Scams on TH
TrumpetHerald.com has become a major source of trumpets, parts, music, etc. The amazing volume of ads going through this site have made it an occasional feeding ground for scammers. Be cautious and thorough when undertaking transactions through trumpetherald.com or any other internet auction/classified service. We're posting this information here to give you some examples of some scams we've seen and some suggestions for how to avoid getting ripped off.
Some general tendencies of scammers
Most scammers know nothing about trumpet, so they won't be able to answer any specific questions about the item they're interested in selling or buying.
Because of their lack of knowledge about trumpet and trumpeters, they will almost always refuse to speak with you on the phone. A common excuse is that they're traveling and don't have a cellphone or another number that you can reach them at.
Scammers will not accept transactions routed through an escrow site, because they're trying to rip you off either by selling something they don't have or by sending you a fake money order/cashier's check, etc.
Scammers almost always use email accounts from free providers like yahoo.com and gmail.com, because these accounts are difficult to trace back to real people and are effortless to establish.
Recent scammer trends on TH (12/07)
The most recent spate of scammers have been individuals copying text from old Ebay auctions and placing the ads here in hopes of finding a sucker. Again, they don't know anything about what they're "selling" and generally won't be able to answer specific questions from a knowledgeable buyer. A fair number of these scams appear to be originating in Italy.
TH now requires that users have at least 5 posts in the forums to activate their Marketplace account. Sellers with only 5 posts in the forum should cause you to investigate thoroughly.
Scammer example from April, 2007:
> Hello ,
> Inresponse to your item posted for sale,I am interested in
> making a purchase of it.I am a broker,I source for my client.I am
> making the purchase onbehalf of my client.I have read the features i
> am very much satisfied.also i will be glad if the pics can be send to
> me via
> email,meanwhile let me know if still available before going any
> further and
> the last offer
> Best Regard.
> Thanks so much for your fast response i really appreciate it ok...........
So regarding the payment and pickup > arrangement Certified cheque will be
issued in your name include the money for the sales of your item + the > shipping cost .
> I would like to restate clearly that this item will be shipped to Australia
and I hav e a shipping agent who > would take good care of this. You are to
cash the Check you will recieve and deduct the funds for the sales of
> your item and please have the excess funds sent to the shipping agent in order
to schedule the pick up of the item.
> All neccesary transfer papers will be dully signed by the shipper on
behalf of my client when the shipping agents > comes for the pick up of the item .
> I will be willing to entertain more of your questions that might arise,
please provide your CONTACT NAME,ADDRESS > AND PHONE NUMBER so that I can
have it forwarded to my client for immediate payment issuance
> L ooking forwar d to hear from you.
First, please read these Internet Crime Prevention Tips for some good rules of thumb to avoid being ripped off.
PayPal payment rip-offs
Recently, several people have sent money via PayPal or in other ways to scammers who never send the merchandise and have never been heard from again. We urge you to check out sellers carefully and use an escrow service when in doubt.
Also, a frequent scam we've seen is the listing of expired Ebay auctions on the Marketplace by individuals who have no knowledge of trumpet whatsoever, but who are hoping to lure someone into sending them the money for the item (which they don't have, naturally). A frequent feature of these fraudulent listings is that the price listed is about half of what the item closed for on Ebay. The scammers know nothing about trumpet, but they know that if they halve the Ebay price they're likely to get some interest. Google can frequently turn up expired Ebay auctions if you don't find them on Ebay itself - often scammers don't even bother to change the wording from the Ebay auction and simply copy and paste it here.
Nigerian overpayment scam
Not limited to Nigeria, but many inquiries come from there.
If you receive any communications regarding your item for sale on this site which resemble that shown below, DO NOT proceed with the transaction and DO NOT send ANY merchandise or funds in response to an inquiry like this.
If you must, cash the cashiers check you will receive, but first contact the bank which has supposedly issued the check to verify that it is genuine (it won't be). Be aware that your bank may initially cash the check, a week or two later it will come back as bad leaving you out your merchandise as well as the funds you have sent to the scammer.
Here's a Washington Post article on this scam.
Below are listed two additional samples of the kind of thing you should be very suspicious of.
Example from June 6:
i see your ads for sale and i will like u to let me no if the
> goods is avalable for sale so that will can make way for it.
> and hope the condition is ok and i will like to haer from u
> soonext so that payment can be made out.
> thanks i will awating to haer from you
Updated example from January 23:
> How are you today, I spot your advert on the internet and my brother is
> interested in the purchase.i will like to know if this is still available
> for sale, if available please get back to me with the pics,last price
> alongside with the present condition.Also may i know the method of payment
> you would prefer cos my brothers ministry is ready to issue you a
> cheque/money order after you might have send the payment details that are
> necessary for the payment to be mailed out to you asap.
> note:you are to get back to me with the pics as this is very important
> to him.thanks....
> Thank for the response.i informed my brother today and he said you will be
> receiving a total money order of $4000 of which you are to deduct your asking
> price $1000 and remit the rest funds to my lawyer via western union transfer
> for the pick-up to commence.please do get back to me with the following information:
> YOUR NAME:
> FULL ADDRESS:
> PHONE NUMBER:
> And please note that the shipping funds have to be paid the same day you
> receive the payment,so get back to me asap.sorry i would have wish to call
> you now but the network is not convenient to make any call but i will try and
> call you as soon as the service gets better okay and also when we finalised
> the deal.also i am based in the uk.
> Their message: Hello,I just place a look on your musical instrument and i
> intrested in immediate purcharse ,but before i proceed on this transaction
> will like to ask some question as follow.1. Do you accept a (Cashier Check /
> Money Order) as a mode of payment.2.What is the final asking prize you can
> go at
> last.3.Will you let my shipping company to come to your contact address for
> pick up of the item down to xxxxxx cause i woulnd't want you to worry
> about the shipping of the item.4.You are to send your FULL NAME and
> CONTACTADDRESS,TEL # to mail out the payment asap.5. payment for the sales
> the item with the shipping cost will be issued at once which will be mailed
> you will you be able to direct the shipping cost to the shipper after you
> have your funds deducted from the funds mailed to you. 6.the reason while
> payment will be issued at once was my absence in town am presently on a
> assignment with xxxxxx and want this complete right away. Regards
> Hello,you will be getting the check tommorow ,am sorry for the delay.here is
> the Ups Tracking number for the check (UPS Next Day
> Air )UPS will be delivering the check Tommorow as
> soon as you receive the check kindly procede down to your bank and get it
> cashed after the payment is cashed i wantt you to procede down to the
> nearest western union location and have the rest of the money transfer,mind
> you the Hihgest amount of $ you can send to xxxxxx at a time is $2500 so i
> want you to split the money into two before sending the money and dont
> forget that the test question and answer to use is what color and the answer
> is blue here is the name and addres to send the payment is
> Zip Code:xxxxxx
> Country: xxxxx
> and get back with the full western union information as soon as the money is
> 1. Sender's First And Last Name And Address
> 2. 10 digit Money Transfer Control Number mtcn#
> 3.Total Amount Sent for each western union transaction after Western Union
> Charges have been deducted.
> 3.Test Question And Answer. been what colour? Answer..Blue
> after the funds have been transferred i want you to plz get back to me
> immediately with the Western Union Information tommorow ,i will be awaiting
> your email.