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Customer Discussions > Television forum

Beware of Fraud


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Showing 1-20 of 20 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 7, 2009 1:22:02 PM PST
Beware of an international internet fraud scheme using Amazon merchants and too-good-to-be-true prices on "Like New" LCD Tvs, such as the Samsung LN46a750 for about $700.

Most of the lowest prices on "Like New" Samsung TVs are all with the same merchant right now, and priced far below any competitors. Someone is hijacking the accounts of real sellers and listing these TVs. Beware when the seller is an Amazon Merchant that normally doesn't sell televisions. It happened to ABC Wholesale a few days ago, and I think that is what is going on with the TVs listed by Blacksheepdeals now. They are unaware that these items are listed until people call them trying to complete the purchases. The purchases won't go through, but then the fraudulent seller, claiming to be a merchant in Italy, responds via email to any inquiries that have been made and encourages you to complete the sale by sending him a money order directly. He even sends you a very official-looking Amazon email endorsing this practice as the way that Amazon handles international purchases.

Amazon customer service informed me that they never endorse sending payment directly to a seller, but they really didn't seem to take my report of this fraud effort seriously. They didn't even ask for me to send them copies of the fake Amazon webpage that he sent. ABC Wholesales figured out what was going on within 24 hours and removed the items, and I contacted this Blacksheepdeals directly via email to let them know, so I'll bet you'll see all of the TVs and cameras disappear from their listings suddenly, but Amazon didn't seem like they were even going to make an effort to contact this seller and find out if the listings were for real. I guess its cheaper for them just to write off the small proportion of fraud that involves them, than it is to seriously pursue it.

If you want that LN46a650 listed by Blacksheepdeals now for less than $700, go for it. But I'll bet you'll find the sale won't go through, and if you send an email to the seller a guy from Italy (supposedly) will write back in broken English. ABC Wholesale told me that they had a lot of calls about these TVs. Did anyone else reading this get lured into this and have have more offer about who is doing this and how to end it? I want to be able to log into Amazon and continue the search for my new TV with confidence that my great deal price is really a great deal.

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 2:05:55 AM PST
Mike Ramsey says:
I actually fell into this the other day. In fact, I can do one better for everyone. This is the information I was told to put on the money gram.

First name : Marius-Adrian
Last name : Baltag
Address : Via Gobetti 38
City/State : Milano
Postal Code : 40029
Country : Italy

I've been looking for a TV for so long I actually blinded myself to the fact that this was obviously fraud, and unfortunately I convinced myself that because I received an e-mail from the address auto-confirm@amazon.com (the fradulent seller has actually run a bypass through amazon's server!) it must be legitimate. He asks that the money gram reference number be faxed to this number, 1-928-223-8891, which I traced back to Flagstaff/Phoenix Arizona. Italy my ***...
Don't let the confirmation e-mail fool you! It is absolutely not impossible to hack the amazon e-mail framework. The best clue you have is that there is NO confirmation number, and if he does send you one amazon will not be able to verfiy it.
I'm just lucky my gut finally got the better of me right after sending the money gram. I immediately called money gram and had the entire thing refunded back to me. They were really great about it and even refunded the money gram fee, so in the end all I lost was time. As you said though, amazon has had little to no interest in this. In fact when I saw the Blacksheepdeals postings today and contacted amazon, I was respectfully told "our policies clearly state all purchases be made through the shopping cart, this protects customers from fradulent purchases". Unbelievable...
Anyway... be careful out there everyone.

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 9:04:04 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 8, 2009 9:04:51 AM PST
Justin says:
I actually fell for it, too. However when trying to complete the order through the shopping cart it said it was unable to complete the purchase due to neither of my addresses being shippable. I never got the fraudulent email but I think that would have been the final red flag for me. Too bad this isn't for real, huh? I almost creamed seeing the Panasonic 50" 800U for under a G.

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 9:21:18 AM PST
Henry Zmijak says:
Thank you. I almost fell for this myself. I've been keeping my eye on the 6 and 7 series tv's for some time. Almost pulled the trigger on this one, but I kept the old credo to heart: "when something appears to be too good to be true, it usually is." I almost bought it after reading the customer comments and thought that the worst that could happen would be my order cancelled and my credit card refunded.
The prices for the tv's and cameras did seem a little random.
Anyone know when I can expect the Samsung 46" 7 series to drop below $1,300?

Posted on Feb 8, 2009 9:30:28 AM PST
Justin says:
You may read this elsewhere in forums as well but TV prices for CURRENT available models will probably drop fairly significantly in March. Several big name companies are making their 2009 line up right now and it will go on sale in March. I know this for sure for Panasonic, and I would assume Samsung is probably the same or not far behind. If you can hold out a month or two, do it. My problem is... the TV I want may drop in price when the new one comes out, but then I'll want the newest, coolest one. Oh, to be a technology junkie.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2009 5:04:43 PM PST
I can't believe the persistence that this "Italian" guy has. He's still sending me emails asking when I'm going to complete the purchase, even though I've emailed him a bunch of suspicious questions trying to get hem to explain why his merchandise keeps getting listed with different sellers. Of course he just ignores the questions, but keeps plugging away. I've finally told him that I think he's running a fraud scheme and that I've forwared all of the correspondance to Amazon. The sad part is that I'm really convinced that Amazon is just a giant software program. It' only human employees are 3 ladies at a call center in India named "Susan" or "Sandy", or whatever the midwestern name of the day is, who are trained to give evasive answers to questions until you simply give up. One finally gave me a link to type in when I insisted on forwarding the fraudulent emails and fake Amazon correspondance to their "investigation" department, but the link turned out to be a dead end. The moral of the story is that you have to watch out for yourself. Don't trust that they are policing their own service.

Thanks for the info on a probable price drop in March. It confirms what I'd heard elsewhere. I hope it does, because I've been watching the prices for too long. I just need to buy and get it over with. Of course March will come and then I'll convince myself that I need the latest model and spend the next 6 months following its price. Hard to accept with electronics that the month after you buy something its already outdated.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 5:41:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2009 6:22:15 PM PST
Mark, you need to send this information in detail to the proper channel. Go to this link to submit your information on this fraud. Amazon designed this are to report fraud and violations. Anyone else that has seen this should also report this and any new ones that pop up.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/reports/contact-us

Thank you for posting this information. Continue posting here if you see a new fraud pop up and give the name of the seller. Report the bad seller immediately by using the link above. Never, ever purchase online with anything other than a credit card. If you wire money, or send a moneygram, your money is lost forever. These scammers do not have any merchandise. They hijack accounts by sending out phishing emails to the Amazon 3rd party sellers. Once they take over a merchant account, they can post whatever products they want. They seem to target HDTVs, SLRs, Cameras, Camcorders and Lenses. If you see a price that is too good to be true. It is a scam. Plain and simple. Run, don't walk.

Purchase only from Amazon or its main line 3rd party sellers. Only purchase through Amazon, you are protected fully by Amazon's A to Z Guarantee.

One more point. The reason this is happening is that Amazon has recently started showing the USED and REFURBISHED prices right under the new price on the product detail pages. The scammers saw this and knew that they could get people to bite by showing the USED price at 1/2 the price of new. If Amazon reverses the showing of these prices, the scammers will go away. They won't be able to attract people in volume to look at the USED items. That is one solution to this problem. Amazon should watch the high priced items and have an alert go off if something is posted at 40% less than new in price.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 7:50:59 PM PST
Joel Pena says:
So whta is your sugestions? Can we Buy HDTV's from amazon?

Posted on Feb 10, 2009 8:19:56 PM PST
I'm glad that you posted this information. I was asking questions about a Nikon D90 and lens for an unbelievable price of $572. He promised me a USA warrantee and said that it would be shipped from Italy. I really wanted to believe, but I knew it was too good to be true. He did say he had removed to postings but he had one camera for me! Thanks for reminding me "If it's too good to be true it's probably not true!"

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 1:15:01 AM PST
The email address the scammer uses is as follows
marketplace.electronics@gmail.com

The confirmation email he sends is as follows

""The seller requests to be paid via MoneyGram® Money Transfer.
To submit the payment with Money Gram Money Transfer you have the following option:
Pay for the transfer with cash at a local Money Gram agent.
Click here to locate the agents in your area.

To confirm your payment to Amazon send a fax with your customer receipt from Money Gram to this fax number: 1-928-268-7022 . Use this secure way to confirm your payment only if you feel unsafe to release the payment details directly to your seller. If you need further assistance contact Amazon Customer Service by clicking here

Once the payment was sent, provide the following information:
1) Reference Number (Money Gram Reference Number):
2) Sender name :
3) Sender address :
4) City where you sent the money from:
5) Amount sent:
Then wait for the confirmation that the payment was received. After that you will receive the tracking number for your product.

Seller E-mail Address: marketplace.electronics@gmail.com

Ship from Address:
First name : Marius-Adrian
Last name : Baltag
Address : Via Festa del Perdono 18
City/State : Milano
Postal Code : 20122
Country : Italy
Payment Address:
First name : Marius-Adrian
Last name : Baltag
Address : Via Festa del Perdono 18
City/State : Milano
Postal Code : 20122
Country : Italy"""

Beware

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 5:52:44 AM PST
Adrian Fong says:
Hi, this has just happened to me. I have not sent any money via western union, however the amazon market place has charged my credit card for the order total. I did recieve a confirmation from amazon that the market place has charged my credit card but after that I got the emails from the gmail accounts saying credit card does not work and can you send money via western union....bla bla bla. Does anyone know if amazon will refund my money back?

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 6:13:03 AM PST
Amazon Customer service should do more to avoid this. The fact that you reported it and they didn't follow up or attempt to obtain information about the fake consumer, tells me alot. I have bought many things and never had a problem but I will be more cautious in the future. Thank you for the information because I was looking for an LCD and stumbled across a few too good to be true deals on the Samsung LCD's. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2009 12:07:03 AM PST
AMAZON.com is over all a fraud. Here is my story:

I am a United States Navy member deployed over seas and this is the support that Amazon gives their customers. With a torn economy and people trying to spend money the response from a customer service department is appalling. I emailed Mr. Bezos and of course didn't even get a response from him. I want people to know what type unpromiseing business Amazon.com has to offer. I was promised a TV from Amazon's website and yesterday; the day of delivery they decided to email me saying it that they can't fulfil the order. There wasn't even an option of purchasing another one. All they wanted to offer me was $30. As I stated previously I am currently deployed to Qatar and my phone call to them cost me more than $30. I am also in contact with a lawyer to sue them for fraud, false advertisement and breach of contract since they company charged my card.

Please read and post so the world know how misleading this company that is making billions is doing to their customers.

V/R

Sean

-----
Sir,

I am sorry that it has come to me having to email the CEO of the Amazon.com, but at this time I am extremely unhappy with the services from Amazon.

I ordered a TV three days ago and the arrival date was for today. I am currently deployed in Qatar, however my roommate took today off work to receive the freight of is product. He purchased an entertainment center to accomadate this new purchase. Today; on the day of delivery I receive an email that says sorry your purchase isn't being fulfilled

I was also told that there is no written policy that says that deals made with Warehouse Deals (sponsored by Amazon.com) won't be fulfilled for whatever reason. This is extremely unexceptable.

After asking your customer service team to compansate for this error they told me all they could offer me was $30. My phone call from Qatar was more than $30.

Sir, I am attaching the records from this order plus the charge for this on my credit card. My understanding is that once my credit card was charged this is an offical contract between two parties. Its pretty convienent that the charges were reversed this morning.

This is false advertising for a product to be on your website that I legally purchase and I now won't receive it.

All I am looking for is the TV at the price I agreeded to. I would appreciate the purchase of this TV. Please assist me in this matter.

V/R

Sean

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/home/home.html http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/subst/home/home.html

Thanks for your order, sean
Want to manage your order online?
If you need to check the status of your order or make changes, please visit our home page at Amazon.com and click on Your Account at the top of any page.
Purchasing Information:
E-mail Address:
Billing Address:

Order Grand Total: $1,226.77
Get the Amazon.com Visa Card <http://www.amazon.com/InstantRewards&gt; or the Amazon.com Business Visa Card <http://www.amazon.com/InstantBusRewards> instantly and automatically get $30 back after your first purchase. Plus get up to 3% rewards.
Order Summary:
Shipping Details : (order will arrive in 1 shipment)
Order #: 104-5617258-5590658 <https://www.amazon.com/gp/css/history/view.html>
Shipping Method: Standard Shipping
Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
Subtotal of Items: $1,173.99
Shipping & Handling: $52.78
------
Total for this Order: $1,226.77

Delivery estimate: February 19, 2009
1 "Samsung LN46A750 46-Inch 1080p DLNA LCD HDTV with RED Touch of Color"
Electronics; $1,173.99

Sold by: Warehouse Deals, Inc <http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/seller/home.html?ie=UTF8&seller=A2L77EE7U53NWQ&gt;

Where can I get help with reviewing or changing my orders?
To learn more about managing your orders on Amazon.com, please visit our Help pages at amazon.com/help/orders/.
Please note: This e-mail message was sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.
Thanks again for shopping with us.
Amazon.com <http://www.amazon.com/gp/homepage.html>
Earth's Biggest Selection
Prefer not to receive HTML mail? Click here <https://www.amazon.com/gp/gss/ccp>

Hello from Amazon.com.

We are sorry to report that we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order:

"Samsung LN46A750 46-Inch 1080p DLNA LCD HDTV with RED Touch of Color"
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0014175OI

Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found that it is not available from any of our sources at this time. We realize this is disappointing news to hear, and we apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you.

We have cancelled this item from your order.

While this item is not available directly from Amazon.com, you may be able to purchase it from one of the many other sellers with product listings on Amazon.com. Please click on the link above to visit the product detail page. If the item is available from a third-party seller, you will see a "Used & new" link on the product detail page that will provide a list of merchants currently selling the item.

Note: If you took advantage of a promotional offer when placing this order, this cancellation may affect your order's eligibility for that offer. If this is the case, please contact customer service; if we determine that you should still receive the offer, we'll reimburse you for the value of the promotional discount. Please note that this will not apply if all items in the order were cancelled.

Your credit card will NOT BE CHARGED for this item because you only pay for items when we ship them to you.

Your order is now closed.

*****
WHAT IF I WANT TO CHANGE OR CANCEL MY ORDER?
If your order hasn't entered the shipping process, you can change or cancel it by clicking on Your Account at the top of any Amazon.com page. Once there, choose "Open and Recently Shipped Orders". If the order is "shipping soon" or "completed", you won't be able to make any changes as it's on the way out the door; we apologize for any inconvenience.

*****
WHAT IF AN ITEM HAS SHIPPED AND I NO LONGER WANT IT?
If your shipment arrives too late, you may either refuse delivery or return it to us for a refund. For returns instructions, please visit our Returns Center at http://www.amazon.com/returns.

*****
HOW DO I CONTACT YOU ABOUT MY ORDER?
If you have more questions about this order, you can e-mail or phone Customer Service by clicking the "Contact Us" button on the right side of any Help page (www.amazon.com/help).

Sincerely,

Customer Service Department
http://www.amazon.com
==============================
Check your order and more: http://www.amazon.com/your-account

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 10:33:17 AM PST
sandi beach says:
I have to say that after reading all of these post I am disappointed. I have been a faithful customer of Amazon's and order everything (2 HDTV's also) from them and have never had a bad experience before. I rely on them because I have found Amazon to be one of the most amazing companies to deal with as well as the cheapest--not in quality or service just in price. That in today's market is so rare. I also carry their credit card and enjoy the Rewards program. Hopefully, these negative experiences are limited because if Amazon.com gets goofy I'd be pretty upset. Also, I have to say, if I have ever had a reason to contact Amazon's customer support-Wow, they jump to it and solve the problem right away. I also was given a gift certificate because I had a problem once. Thanks for the reporting of your problems though. I will keep those complaints in mind and in the future if I buy something that is really expensive-I will use the "help" section and ask an Amazon customer service person to call me so I can verify it's a real deal. I have had them call me several times and it's easy and they phone you immediately when you click the "call me" button. Usually, any problem is resolved asap. It would be a shame for this crappy economy to take down Amazon's reliability along with everything else.

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 1:15:45 PM PST
CanonUser says:
Sean, first of all, THANKS for serving! Sorry to hear of your troubles which differs from most all other experiences that I have ever read or heard about with Amazon. Almost every single other account of Amazon is flowing with praise. However, the Samsung LN46A750 is the very best TV you can buy for under $2,000.00 period, unless you can find a 52" 750 for under $2k of course. That is why it and the LN46A650 are the best selling televisions LCD, Plasma, or Projection in North America right now thanks to the glowing reviews they have received here and at C-Net, Consumer Reports and others. I bought my LN46A750 at the local Best Buy store in late January, paid with CC, but after everything was done, the salesman came out from the storeroom and told me that they no longer had one in stock. He looked in the computer and found one at a nearby store and called the sales manager who was his friend and was told that they would sent it over to my store within the next day or two and it would be held for me. Another day went by and BB called me to say that the TV had been sold to another customer at the other store while all of this was going on and that the other customer paid carried "my" TV out the door, after I also paid, but did not receive my TV. Best Buy offered a "cheaper" 550 or 630 models, but said that they could not get any 46" 650s or 750s for several weeks. I decided to wait because the price would not be guaranteed otherwise, but I could always cancel anytime within 30 days after receiving the TV and get a full refund. BB called a week later and said that they had one ln46a650, new in unopened box that they would hold for me for one day if I wanted it instead of waiting and offered a price reduction to make up the difference and would give me an extra $100 back for my trouble. I took this deal and am very happy with my TV. I have had similar experiences at other places where something was seemingly sold right out from under me, but I don't think there was much I could do, except to say, "oh well" an go on my way.

BTW, I have never seen an ln46a750 for under $1200 anywhere and I have been looking for some time. Even the Amazon warehouse deal for an opened box or used blemished unit is over $1350 and that does not include shipping, nor guarantee the unit to neither be new or flawless, nor guarantee that they will still have it by the time you hit the purchase button and place the order.

Now, with all that said, I did notice that Amazon states in several places, including on their Warehouse Deals page that this TV (and most TVs for that matter) cannot be shipped outside of the United States, so I assume that you were not having it shipped overseas. All I am trying to say is that these type of things happen to nice people, not because Amazon is mean, stupid or a bunch of crooks, because things sometimes just happen, Amazon's people are just human beings, like me and you, and therefore can make mistakes, or have circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from fulfilling all of our dreams, etc. Fraud is a very strong word for what happened here in my opinion, but I am sure that you can find an attorney that will take the case.

Thanks again for your service in the United States Navy, serve proudly!

Posted on Feb 24, 2009 3:50:31 PM PST
To all interested in buying LCD's please whatch out. This ABC wholesaler and Blacksheepdeals are the same person. As soon as I saw the name Blacksheepdeals, I said to myself, bad choice of name for a company. This sucker uses gmail to respond to my questions. One should never do business with a company that does not have his own email address.
Like others said, he keeps sending me emails. First he said on his website that he ships from US, then when I email him he tells me that he is shipping from Italy. When asking questions he avoids 95 percent of them. It is not possible for one to ship such a large item from Italy to whatever destination for only $ 70. A lot of lights began flashing in my head, he I a scammer.
When sending email to Azazon regarding this, I receive like a automated reply from their system.

I ask him this in my email after toying with him for some days and I never received an email from him again.

Am I being covered by AMAZON insurance if something goes wrong? I am asking this because of customers leaving feedback like the one below.

"Seller canceled official purchase and attempted to sell item outside of Amazon from Italy."
Date: 2/10/2009 Rated by Buyer: moosenet

PS I you have a company you must have your own email address, no gmail or hotmail.

I asked him to use www.escrow.com to be on the safe side and he did not even respond.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 12:57:10 AM PST
Canon Image Stabilized 12x36 II Binocular

I have been scammed by a company advertising in one of Amazon's sponsored links. It was selling a new Canon 12x36 IS II binocular at a cheaper price. I paid for it by credit card but received no confirmation and the goods never arrived. The sponsored link was for a website www.middletonbanks.com . Beware of this scam. I alerted Amazon but they just said they would investigate and would not contact me again.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2012 3:11:05 AM PST
Nearly got had for a macbookpro...Simple these transactions should be pain-less with no need to contact the seller or see the sellers email address. Be very aware if the seller said that the for some reason or another the account doesn't work and that they will contact Amazon and amend the transaction. Glad I have gut feelings over my need to buy and spend money

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 1:10:02 PM PST
Kevin56560 says:
Amazon is going to pot. But so is Ebay. They both will be gone by 2013, you can bet on that.

Posted on Mar 9, 2012 1:10:03 PM PST
Kevin56560 says:
Amazon is going to pot. But so is Ebay. They both will be gone by 2013, you can bet on that.
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Discussion in:  Television forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  20
Initial post:  Feb 7, 2009
Latest post:  Mar 9, 2012

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