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johnrowe

chinacellphones - Possible scammer selling high-end laptops

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johnrowe

Hi,

 

I wanted to post here to hear what all of you think.

 

(I bought a laptop yesterday [no payment yet] and then became suspicious, called BOB and they advised me to NOT make payment. Here is my story.)

 

During the weekend I was looking to buy a new laptop. I decided to look for the biggest baddest NEW laptop. On Sunday night I bid on a "HP i7 EliteBook 8740w " .This laptop retails for around R 34 000. Even so, I decided to stop bidding at R 9 600. Someone else then went on to win the bid.

 

The next morning (Yesterday) I receive a personal offer from this seller to take the "HP i7 EliteBook 8740w " at the R 9 600 that I ended my bid at. I looked at the personal offer and decided to ask the seller if he can instead sell me the Qosmio x500 which is actually the laptop I would have taken if I had a choice. He replied saying that he will sell me the x500 for R 7000. This laptop new retails for R 18 000+.

 

I then told him to create a BUY NOW so that I can make payment right away. He replied that the BUY NOW was created. I then went to the BUY NOW for the x500 laptop and clicked the BUY NOW button. I immediately went to my FNB online banking to make payment but FNB Online banking was undergoing maintenance which prevented me from adding a new recipient. I then called chinacellphones to inform him of the situation. I also told him that i will keep trying to do the payment. He said all is well.

 

I kept checking FNB by logging in but they were still under maintenance by close of business. I then emailed the seller to inform him that FNB banking is still down and I even send him 4 screenshots from results in twitter, Google, and FNB showing the problem with FNB online banking. It seems it was down for everyone. Anyway, I also emailed the seller saying that as soon as I get up in the morning that I will check if online banking is fully functional and if it is, I will make payment. I told him that if online banking is still down I will go in to the bank and make payment from there.

 

In the meantime I decided to take a closer look at chinacellphones as he is a Verified Seller, 158 Ratings (98.17% positive). Here is what made me suspicious.

 

1) He received positive ratings for cheap products that he sold previously but have not received a single positive, or negative, or neutral rating for any of the laptops he sold recently. If someone is so excited at getting a truly INCREDIBLE deal on a laptop why would they not give any rating.

2) All the buyers of his laptops prior to recently is all from buyers with very low ratings (0 - 2). It made me wonder if he could not perhaps have used these additional accounts to make it look as if sales for these laptops went through so that he can later on run a scam.

3) He also received allot of positive ratings for purchases he did from other sellers on BOB. When I looked at these I noticed that the only purchase he ever made was a ton of Recipe PDFs and the like. He basically chose 3 or so sellers and bought all their PDFs at like R 4 each. This to me looks like someone doing this to quickly boost their ratings.

4) The laptops he sells always end at VERY LOW prices (R1 no reserve auctions only). The x500 as an example goes for $ 1200+ if you buy directly from Toshiba. How can he then sell these for far less than the manufacturer?

 

I then decided that I would get up in the morning but that I would call BOB first to hear if they could look into this for me, as they obviously deal with this stuff all the time and they would then obviously have a better eye for spotting a possible problem.

 

I called and spoke to Bennet. He told me that he will look into it. I asked him if he can perhaps call one or two of the people that bought laptops from this seller just to check if they are happy with their purchase. He said he would and I said I would call back in an hour or two. When I called back Bennet told me NOT to go ahead with the payment. He says he just spoke to one of the buyers and this guy told him that he has not received his laptop yet.

 

I already had chinacellphones added as a recipient by this time and was ready to make payment but will not now based on BOB feedback.

 

Please tell me if you think I am just being paranoid or if this could be an incredibly clever CON busy happening on BOB.

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lilythepink

If Bennet has warned you - then be warned!!

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Wild Olive Art

Don't pay !! You know the saying - if it's too good to be true , then it probably is ! The fact that he made you a personal offer on this expensive item should immediately concern you. You seem to have a gut feeling that all is not right - take note of it !

 

I and many other buyers had a similar experience with a seller . He was selling a number of very expensive items. I bid on a digital camera and at the last minute lost the bid , however the seller made me a personal offer on the same item.

On enquiring how he could make me an offer on an item that had been sold , he responded that the original buyer had changed his mind.

He used the same story on all of his items and made offers to everybody who had bid on items that day.

We all got scammed , some buyers out of a substantial amount of money.

 

At the time of bidding , the seller in question had 100% positive ratings - he had obviously gone to the effort of selling a few cheap items in order to get buyer confidence before he pulled his scam.

Have a look - All ratings received by dreamerz on bidorbuy.co.za

 

Don't get caught out like we did !

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kyle2

Well done for the PI work, most people wouldn't go to the trouble, I personally would always err on the side of caution.

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brands online

no action from BOB on the seller's account yet, so perhaps not too serious :wondering:?

 

The seller is 'verified' so BOB protects you upto R3000. Maybe give him a deposit of only that so long?:thinking: But if they've advised you against it, rather not.

I would personally hang onto my sure bucks. You've done your research well and it looks like a lot of planning and execution has gone into this possible scam and I agree 79 items sold, no ratings on them yet does seem strange.

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Guest Guest

jis what if we could get hold of the guy i would hit the thousands of rands out of him goodness

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johnrowe

@ lilythepink - You are absolutely correct. If Bennet warned me I should be warned. They deal with this stuff so if anyone would know it is Bennet.

 

@ Wild Olive Art - It did sound to good to be true and especially when I received the personal offer which was strange because he was relisting items saying that Item is relisted because a previous buyer did not pay. This made it sound like he's got one item but then the personal offer which obviously went out to possibly the last 4 -5 runners up on the bid. So, suddenly he's got many of these laptops.

 

It is such a pitty that sellers like "dreamerz" cannot see the value in honest continious business and instead opt for the quick scam. Also, they put so much effort in to these scams that I wonder how much success they could have had if they spend the same amount of effort on an honest business.

 

@ kyle2 - I agree. Better to err on the side of caution. It amazes me that most people don't seem to bother with checking very carefully before parting with their money. I guess the need for a "To Good to be True" is what lands them in trouble. It is exactly this that almost landed me in a potential mess.

 

@ brands online - I have decided to follow Bennet's expert advice and not pay anything. I am now keeping an eye on what happens. Time will tell if my suspicions was indeed correct, which I suspect it is.

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johnrowe
jis what if we could get hold of the guy i would hit the thousands of rands out of him goodness

 

This is exactly how I feel. If he is successful at getting a bunch of people to pay him via his "Personal Offers" then he would have collected ALLOT of money by now seeing that each person would have paid between R 7000 - R 12 000 via EFT.

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admin
no action from BOB on the seller's account yet, so perhaps not too serious :wondering:?

Hi All,

 

Amongst other actions, the seller was restricted from listing items after Bennet spoke to johnrowe :wink:

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SProducts

I think you should thank FNB for being offline, that really saved you. It doesnt look good at all, just saw one user has rated negative already with comment "Supposed to post and send tracking number yesterday. DID NOT! Now won't answer phone or reply to sms. Worried."

Worse, I cant view the listing because its a personal offer, you can imagine how many personal offers he did and how much he must have got.

 

You said he is verified, when I checked his profile is not verified.

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johnrowe
I think you should thank FNB for being offline, that really saved you. It doesnt look good at all, just saw one user has rated negative already with comment "Supposed to post and send tracking number yesterday. DID NOT! Now won't answer phone or reply to sms. Worried."

Worse, I cant view the listing because its a personal offer, you can imagine how many personal offers he did and how much he must have got.

 

You said he is verified, when I checked his profile is not verified.

 

And when FNB was offline I was really frustrated but then thought, I would like to see if this turns out to be a blessing in disguise and what do you know - A blessing indeed. Helped me realize that sometimes when things go wrong they are actually going right.

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johnrowe

I see a second Negative Rating just appeared.

 

"Doesn't return my calls or sms's and was supposed to get tracking number!!! he owes me R10 000 or the laptop as agreed!!"

 

I wonder what the TOTAL losses are gonna be on this one. Easily R 100 000+ I would guess & to think I was about to hand this guy another R 7000.

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johnrowe
You said he is verified, when I checked his profile is not verified.

 

I noticed this as well. However, I have a PDF and screenshots that shows his VERIFIED status. I took these as I was doing the BUY NOW thinking that it might come in handy if anything goes wrong.

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johnrowe

3rd Negative Rating.

 

"Tracking number promised on Monday 4/4/11 Nothing!! Bid or Buy "Verified seller" please investigate."

 

From the 3 Negative Ratings so far we are looking at R 25 355 losses. Although one of the Negative Ratings is a "Personal Offer" which prevents us from seeing the amount, I can just check what this buyer's last bid was on the auction preceding the "Personal Offer". You can see here:

 

HP - ***************HP i7 Pavilion dv7-3190ei Entertainment Notebook ************* was sold for R6,551.00 on 1 Apr at 14:02 by chinacellphones in Pretoria / Tshwane (ID:35565433)

 

It shows "Runners-up - R6,500.00 on 1 Apr 13:57, by naveenpather (45 rating1.gif) ".

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Seeds for Africa

A lucky escape indeed!!!

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blueray

Hi, Last week i bid on chinacellphones items sony vaio and hp laptop, and forunatly i lost both auctions:smile:

day before yesterday he offer me both laptops on personal offer, and i ask him just to check, can i pay cash and collect both laptops:toung:

and he refused it, reason>>> (laptops comes from my supplier and its not possible to be collected) Though prices was less then a half of original prices, and he can get easily over 12k, why he is offering me for 7.5k. so i decide not to be greedy. :blink1:

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Guest Guest
Hi,

 

He replied that the BUY NOW was created. I then went to the BUY NOW for the x500 laptop and clicked the BUY NOW button. I immediately went to my FNB online banking to make payment but FNB Online banking was undergoing maintenance which prevented me from adding a new recipient. I then called chinacellphones to inform him of the situation. I also told him that i will keep trying to do the payment. He said all is well.

 

I kept checking FNB by logging in but they were still under maintenance by close of business. I then emailed the seller to inform him that FNB banking is still down and I even send him 4 screenshots from results in twitter, Google, and FNB showing the problem with FNB online banking. It seems it was down for everyone.

 

Anyway, I also emailed the seller saying that as soon as I get up in the morning that I will check if online banking is fully functional and if it is, I will make payment. I told him that if online banking is still down I will go in to the bank and make payment from there.

 

Please tell me if you think I am just being paranoid or if this could be an incredibly clever CON busy happening on BOB.

 

That's truly Providence! WOW!! :awesome:

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brands online
Though prices was less then a half of original prices, and he can get easily over 12k, why he is offering me for 7.5k. so i decide not to be greedy. :blink1:

 

a wise decision indeed :smile1:

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ATA STAMP CENTRE

This seller was verified.BOB will have all his details-Cases must be opened by the buyers concerned and he must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law-It is sickening to see people conned out of their hard earned money-

NEIL

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Reynet Trading

It looks to me like this guy jumped ship..

 

6 negatives and probably counting:evil:

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ATA STAMP CENTRE
It looks to me like this guy jumped ship..

 

6 negatives and probably counting:evil:

Heres to hoping he drowns-:evil:

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kyle2

12 Negs already, very clever individual, 'How to make 100K in just a week at the expense of others' should be the title of his Obituary!

I'd seek him out with nefarious intent!:evil:

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brands online

There are some seriously angry individuals over this out there and rightly so. This is alot of money that has changed hands once again. I really feel for buyers who get taken and also for all the other honest, legitimate sellers. This casts such a bad light on all of us who really work hard to make an honest living.

Sad, sad, sad...

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Meilan

A similar thing happened in 2009 with a seller by the name of "scooters". They also managed to screw lots of people out their hard cash. I had lost 2.7k for an Elite Xbox. Up to now the investigation is still on going despite BOBs attempts to recover the money. There were loads of buyers that lost out with that seller on TVs, home theatres, etc. Truth is the legalities around these things drag on and if this seller has taken the cash it’s unlikely it would be recovered but hope it is.

 

I was also set to purchase a Toshiba X500 from this seller and even contacted BOB around a personal offer that closed. One thing I can recommend is checking the ratings from buyers on similar items. If the seller has not sold any big electronic items before rather not bid.

 

Real shame, but it happens. Feel awful for those who lost out – know the feeling.

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MsPlod

Check the ratings...

 

Really sad to read about this! Just had a quick look at the seller's ratings and most of them come from e-books and e-recipes (R1 a pop with no postage).

 

Always read the ratings folks :sad2:

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