Last updated: 26 June 2005

Subject:	Scam Awareness, Always be Cautious!
Sent:	Friday, June 24, 2005 10:15:43
From:	M. J. The Madjordainain (madjordainian@insightbb.com)
I don't know weather you would want to post this or not. but I know a
lot of folks looking for good information come to your site.  As you
know I have really begun to take a more serious interest in my astronomy
'hobby' and as such I always have an eye out for the that "scope of my
dreams".  Recently Meade's Factory Outlet had a new Meade LX50 10"
complete package up for sale at Ebay.  I bid on it and some one else
wanted it a little worse than I did, I was the last bidder prior to
their winning bid.  No biggy, I wasn't willing to pay as much for it as
the winner was, I have a decent 8" Newtonian F5 reflector!  Well a few
days after the auction was over with I got a very official looking
notification from the "Meade Factory Outlet" stating that the winning
bidder for some reason could not complete the sale so I was being
offered the package for my last bid, which was accurately listed in the
offer.  I became a little suspicious as in the notice it said not to
"reply" to the email message but to reply to the address given in the
body of the message.

I responded to the listed address with a lower offer out of curiosity
and received another very real looking message from 'Ebay' stating to
send the buyer my shipping info and they would contact me with the
payment info. Bada-bing when I received the payment info lo and behold
the 'Meade Representative' needed me to send the payment via Western
Union to Wilshire England!  Hmmmm, damned funny there Mr./Ms. 'rep',
Meade's factory is in California here in the U.S.A. and on the original
listing they accepted much more standard, traceable, and controllable
methods of payment.  I contacted Ebay's fraud investigation division and
sent them a copy of the message with the payment instructions, 'rep's'
address & such, Ebay Identified it as a fraudulent set up, I doubt they
will pursue it much.  A shame really as I told the 'Meade Rep' I could
not get to a Western Union office/center for at least 24 hrs so not to
look for payment for at least 24 - 30 hrs.  Needless to say they emailed
me not to be concerned with the payment delay, it was OK!  Interestingly
as of this writing that individual is not aware Ebay has the pick
up/delivery address the "Meade Rep" gave and could easily have set them
up for apprehension!

My point is to advise folks to be very wary when dealing with purchases
over the Internet,  The realistic presentation and appearance of these
messages was really authentic looking.  This "rep" could have easily
bilked a novice or less suspecting person out of their money.  If you
decide to post this somewhere on you site and are interested in a little
more detail I could forward you the messages I received from "Ebay" so
others would know just how realistic a fraud can make these things
appear, they looked 'good'.  In short let folks know to be cautious!

The Greenhorn

AKA: Mark Jordan

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