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mikelz777
06-11-2019, 07:18 AM
Listing a uke for sale has been quite an adventure!

Just over a month ago I sold a uke that I had listed locally. One reply was a known/common scam attempt which I won't go into here but I did eventually sell the uke to a very nice lady after meeting in a safe public place. I closed the listing and I thought that would be it. The next day, a woman sent me a message saying she was interested in the uke I was selling and asked if she could stop by and take a look at it. The listing was obviously closed and marked sold because I had verified it the day before when I closed it. Before I had a chance to reply she sent a second message asking if maybe she could buy one of my other ukes. In the listing of the uke I sold I mentioned that I was selling it because I had reached my limit and that I was selling this uke to make room for another uke. I made no mention of what my other ukes were so she was offering to maybe buy a uke she knew nothing about! I replied to her message saying that the listed uke was already sold and that I was currently not selling any other ukes. I received no further reply and thought nothing more about it so I thought that was it.

Now a month later, I got another message from this same woman. She asked that if she were to get herself a ukulele whether I could professionally tune it and teach her how to play it because she has been wanting to learn for some time. She said I seemed very well versed apparently drawing that conclusion from my listing. She also said of course that she would be willing to pay me.

Is this some kind of set up for a scam or a really odd request to try and learn the ukulele? She knows nothing about me or my ability to play/teach yet she seems to already be offering her trust and money to me. The red flags are up and I'm suspicious yet at the same time if it is genuine request, albeit very awkward, I'd hate to not try and help out some way (even if just advice) if she was really trying to get into ukes. It's been 2-3 days and so far I've just ignored the message.

pix.fairydust
06-11-2019, 07:24 AM
She may well be completely genuine, but I'd be cautious too. As someone who has been scammed before, I try to always be extra vigilant now. You ask some very good questions, why not ask her her reasons? You can always ask nicely (thank you very much, you're flattered etc but..."?)
That might give you some more clues?

Graham Greenbag
06-11-2019, 07:42 AM
I’m looking for an angle on this as a way that this could scam you - and anybody else - and can’t see one yet. Of course someone could just be looking for an opening to talk to you and then offer you some fantastic deal ..... On the other hand the responder could just be genuine and not know who to ask for help. How can you proceed as if the responder is genuine and yet still protect yourself?

Maybe you have a couple of ways forward which a genuine person would follow and most tricksters wouldn’t. Tell them that you can’t help a raw beginner but point them in the direction of a couple of good books and a Uke group. If they still want help later then test them on what they should know from reading the books and their commitment to group playing. A positive result might give you confidence to help if that’s your inclination.

ghostrdr
06-11-2019, 07:52 AM
It strikes me that it could be a kid. Maybe pre-teen or teenager. Or an adult with some learning disabilities, perhaps. I probably wouldn't meet with the person, but might encourage them to check out youtube.

Kibes37
06-11-2019, 07:58 AM
If she’s really serious have her send a video introducing herself and her Ukulele situation. That’s the least she could do if you are willing to help. You could always keep it online and still be a great help.

YogiTom
06-11-2019, 08:21 AM
I’ve been giving more people the benefit of the doubt in my normal day-to-day life, and the results have been consistently surprising, in the best possible way.

I agree with others that caution is absolutely warranted whenever dealing with folks you don’t know over the internet, but it sounds like from your description, and as others speculate, someone just looking for help and not knowing where to turn for a live person who knows anything about ukuleles.

As others said, there is no reason you couldn’t point them in the right direction for online resources (I imagine they’d appreciate the free videos first) without getting too personally involved or exchanging money. It allows you an out (“I’m not the best resource, but check this person’s YouTube channel out!”) if you’d rather not get more involved, gets any feeling of guilt for not replying to them off your conscience, and allows you to potentially help a new ukulele enthusiast to get started.

Just my 2¢.

UkerDanno
06-11-2019, 08:26 AM
Personally, I'm not a good source for lessons, maybe you are? I'd just direct her somewhere to help out. If you are able to help out, why not offer to meet in a public place and see what's up?

Jerryc41
06-11-2019, 08:37 AM
Some people are like that - clinging and needing help. Obviously, you don't want to become a ukulele teacher, so I suggest you politely decline. I don't know what's available from ukulele stores in your area, but they generally don't carry many ukes. Depending on how involved you want to get, you might lead her toward a used uke from the Marketplace or suggest a reasonably-priced new one from a reputable dealer - Mim, for example. Make sure she's an adult, of course, before you do anything. I think we'd all be interested in hearing how this turns out.

Are you part of a local uke group? That would be perfect.

Kenn2018
06-11-2019, 08:43 AM
I am by nature a pretty trusting guy. I generally take people at their word and give them the benefit of the doubt until proven wrong.

These contacts send up all kinds of red flags to me as well. They are too insistent too quickly. And she is trying very hard to maneuver into having a one-on-one meeting. I can think of several nefarious scenarios for doing that. From casing your house to a honey trap.

I'd tell her that you are not a good teacher, but you might be able to refer her to a couple of instructors. That you do not have any ukes for sale, but can recommend a couple of good stores.

If you belong to a uke club, invite her to come to a meeting.

It may all be perfectly innocent. Extreme caution is warranted. Because this does not feel right.

John boy
06-11-2019, 08:44 AM
Mikelz777, you've already gotten a bunch of advice, but I'll just throw in one more piece -- in agreement with points raised by various other replies already. Personally, I wouldn't meet with her. If you're in a metro area where there are some music shops that provide lessons, you could give her the name of a couple of shops and suggest she contact them. And also suggest a few online sources, as others have already mentioned. After sending her this information, I wouldn't reply any further to anything else she asks (and it sounds like she will).

Perhaps I'm more cautious than some. I sure wouldn't meet with her.

70sSanO
06-11-2019, 10:30 AM
What’s the worst that can happen?

Maybe wake up and be missing a uke and a kidney.

John

SteveZ
06-11-2019, 11:16 AM
Mikelz777, you've already gotten a bunch of advice, but I'll just throw in one more piece -- in agreement with points raised by various other replies already. Personally, I wouldn't meet with her. If you're in a metro area where there are some music shops that provide lessons, you could give her the name of a couple of shops and suggest she contact them. And also suggest a few online sources, as others have already mentioned. After sending her this information, I wouldn't reply any further to anything else she asks (and it sounds like she will).

Perhaps I'm more cautious than some. I sure wouldn't meet with her.

Agree! Not sure either why the person is being so persistant, but it doesn't pass the famous "smell test." If all of the contacts have been by email, just end it by putting her on your scam-mail list so her messages go straight to the junkmail folder. You've given her a lot of advice and info already, and if she was sincere she would have just taken it and that would be that.

Jerryc41
06-11-2019, 12:08 PM
What’s the worst that can happen?

Maybe wake up and be missing a uke and a kidney.

John

Or maybe not waking up. ��

Kibes37
06-11-2019, 12:32 PM
What’s the worst that can happen?

Maybe wake up and be missing a uke and a kidney.

John

Yup, just invite her over... And draw an ice bath prior, to help her out a little more...


Just joking a bit. Very nice of you to consider helping.

mikelz777
06-11-2019, 01:44 PM
I'm opening up a dialogue with this person via messaging to delve into this a little further. I still find this whole thing strikingly odd. If this person is savvy enough to sign up for an account on an online buy/sell site and can utilize their messaging system then it seems to me they'd be able to figure out how to look up any number of ukulele questions and resources online.

John boy
06-11-2019, 02:29 PM
Mikelz777 --- okay, but after all this, you'll have to let us know what you find out. Don't keep us in suspense.....

DPO
06-11-2019, 02:33 PM
I'm opening up a dialogue with this person via messaging to delve into this a little further. I still find this whole thing strikingly odd. If this person is savvy enough to sign up for an account on an online buy/sell site and can utilize their messaging system then it seems to me they'd be able to figure out how to look up any number of ukulele questions and resources online.

So, you ask for the collective forum advice, the advice is almost 100% to iignore the Scammer? and you then decide to "open up a dialgue" Riiiiiiiight.

Chopped Liver
06-11-2019, 04:19 PM
Mikelz777, you've already gotten a bunch of advice, but I'll just throw in one more piece -- in agreement with points raised by various other replies already. Personally, I wouldn't meet with her. If you're in a metro area where there are some music shops that provide lessons, you could give her the name of a couple of shops and suggest she contact them. And also suggest a few online sources, as others have already mentioned. After sending her this information, I wouldn't reply any further to anything else she asks (and it sounds like she will).

Perhaps I'm more cautious than some. I sure wouldn't meet with her.

Agreed! Since the OP senses red flags and others agree, I'd listen to those voices.

mikelz777
06-11-2019, 04:23 PM
So, you ask for the collective forum advice, the advice is almost 100% to iignore the Scammer? and you then decide to "open up a dialgue" Riiiiiiiight.

By my reckoning, only one person advised ignoring the "scammer" and they were under the impression that I've already offered this person advice and information. The only thing I've messaged to this person thus far is that my uke was already sold and that I wasn't currently selling any other ukes. It looks to me that the majority here are advising caution and suggesting possible resources that I might offer to this person.

Whether this person is a scammer or not remains to be seen. The prior scam attempt I mentioned (different person, different site) was unknown to me. It wasn't until I shared my odd experience with the people here that I found out the person was attempting a common and well known scam that I wasn't even aware of until the people here pointed it out and shared their experiences and linked some videos. That's why I wanted to share my experience again to see if it was possible that this was another scam. So far there doesn't seem to be anything pointing to a scam but this whole thing is really unusual and I still won't rule out the possibility of a scam. It's also possible that this was a genuine request even though it was done in a really awkward way. I've had some brilliant moments of social awkwardness in my life so I can relate to efforts of reaching out that didn't come off as they were intended even though they were coming from a good place.

I don't currently have any intention of meeting up with this person and a lot would have to happen before I'd even consider it. I sent the person a reply message and I asked them a lot of questions which should sort things out. It will be interesting to see if I get a response. I'll keep everyone posted as to what happens.

Graham Greenbag
06-11-2019, 09:25 PM
By my reckoning, only one person advised ignoring the "scammer" and they were under the impression that I've already offered this person advice and information. The only thing I've messaged to this person thus far is that my uke was already sold and that I wasn't currently selling any other ukes. It looks to me that the majority here are advising caution and suggesting possible resources that I might offer to this person.

Whether this person is a scammer or not remains to be seen.

So far there doesn't seem to be anything pointing to a scam but this whole thing is really unusual and I still won't rule out the possibility of a scam.

It's also possible that this was a genuine request even though it was done in a really awkward way. I've had some brilliant moments of social awkwardness in my life so I can relate to efforts of reaching out that didn't come off as they were intended even though they were coming from a good place.

I'll keep everyone posted as to what happens.



Your maths seems to match mine, to me the consensus is caution rather than rejection.

Social awkwardness, heck lots of folks - maybe virtually everybody - have got things wrong at some points in their lives. I know I have and so I’m positive about helping others overcome difficulties.

Please do tell us what you find in the long term. Going forward with caution seems sensible to me.

In my experience people can be very variable and so it’s impossible to (usefully) generalise but we do so anyway. The place where you live might be full of good natured souls or the opposite, we don’t know your neighbourhood so we can’t judge. Anyway local knowledge might help.

Once you find out a little more about the woman you might form a character assessment. With regard to meeting at some point I’m be inclined to seek support from a female friend or relative. Just a precaution that hopefully isn’t needed.

At this point in time signposting to resources is a good way forward, indeed that might be all that is needed by the ‘student’.

peterbright
06-11-2019, 11:05 PM
Do not marry her!

keenonuke
06-11-2019, 11:21 PM
I would NOT give her your address. Maybe she's a front person to rob you. It sounds like your inner sense is that this is a scam. Trust that little inner voice. If it smells fishy it probably is. I would suggest not to get further entangled! Stay safe.

Jerryc41
06-11-2019, 11:30 PM
Your maths seems to match mine, to me the consensus is caution rather than rejection.

Social awkwardness, heck lots of folks - maybe virtually everybody - have got things wrong at some points in their lives. I know I have and so I’m positive about helping others overcome difficulties.


Yes! and "Yes!" again to get up to ten characters. You want ten characters, how about these guys - Dopey, Doc, Grumpy... :D

mikelz777
06-20-2019, 05:40 PM
Well it would appear that this person was genuine. She responded to all of my many questions and the only weird thing that stuck out for me was her reply to my question on why she wanted to learn to play the ukulele. Among her reasons was that she wanted a hobby for the summer months and into the new year. I thought it kind of odd that she would even have a time line in mind let alone such a short one for learning a new instrument. Anyway, I politely declined her request for me to teach her how to play and she didn't press the issue. Then I dropped an information bomb on her. I gave her advice on how to choose a size and features she might want to look for or avoid in a ukulele. I gave her advice on where to buy a uke and places where she could take lessons. I also provided several resources if she wanted to self-teach. I also suggested checking out this site and a local site which provided information on the various local uke groups and gatherings. I told her that I'd be open to any questions she might have along the way. (via the message board) It's been a week and I haven't heard anything more from her so I'll just let it stand at that unless she comes up with other questions.

Kenn2018
06-20-2019, 06:27 PM
Well done.

pix.fairydust
06-20-2019, 06:54 PM
Well done.

Agreed, well done!

Graham Greenbag
06-20-2019, 09:44 PM
Yes, we’ll done.

To my way of thinking your response was perfect, a carefully chosen answer that is supportive of the genuine and protects you from those that are not. It may be that you do not hear from your enquirer for some time, she’s now got a lot of information to absorb and then some clear pathways to follow laid out for her.

ukantor
06-20-2019, 10:28 PM
I was hoping she'd turn out to be a real bunny-boiler.

(If she comes here and reads this, I hope she has a sense of humour).

ps. I didn't write this. My account must have been hacked!

John Colter. (maybe)