you for $890 ("her" last bid before my winning bid of $900)... So I just don't buy him.

I'm happy with the partial refund, although we'll see if he really does make the payment this Thursday or not. Our house now looks like a junkyard with 3 cars in the drive instead of 1, all in the space of a week hah. We picked up the puppymobile yesterday and it's awesome. I'm not sure how the cash converts to USD, but the prices I mentioned are in NZD. :)

Thanks for being so interested and caring - you guys are great.
 

TeresaT

I see you.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2015
Messages
2,269
Reaction score
2,474
Location
Chatta-Vegas, TN
Spenny92, Please follow up with your local authorities and file a complaint. You may not be his only victim. If there is an investigation into his activity, you may the "straw" that puts the fraud loss over the investigative threshold. Here in the U.S., the U.S. Attorneys of the various jurisdictions set the prosecutorial guidelines for federal cases (FBI, ATF, U.S. Customs, etc). If there is not an accumulative fraud loss of X amount of money, they will not prosecute.

It is difficult to get fraudsters prosecuted by local jurisdictions, because they tend to cross so many jurisdictional lines, which is why fraud cases usually are prosecuted in the federal court system. However, by filing a complaint and getting the name of the "bad guy" in the police records, the name is now searchable. Your complaint will be added to others and a higher likelihood of prosecution will occur.

Sometimes, here in the States, even if the amount of loss does not meet guidelines, the number of victims may force the prosecution's hand. (One victim and $100,000 loss is a great case. However, 100 victims and $100,000 loss is an even better case, even though the average loss is only $1,000.). I hope this makes sense.

If you haven't already, you should check to see what federal agency in NZ handles financial fraud and Internet fraud. Once you file a complaint with your local police, you should contact them with the info as well.

Good luck! (Post puppy pics!)
 
Top