Scams

Got scammed online for $150 and I deserved it

Sorry, kind of a long post, but i need to tell this story. I feel so stupid now. I should have listened to my gut. In retrospect, all the signs of a scam were there, but i was blinded by my greed. I didn’t do my research. If i had just stopped for a minute to look at what i’m doing this wouldn’t happen. But the guy played me so well that i’m not even mad.

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So this happened about three weeks ago when I tried to buy a CPU for cheap through a shady internet forum. The listing for the CPU was initially posted on a legit russian classfield website Avito (i live in Russia), and the price was about 20% lower than the cheapest you could find in legit online stores. So i contact this guy Vladimir through Avito and ask him about the CPU. The guy had a selfie as his profile picture (which wasn’t his, of course). Nobody uses their picture on these kinds of websites, but i ignored that. He asks me to give him my email so he can send me his price list. Another red flag. I hesitated at first, thinking it might be a scam, but the price was too good. I ended up resuming the conversation the next day.

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I give him my email and be sends me his price list along with a link to an internet forum where he has his online store. He tells me i don’t have to register there and we could just stick to email correspondence. Very clever social engineering on his part. I register anyway, out of curiosity.

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The link lead to a thread where Vladimir was OP. He was selling electronics, and his profile said he registered in 2009. The thread dated back all the way to 2010. He was also the only “trusted seller”. Most people in the thread said positive things about the seller, but there were complainers to make it look believable. All fake, of course. As i learned later he would delete posts from real people who were pissed that the goods never came. There were also “disreputable” sellers. A scammer’s sock puppets warning about scams on a scam website. Now that’s ironic.

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The website was a typical, boring-looking forum with an obscure name (brukter ru) that looked fairly old, with some threads dating way back (mid-late 2000s). There were threads on different topics, mostly people selling shady things and services like some bank clerk selling clients’ credentials. Alcohol. Excise stamps. Fake driving licenses. Goddamn tires. You name it. You could click on each individual user and see all their posts. Some users were online. All of this added to the credibility of the site. To an average person not all too familiar with internet scams (me) the website looked kind of legit. The amount of work this guy has put in to make it look real is amazing.

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After digging around the website and not finding anything either particularly interesting or suspicious, i PM the guy on the forum to further inquire about the CPU. He tells me how he gets his goods. “Due to my job position at a warehouse i can “write off” electronics as damaged, even though they’re not, and that’s why i sell them so cheap”, or something like that. At this point i’m sold. I’m a greedy motherfucker, you see, and i’m building a PC on a tight budget.

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I order the CPU, delivery via courier. He says it normally takes 3-4 days, but delays are not uncommon. I send him the money via Visa Qiwi Wallet. MAKE SURE YOU KEEP THE RECEIPT, he says, just in case. I’ll keep it, alright. As a reminder of my stupidity. He stays in contact for two weeks and keeps telling me that the delivery is getting delayed. Then the website 404’s. Like it never existed. The guy got my money and disappeared along with the website, and the CPU never existed in the first place. Why didn’t he vanish as soon as he got the money? I guess it’s too much work for just $150, so he was trying to scam as many people as possible through his website before it got too hot. I hope you need that money more than i do, mr. Vladimir guy.

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Also, the fact that someone got scammed by this guy for a lot more than me gives me peace of mind in a fucked-up kind of way. Fuck me, right?

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tl;dr sent money to a guy, he disappeared, i didn’t get shit


The content was posted by Chokedick on 2019-03-24 06:27:55 via reddit

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