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Hello Everyone,
Just wanted to add my .2 cents. I work in law enforcement and I would avoid accepting any type of money order (even postal and american express) for a watch. These can be counterfeited and with the way today's banks work, you could deposit this and not find out unitl 7-14 days later when the bank takes back its money from you that you wre scammed. Yes, a buyer could still reverse charges on you if they payed with a credit card but in that case the credit card company has to then contact you to find out your side of the story before they reverse the charge on you. In this case pictures of the watch, shipping receipts, copies of tracking information and signature upon delivery become your best friends.

When thought of in this way the 3% fee Paypal charges doesn't seem like much to avoid all the headaches, specially with big ticket items.
 
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I have seen many comments about "post count" from numerous people popping up on WUS when it comes to purhcasing a watch from a seller and all I will say is that if you are going to take into account post count, do it for the ENTIRE community as Boots says. I know Boots on other fora as well. MWR being one. Heck, most of you won't even know me here. I use a different screen name here as this is an older screen name. On other forums, I'm John_in_Tn. The only consisten thing between my 2 screen names is my email address.

Look at my count...Some of you would view this as LOW for a seller yet if take into account all the other fora that I'm a member of, and review the actual content of my posts on this forum as well as the others you would see that I have a high post count.

The list up top while being helpful to some is a bit.....paranoid to a certain degree. So are some of the comments about facebook, passport photos, DL photos etc.

#1. Someone asks for my facebook info...sorry out of luck. Never been to facebook and don't ever plan on going, nor twitter, or myspace or any of those other places.

#2. Forget about me giving you my passport or DL picture.

#3. Newspaper? Huh? Like Boots, I can't remember when I last bought a physical newspaper.

#4. Like Boots, if as a seller I feel you are wasting my time with mundane questions trying to make certain I am who I say I am without doing any research on your end, I very well might tell you to take a hike as I have others who will buy from me.

I might not be a dealer or a collector to the degree of others on this or any other forum but I have made enough high dollar sales to know that my reputation is sound and I am who I am. I'll assist any interested buyer in establishing that using the COMMUNITY but will not jump through hoops to do so.

Just my 5 cents.
 

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Re: How to help AVOID being scammed cashiers check

I agree a USPS money order or bank cashier's check can be faked. But I will accept them. If it's a USPS MO just bring to the PO to verify. A cashier's check I will call the bank and verify it was from them. Plus do some checking on the person sending it.
 

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If you want to accept a cashier's check or a money order do so but just make it perfectly clear to the buyer that it will delay shipping the watch by a week till all the funds clear.

I only will accept a USPS money order and I'll hit the post office late in the day when they have cash on hand. I'll just cash it right there. If I have two due to the USPS limitations on amount, I'll hit them twice. I've already told the buyer to expect a delay.

As for a cashier's check, I deposit it at my bank and I'll wait. Even after the funds show up in my account I wait and I'll wait, and I'll wait. After around a week, I'll confirm with the bank.

Of course, IMO, if the buyer will send a cashier's check then they should be willing to do a money wire at which point I will let them know I do accept that. This is of course after they have verified references that are requested.
 

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New Scam ALERT

There are 2 new forum scams that I want you to keep an eye out for. The first was reported by a member here and these are the details. We think they are "farming" for information to perpetrate fraud: These are messages that we received from a member:

I responded to this (PM and email) as soon as I saw it. in fact I offered him $30 because I saw that someone else had beat me to it. I also asked for paypal info so that I could make payment.

Here is his response via PM:

<quote> it sells for $25 including shipment.shipment is by Swiss Air and it takes a maximum of 6 hours to reach you wherever you are located in the world.so if you are interested,get back to me with your details like full names,address,phone number,etc so i can start immediately with the shipping process.please contact me directly using [email protected]

thanks and waiting.
WOW!

Two more emails while I was typing the ast alert to you guys.

Email 1-
<quote>all i am asking for the watch is $25 and not $30.you won't be paying the money to me but to the shipping company.please get back to me with your details like full names,address,phone number,etc so i could commence immediately with the shipping process.when i arrange with the shipping company to ship the watch to your location,you will receive an email from them telling you how to pay the money.

thanks and waiting<quote>

Second Email-
<quote>you won't pay the money to me.you will pay it to the shipping company.they will receive the money on my behalf.you will be given the opportunity to track your item online.
Hello-

in response to your PM.

I have already sent one email staing that I would take it.

Next step... tell me the address linked to your paypal account and I will tranfer the funds.

Paypal will then release to you my shipping address, etc.

Thank you, *******

Now I'm really thinking he's a bad guy. (he's calling himself John Wayne BTW) Starting to feel like what he really wants is peoples personal info for purposes of identity theft... and charging the victim $25 for the priviledge of being scammed.

Do this ring the same way for you guys?
THE SECOND SCAM:

A wire transfer seems fine right because it's a wire. Well scammers are now depositing funds into your bank account that appear to be a wire. But they aren't a wire, they are deposits. They will show up in your account, sometimes for weeks. That is, until the bank finds out the funds are no good. By that time, you have sent the watch on it's way and the bank has taken the money back from you. So if you receive a wire, make absolutely sure it is a wire transfer and that the funds are clear and good before sending the watch out.
 

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Re: New Scam ALERT

I just want to say thanks to the mods who spend their time making this a safer place to trade and practice our hobby. I think the occasional 'hand slap' I recieve for overstepping a rule or pushing limits as a small price to pay for what they give us in return.

I personally visit many other watch forum sites, and find them all enjoyable and informative. However, wen it comes to trading, none help me to feel safer through sound advice, constant policing for fraudulant posts, and the "watch deals" forum where we can search out references based on the experiences of others.

Watchuseek stands heads taller than the other sites for this reason. Thank you mods for helping to make it so. That is why Watchuseek is my "home" forum site.

And to my fellow WIS some advice... don't just judge a post foul and say, "H*ll no, I'm not falling for that.", then click out and forget about it. Hit the TRAINGLE. Warn others. We have to play our part in keeping this a safer place too.

Leo
 

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Hi
I Pm'd Broker and he said ok to post. As an ex cop I have seen some cons and am never surprised, if someone wants something badly enough they will try until the get one..even one!

To help out on the anti-scamming front add this to your list, or make it part of the first step, either way it can help make or break the deal.

Have the seller set the date and time to your choice, have the seller put the watch at pre-set time onto that days paper or month & year calendar.

IF this sounds a bit Proof of Life stuff... yep...its not your life its your money and you worked for it, so protect it. If the seller can't come to the party stalls/delays, all bets are off and advise your friendly local Mod and have the advert removed etc etc.
Hope this helps!!
Roger
 

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If I were an administrator of this forum I would consider creating some "safe deal" mechanism, like for an extra $100 I can send my money to an specially assigned and trusted Forum member, and then, if i receive the watch all right, that member transfers my funds further to the seller, and leaves extra $50 for Forum needs. Guess that can protect buyers as well as sellers who are afraid that the buyer would try to get his money back from paypal after he receives the watch.
That is just wrought with problems, too many of which I wont even begin to touch because it all comes down to just one: liability

There's no way a forum will open itself to the liabilities of being involved as a third party in a financial transaction. Assuming all transactions go according as planned, there is still a lot of work to make sure everything goes right. Now add in the time/effort of straightening out transactions that sour. It would be a nightmare, and if I was a mod, i would decline to be a part of such a process, because not only would this forum be open to liabilities, but I personally would be a possible target as well.
 

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As someone who it appears has been scammed recently, I would say the biggest thing to avoid as a buyer is the wire transfer.

As previously discussed, there really is no easy way of getting you money back.

Even the most trusted seller can get hit by a bus. How do you hope to get you money back? If they live on their own you are stuck.

I'm hinging my hopes on the Small Claims court. If I can't get my money back i'm looking at a $4000 hit :(
 

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Kind of in a "questioning" frame of mind about this one......

If you receive PayPal, then transfer into your account, THEN the buyer contests the transaction, doesn't PayPal have the right (power) to dip into your account for those funds while investigating?

I have a watch for sale here: https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=373486

This brand new registrant wants to buy: Milo81, ZERO posts!

He lives in Singapore and is willing to pay the additional cost of shipping. Wants to use PayPal and I told him I would ship after transfer of funds from PayPal to my account.

Also wants a declared value of about 1/3 the sales price to avoid duties/taxes...whatever. Told him I would NOT take the hit on the difference if ANYTHING went wrong and he agreed.

How many red flags do you see here?
 

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Kind of in a "questioning" frame of mind about this one......

If you receive PayPal, then transfer into your account, THEN the buyer contests the transaction, doesn't PayPal have the right (power) to dip into your account for those funds while investigating?

I have a watch for sale here: https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=373486

This brand new registrant wants to buy: Milo81, ZERO posts!

He lives in Singapore and is willing to pay the additional cost of shipping. Wants to use PayPal and I told him I would ship after transfer of funds from PayPal to my account.

Also wants a declared value of about 1/3 the sales price to avoid duties/taxes...whatever. Told him I would NOT take the hit on the difference if ANYTHING went wrong and he agreed.

How many red flags do you see here?
I see 3 red flags /issues.

1) obviously the ZERO posts..... I would atleast try to get solid references from verifiable traders or the biggy to me is get an EBAY id from the buyer ....verify a good ebay record, and verify by communicating through Ebay's messaging system, which I have done before with a buyer from singapore.

2) If the item actually gets lost in shipping, Paypal would issue a default judgement of refund for the FULL amount back to the buyer. And your only 'possbile' recourse is insurance which you only declared a 1/3 value.... which is never guaranteed by Postal Insurance even if they were fully at fault of losing your item.

I would never just take the word of the buyer that they would take the hit of $1200 US, in the event of a lost item.....AFTER they got their full refund from Paypal. :rodekaart

3) If it's a fraudulent paypal payment, determined after shipping......the seller is always screwed, obviously
 

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I think I have been had, but I didn't do my due diligence, so I only have myself to blame.

I was paid via paypal in a timely manner, shipped international via USPS (which doesn't provide tracking unless it is express). Item was shipped and hasn't been received and buyer is screaming for a refund. Thing is, I know I won't get the watches or money back once they are received.

I Just looked and this person signed up 2 weeks before the sale, had 0 posts, and an unverified paypal address. I was just in a hurry to make the sales as it was a hectic time. I am just out of luck?
I think it best to always ship insured and registered/tracked. And make it a compulsory part of the deal.
As for stopping low post count members and banning overseas buyers:
NEGATIVES:
* I'm low on the post count here
* I am in Australia
POSITIVES:
* I have 98.4% pos feedback on ebay (1 idiot out of 130 deals, what do u do?)
* I buy and sell watches from all over the world
* I have money
Would you want to exclude me from all the fun?????

So the ebay feedback and a proper email address is a good idea.
 

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As a new and low posting member, I find it rather intimidating attempting to garner these "respectable" post counts. I'm on here pouring over threads but I'm often rather abashed to volunteer my input; first, I'm new, second, the fund of knowledge that so many members here appear to be, make one who is new to formalized horolphilia near-postless at the dire fear of sounding rather stupid.

How is someone like me to persuade a seller that I'm an honest fellow?

I don't buy a lot of things on ebay.
(12 purchases in two years?)

I post very little.
(I rarely think my thoughts are worth immortalizing in kilobytes)

I think sending my DL or Passport is ridiculous.

There's got to be a better solution...How can I begin to purchase here if to purchase you've got to have references, but to get references you've got to make purchases. A paradox of watches.

*side note: I made my first purchase on here a few days ago, I'm very hopeful I've not been swindled. I'm excited for it to show, if it does that is.
 

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How is someone like me to persuade a seller that I'm an honest fellow?
I think the best you can do is offer to provide all of the information a seller asks of you (within reason--I agree, no sending passport/license photos) and to make every overture that shows you are a legit buyer.

One thing I have found instills confidence in sellers on deals I do is that I ship to my work address. Not only is my work address a secure, "real" location (a law firm and confirmed PayPal address), but it allows the seller to confirm the existence and address of my firm on the web, and to access my profile on the firm's website.

I realize this may not work for you, but it is something I've come up with that seems to work. I acknowledge I have a high post count, but I think my willingness to be transparent about where the watch is going probably does more to get a deal done than my post count.
 

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How about agreeing to a price, seller lists on ebay with a 'buy it now' and the purchaser buys it and pays the sellers fees?
That way the deal is protected.
 

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I think sending my DL or Passport is ridiculous.

There's got to be a better solution...How can I begin to purchase here if to purchase you've got to have references, but to get references you've got to make purchases. A paradox of watches.

*side note: I made my first purchase on here a few days ago, I'm very hopeful I've not been swindled. I'm excited for it to show, if it does that is.

KVG, Sending your DL or Passport is a no-no. ID fraud is rife anyway, why send your life to someone you don't know. Spammers buy and sell email addy's like lollies from the corner store. As an ex cop anyone asks me for a copy of that stuff and I say no thanks, even in a job i/view !!

I agree another method has to be found. The number of Conus only sales for instance, is this because sellers have been scammed and don't want the hassles??
As I'm in Australia and as a few of my fellow Aussies have pointed out, we all miss out and thats not what WUS is about!

My two cents worth
Regards to all, Roger
 

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As a new and low posting member, I find it rather intimidating attempting to garner these "respectable" post counts. I'm on here pouring over threads but I'm often rather abashed to volunteer my input; first, I'm new, second, the fund of knowledge that so many members here appear to be, make one who is new to formalized horolphilia near-postless at the dire fear of sounding rather stupid.

How is someone like me to persuade a seller that I'm an honest fellow?

I don't buy a lot of things on ebay.
(12 purchases in two years?)

I post very little.
(I rarely think my thoughts are worth immortalizing in kilobytes)

I think sending my DL or Passport is ridiculous.

There's got to be a better solution...How can I begin to purchase here if to purchase you've got to have references, but to get references you've got to make purchases. A paradox of watches.

*side note: I made my first purchase on here a few days ago, I'm very hopeful I've not been swindled. I'm excited for it to show, if it does that is.
I agree with this. I am a member of the military, many forums with thousands of posts, have an ebay and purchase 99% of the stuff I do online. This will probably be the only post I ever make outside of "taken" or "you have PM." I am way too busy (I have a 2 year old, work full time, and just finished my BA which the watch is my gift to myself) and have way too many hobbies to establish an "identity" here and am just reading and lurking and looking for my first nice watch. Hopefully when I find the watch I am looking for my low post count doesn't deter the seller too much.
 

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This will be kind of stream of consciousness so bear with me. Also, apologies in advance if anything is a repeat.

If you are buying and preparing to send money for a watch, something else you can do is check out their IP address. Specifically, get the full header on the incoming email, look at the XOriginating IP address (last hop) and run it for location/ISP. At the very least, if the guy says he and his watch are in Iowa, and the IP address comes up as Ukraine- there is an issue.

Try running a Google search for the email address plus the "@" sign but without the domain i.e. search the term "[email protected]" This way, if the bad guy is using multiple domains i.e. GMail, MSN, etc. they will show up. Conversely, if [email protected] shows up with some regularity in other forums, discussions, etc. if may lend creedence to who they are.

Wire transfers = bad juju. Since Western Union can be picked up at a WU location anywhere in the world (at least the last time I checked), don't use them. You may intend for the money to go to a location in Iowa, but the bad guy can cash out in Vancouver.

Some resources:

Internet Crime Complaint Center's prevention tips
http://www.ic3.gov/preventiontips.aspx


Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm

(They have the link to get the actual free credit report. You can do it online, believe it or not)



Postal Inspection Service Fraud Prevention Videos
http://www.deliveringtrust.com/


Ultimate White Pages
http://www.theultimates.com/white/


USDOJ Inmate Locator
http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp

Provides information on current inmates, but can also show if someone has been incarcerated within the federal system since 1982. I know it works since one of the guys I arrested several years ago (and has been released) is still listed. It won't tell you the offense. For other states, Google "_______ State Inmate Lookup." Some states will give you the information as to the crime.

Ripoff Report
http://www.ripoffreport.com/

I'll check my list of open source websites when I get to the office tomorrow and see if I missed anything. There is a lot one can do without running NCIC checks. :)
 

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How about agreeing to a price, seller lists on ebay with a 'buy it now' and the purchaser buys it and pays the sellers fees?
That way the deal is protected.
This is pretty smart. I wish I had thought of that when I bought a watch here.
Both parties get protected and both parties increase feedback score when transaction completes.
Sounds win win to me.
 
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