Scammer on Facebook.

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  • Scammer on Facebook.
  • Hi all. Thought I better report a scammer on Facebook I’ve come in to contact with. He called himself Craig Roberts but it seems he may actually be called Paul Maning and comes from the Liverpool/Southport area.

    What he does is reply to a bike ad saying he’s responding on behalf of his friend who doesn’t use FB. He agrees the sale then says his mate will pay via Paypal, which they do so you then send the bike to the address he supplied. I was told the buyer came from Northern Ireland but was studying in Liverpool hence the Liverpool postal address. All well and good, job done…..

    Except what he’s actually done is set up a spoof bike ad of his own, sold the fake bike to another seller then given your Paypal details for payment. The buyer pays the money but no bike ever turns up because it’s gone to the scammer.

    The first I knew about this was when his ‘mate’ contacted me via my PP address asking where his bike was. It all then unravelled from there. Unfortunately for the buyer he sent the money via friends and family so has little come back. He is going to the Police armed with all the information I had and his own so hopefully it’ll get resolved but If you get someone wanting to buy for a friend I’d recommend contacting the friend directly!

    The bike was a 2017 Orange P7 in green btw, with Yari forks and Hope Enduro 35 rims on blue Pro4 hubs and a mainly SLX 1×11 groupset so keep your eyes peeled.

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    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Subscriber
    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Unfortunately for the buyer he sent the money via friends and family so has little come back

    or sympathy from me

    lucky for you though…

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    So the thwarted buyer used PayPal gift for what I assume was not an inconsiderable amount of money, looks like a good reason for both buyers and sellers not to use the gift option to me.

    Premier Icon JAG
    Subscriber

    I would struggle to keep his money.

    I know it’s not your fault as such but I’d feel a bit guilty keeping his cash and knowing he hasn’t got anything for it.

    Clever scam though 🙁

    zilog6128
    Member

    Even though the buyer paid through PPG, if the funding came from a bank account or CC rather than PayPal balance (which I would assume as presumably it’s not a trivial amount), can he not request a chargeback from the bank/CC company due to it being a fraudulent transaction?

    There is a provision during the PayPal checkout process to specify an alternative delivery address. OP is at fault due to sending item to random scammer address! Wouldn’t count chickens just yet unfortunately. Messy situation indeed.

    I’ve been through something similar in the past over a pair of wheels. Myself and someone else thought we were buying the same pair of wheels. The other lad was doing a swap + cash and I sent money to the scammer, I received the other lads wheels, which were obviously not what I was expecting and the other lad got nothing. Luckily I paid by PP goods but the other guy had not, was about £60 IIRC. When we’d realised what had happened the other guy had got in touch with me and I sent his wheels back as they were no good to me and doing the decent thing, unfortunately he didn’t get his money back but I did. The scammer turned out to be a guy called ‘Adam Rees’ or something who has actually done jail time for similar scamming offences. Looks like it may be a fairly common scam.

    TL:DR – Experienced similar but with wheels, I got money back, scammer ended up doing jail time due to previous similar offences.

    Edit: Mine was through pinkbike

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    OP is at fault due to sending item to random scammer address!

    This, athough it’s early and I can’t quite get my head around the legals of the situation, nor am I any criminal law expert.

    Don’t you need to give the guy his money back?

    Even though the buyer paid through PPG, if the funding came from a bank account or CC rather than PayPal balance (which I would assume as presumably it’s not a trivial amount), can he not request a chargeback from the bank/CC company due to it being a fraudulent transaction?

    IIRC no. Your bank paid paypal, so as far as the bank is concerned unless paypal went bankrupt without giving you the service you paid for then it’s fine. Just like if you used a credit card to get a cash advance out of a machine then spent it on something you wouldn’t be covered.

    Don’t you need to give the guy his money back?

    Part of me agrees with you, but the OP isn’t the scammer, he’s “lost” his bike to the scam but at least got paid. Someone else was the victim and someone else the perpetrator, the OP is just an innocent 3rd party. I’d wait and see if the police treat it any differently.

    Surely the address you sent it to must give the police a clue?

    Regards charge backs and PayPal. Each bank and card provider has there own policy regards charge backs and PayPal, generally though it’ll work, especially if you’ve used a credit card. So the buyer who sent cash would be able to get his money back.

    However!!!! The op will be on the receiving end of the charge back – not the original scammer.

    PayPal will be issued the charge back, PayPal will notify the OP and the you’ll have 30 days to ‘prove’ the deal wasn’t fraudulent and will put the OP ‘s PayPal account in the negative (what ever the amount was plus fees) and then chase the OP for about 12months to put funds in your PayPal account. Unless you payoff the debt, you won’t be able to use PayPal for any transaction. Eventually PayPal will hand/sell your debt to a collection agency who will threaten bailiffs, eventually they provide a panos and save 30% deal or alternatively take you to court.

    Thats the short version anyway. Oh and PayPal prob won’t look at any evidence it was fraudulent or even provide the disputing bank with it – they’d rather keep there deals and working relationships with visa/Mastercard etc.

    Imo the op’s best bet is to first gather as much evidence as possible, go to the police and get a crime number. And of the police won’t action anything take the guy to small claims….. Even then there is no garrenteed return of property or cash.

    zilog6128
    Member

    Someone else was the victim

    No. I know the OP’s post reads like that, but this scam relies on 2 people being conned – there are 2 victims here. And as above, if the buyer’s bank or CC company decides they want the money back, PayPal are just going to take it & bill the OP for it.

    IANAL.. but I don’t think the OP has any legal right to the money, and if the charge back doesn’t work, the “buyer” could claim his money through a small claims court.

    The OP owes the buyer his money.

    Scammer owes the OP his bike back

    Unfortunately, I suspect it’ll be easier for the buyer to get his money from the OP, than it will for the OP to get his bike from the scammer.

    I’d act quickly trying to get your bike from the scammer, don’t assume you can just keep the money and it’s the other guys problem.

    .

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I don’t understand the cleverness of the scam…

    bike goes to a “Liverpool postal address”

    which is “the scammer”‘s address??

    So, you know where he lives then?

    I don’t understand the cleverness of the scam…

    bike goes to a “Liverpool postal address”

    which is “the scammer”‘s address??

    So, you know where he lives then?

    More likely to be some vulnerable 3rd party like a drug addict who owed the scammer a debt, or just someone elderly or with learning difficulties the scammer ‘befriended’. The same way county lines gangs operate.

    Or just didn’t give his real name and a fake facebook profile, police knock on his door, is Mr X in, no never heard of him. The OP can’t pick him out of a lineup and he just claims the bike was never delivered and must have been intercepted by the scammer while he was out at work.

    Hi all. Thanks for the responses and some interesting points raised.

    Yep, I’ve checked the postal address and it’s a residential house. Obviously there’s a strong possibility that it’s not his house but the other party now has the details.

    I’m certainly not comfortable with the situation and if it’s as it seems I am gutted for the bloke and obviously concerned about any liability I have but from my point of view I offered the bike for sale, negotiated a price with a buyer who then paid for the goods using a method they said they would so I sent the goods to the address the buyer asked it to be sent to. I have screen shots of the full conversation between myself and the buyer along with the original ad. I also have all the postage information and anything else relevant.

    The one nagging doubt I have is that the original bloke did respond to me after I told him his ‘mate’ was chucking allegations about and he brushed it off as a fall out with a friend. Now I don’t believe that but I am suspicious of everything now and going by how detailed the scam was am worried about a double bluff where they are mates and are just trying it on.

    We’ll see….

    On the point above I agree that the address is probably dodgy but the buyer did give me confirmation that the goods had been received so that at least covers that.

    sarawak
    Member

    Hi all. Thought I better report a scammer on Facebook I’ve come in to contact with. He called himself Craig Roberts but it seems he may actually be called Paul Maning and comes from the Liverpool/Southport area.

    Hi. I live in that area. Anything I can do to help…short of getting my head kicked in!!!

    Just checking back after the comments above about a delivery address. The only address I was given was the one it got sent to. The Paypal transaction does not have an alternative address, I imagine because it was a ‘gift’ transaction.

    I didn’t ask for it to be sent ‘gift’ btw, the ‘buyer’ offered before I brought it up. I would normally just ask the buyer to cover fees.

    Thanks Sara but it doesn’t look like a particularly nice part of town going by google maps so I couldn’t guarantee no fisty cuffs!  Keeping an eye out for local sales would be ace though, the blue Hope hubs should give it away.

    i’ve had a few ebay sales recently that i had the buyer message within minutes of paying saying can i ship to a different address always in liverpool, (a little red brick terrace on google maps.)

    on both occasions i instantly refunded the paypal payment and requested the buyer to resend the funds with the correct address on paypal, no response, then a few days later, i’ve had the ebaypaypal email address owner ask what this is all about.. saying they had never purchased my item..

    my guess was they had been hacked..

    sounds a similiar scam, probably the same scr oats doing it

    Yep, red brick terrace. The difference being though I had no other address to send it to so assumed the story legit.

    Thought I’d update this one as things have moved on a bit.

    According to the bloke who got scammed he contacted Paypal and they refunded his money. He had gone to the Police but they said they’d only get involved if he didn’t get his money back, which he said he did.

    I have not heard a peep from anyone regarding the bike and have had no demands to repay any money.

    The cheeky ****er who got my bike has listed it up on ebay with pictures taken from MY HOUSE! Literally selling a bike he stole with my pictures! He had listed it earlier in the week using a picture from another sale ad (Different P7, still not his) for the bike and then pictures of my forks that could clearly be identified by a scratch on them. I have tried to report it to ebay but there doesn’t seem to be an option that fits the crime and the only people allowed to report stolen items are law enforcement according to the drop down menu.

    Don’t really know what to do as ultimately I sold the bike and got my money and the bloke who allegedly got scammed also got a refund and seems happy enough. It just sticks in my craw that a low life **** like this can seemingly get away with it.

    Oh and for the record avoid ebay member bcsuv-1

    Well that wasn’t hard to find based on your description!

    Surely you just report the sale to the police now, suggesting the seller is a scammer?

    Would they not act on that?

    Also, I wonder why are the wheels and dropper now excluded,

    Premier Icon riklegge
    Subscriber

    Isn’t it obvious? Get a “mate” to buy it but ask for it to be sent to a different address…

    Yep, had thought that but ultimately they have been contacted and were not interested.

    Seat post is an easy one. I agreed to remove that to get the price down to the amount the ‘buyer’ could afford. As for the wheels I imagine he thinks he’ll make more selling them on their own? When I suggested removing the wheels to bring the price down he insisted they were included in the sale.

    Yeah Rik, but I’d need to get some other poor sap to cough up the money!

    Ultimately as it stands I’m a bystander at the moment as I got the money for the goods I sold. Using my pictures is a piss take though and I can’t help think I need to at least do something.

    sounds to me like they are both in on it – luckily for you, you actually got the money for once…..in this case everyone wins bar paypal, the two scumbags win two fold and you still sold the bike……

    paypal wouldn’t give the guy who got scammed his money so easily and so quickly, given it was sent as a gift, and if they did (which im sure they didn’t!) they would be on to you to reclaim the money back….

    again, I doubt very much the above happened and likely they have done it between them

    andrewh
    Member

    How did the buyer get his money back if a) he used gift and b) it hasn’t come from OP? Didn’t know this could happen. [Beaten to it]

    .

    Also, if we know it’s for sale and the OP is absolutely certain it’s his, could we do the old ‘bid on it and turn up to collect with police/pitchfork-weilding mob in tow’? Anyone ever done this and what happened if the seller claimed to have bought it legitimately from whoever stole it? Possibly easier to get evidence here if computers and things can be seized.

    .

    Not sure what police would do TBH. My bank account got hacked a few years ago. I lived in Fife, reported it in Angus as that was next to my local branch, account registered in Reading to my address in Lincolnshire. Fife/Angus/Thames Valley/Lincolnshire police all played pass the buck for a while, eventually Angus had to accept it. Did bugger all. I did some investigating of my own, found his address in Manchester and his phone number, passed this on and nothing happened. Easy crime to solve, as per the OP someone else had done most of the work for them but the couldn’t be arsed. Mine might not have been a big crime but how many others had they done it to?

    andrewh
    Member

    sounds to me like they are both in on it – luckily for you, you actually got the money for once…..in this case everyone wins bar paypal, the two scumbags win two fold and you still sold the bike……

    paypal wouldn’t give the guy who got scammed his money so easily and so quickly, given it was sent as a gift, and if they did (which im sure they didn’t!) they would be on to you to reclaim the money back….

    Hang on, unless they get the money back they have just bought a bike? For the in it together scam to work paypal have to refund them and to do this they would have to take it back from the OP surely? And to do this they wouldn’t use gift?

    zilog6128
    Member

    Agree this sounds very unlike PayPal to leave themselves out of pocket! Also they wouldn’t send you an invoice if they wanted money back, they’d just take it. Have you checked your PP/bank balance OP?!

    Yep, repeatedly checked PP and there’s nothing.

    I have wondered if it’s two people involved, hence why I have not really chased anything up other than the obvious. I guess for that to be the case they would have had to get the money back from PP but I don’t know how likely that is, even with the evidence presented. Maybe they thought PP would refund them but as PP haven’t the scammers are cutting their loses and trying to sell at a mark up? Dodgy from all angles.

    It’s defo my old bike in the pictures as I still have the original copies.

    Premier Icon dangeourbrain
    Subscriber

    For the in it together scam to work paypal have to refund them and to do this they would have to take it back from the OP surely?

    Nope, for the in it together scam to work, 1 in every however many people has to feel sorry and guilty enough for the “scammed” party to refund some or all of the transaction.

    Given the out of pocket victim is in on the scam, there’s little or no chance of it ever being taken to the plod.

    yep – that’s my thinking – the other so called purchaser would try and get the money back from you firstly as the seller, then between them they have a refund and the bike

    but so far, you have your money, one of them has the bike, and the 3rd person apparently has a full refund (which id be incredibly surprised if PP have just issued it back like that), so as it stands if its all as has been said you all win bar paypal….

    but we all know how paypal works and they don’t just refund stuff like that, so easily, so I don’t buy it at all, they are in it together

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I wonder if I can still log in to my fake ebay account….

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    How mad is it that only “Law enforcement officials” can report stolen goods?!

    I’ll see if I can find my account details when I get home and buy the bike every time it gets listed.

    Ahhh, now we might be getting somewhere. The allegedly wronged party seem to lose interest very quickly after the initial ‘where’s my bike’ emails and I made it quiet clear early doors that I was sorry he’d lost his money and PP gift had been a mistake but he was getting nothing from me except any evidence I could provide to aid the Police. He also didn’t seem that angry about it (compared to the blind fury I would expect) and the conversation he had with the scammer that I was sent went on about using money from a personal injury claim so maybe tugging heart strings?

    Looking further up the thread plenty of people seemed to suggest I should refund the ‘buyer’ and chase the scammer for the cash so it’s not too hard to believe it is a lucrative scam.

    Bastards!

    yep that’s what I believe has happened – initial email to you hoping you would refund off 3rd party, chancing it, then failed so pretends its all sorted and moves onto the next poor victim, who’ll likely fall for the scam

    even go as far to say 2nd and 3rd person are actually the same person, two different online persona’s doesn’t mean its not possible for it to be the exact the same person

    lucky escape for holding your nerve and not listening to the sympathetic hive on here straight away haha

    True mate although I might have been more benevolent had it been for £83 rather than £835! If we have nailed it then it’s a very clever and slick scam.

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