[CR] beware ebay scammer

(Example: Framebuilding:Norris Lockley)

To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2011 00:49:20 -0500
From: <rdf1249@aol.com>
Subject: [CR] beware ebay scammer

Most of you probably missed this. It was only up for a few hours last night. I spotted it when it first came on ebay. A guy supposedly from Santa Barbara advertised a complete NOS 50th anniversary group for sale, starting price $9.95, no reserve, no buy-it-now. He gave a fairly complete description with pictures so it seemed like he knew what he was talking about. Then in the next paragraph he said that the first guy that emailed him could have it for $1500 including shipping, but if you waited until the end of the auction to bid, it would probably be gone. I didn't really think about it too much but it seemed like a great price, so I thought what the heck and emailed him and said I would take it. But I also asked him to send me a picture of it, with a piece of paper with today's date written on it, "just so we are on the same page." I waited several hours and didn't hear back. Checked the listing a few times, and finally, it was gone, taken down by ebay, no complete d listing to be found either. I assumed they got a complaint of listing violations. Then later he wrote back to me, and said yes I could have it and could I give him my name, address, and ebay ID so we could "complete the transaction through ebay" whatever that meant. Didn't send the picture of course. Clearly a scam, and I am sure he doesn't have the group, but here are some other clues I should have spotted before I even emailed him: While the description was accurate and complete, and the pictures matched, the paragraph offering to sell it off ebay was in a different font. So I am guessing he just copied the text from someone else's listing, and the pictures too. Also, his feedback rating was 21, but none in the past 12 months. That is a bit unusual for someone selling something so valuable and exotic. And when he emailed back to me, the time stamp on my email that came back was 11:42 a.m. Sunday morning. I had sent it at 8:42 Saturday evening. That is 15 hours earlier. That means he is somewhere like China, not Santa Barbara. I have not followed up with him of course. As the old adage goes, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. Be on your toes with ebay. I bet he got a bunch of inquiries, and is trying to squeeze money out of all of them. But I can't believe anyone would fall for it. If anyone wants to see the listing I saved it as a screen shot and can send you a copy.

Bob Freeman
Elliott Bay Bicycles
2116 Western Ave
Seattle, WA 98121