Be wary of potential scammers

rainbow21

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Okay... I just got taken here for $375 and thought I am tagging onto this thread to "warn" others. The listing has already been removed by UU. Hope no one else got taken too.

A KoAloha Noah sopranino was listed for $375 by a long standing member (2011 with over 500 posts). I PM'd interest. Shortly after, another well regarded member offered to buy it as. There was a series of PMs. Meanwhile, adding to the "authenticity" of the listing, another well respected member said they had sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (unfortunately, putting pressure on me to complete the purchase). Only later did this member edit to say they sold it to another buyer, not this one.

So I completed the payment via Zelle app, and a few minutes afterwards another member posted that this was a scam. He generously explained on phone after PMing his number, that he contacted the account holder (I think via phone) and was told that he had no uke for sale after this account holder posted that he received no payment (it would have been nice to alert others that he was not selling an uke too rather than asking me to prove that I made a payment to him!).

So a perfect storm. I thought a long standing member was legit (later he posted that he was hacked and changed his password, sigh...) and another member legitimized this by stating he sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (before posting later that he sold it to someone else, sigh again).

Now reporting via the bank and Zelle (neither making it easy) with little hope for money back. The amount is actually small but makes me feel quite sad...

Caveat emptor!
 

ookooleilei

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Okay... I just got taken here for $375 and thought I am tagging onto this thread to "warn" others. The listing has already been removed by UU. Hope no one else got taken too.

A KoAloha Noah sopranino was listed for $375 by a long standing member (2011 with over 500 posts). I PM'd interest. Shortly after, another well regarded member offered to buy it as. There was a series of PMs. Meanwhile, adding to the "authenticity" of the listing, another well respected member said they had sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (unfortunately, putting pressure on me to complete the purchase). Only later did this member edit to say they sold it to another buyer, not this one.

So I completed the payment via Zelle app, and a few minutes afterwards another member posted that this was a scam. He generously explained on phone after PMing his number, that he contacted the account holder (I think via phone) and was told that he had no uke for sale after this account holder posted that he received no payment (it would have been nice to alert others that he was not selling an uke too rather than asking me to prove that I made a payment to him!).

So a perfect storm. I thought a long standing member was legit (later he posted that he was hacked and changed his password, sigh...) and another member legitimized this by stating he sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (before posting later that he sold it to someone else, sigh again).

Now reporting via the bank and Zelle (neither making it easy) with little hope for money back. The amount is actually small but makes me feel quite sad...

Caveat emptor!
I'm sorry this happened to you, it really sucks. Thanks for posting a warning...
 

kerneltime

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Okay... I just got taken here for $375 and thought I am tagging onto this thread to "warn" others. The listing has already been removed by UU. Hope no one else got taken too.

A KoAloha Noah sopranino was listed for $375 by a long standing member (2011 with over 500 posts). I PM'd interest. Shortly after, another well regarded member offered to buy it as. There was a series of PMs. Meanwhile, adding to the "authenticity" of the listing, another well respected member said they had sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (unfortunately, putting pressure on me to complete the purchase). Only later did this member edit to say they sold it to another buyer, not this one.

So I completed the payment via Zelle app, and a few minutes afterwards another member posted that this was a scam. He generously explained on phone after PMing his number, that he contacted the account holder (I think via phone) and was told that he had no uke for sale after this account holder posted that he received no payment (it would have been nice to alert others that he was not selling an uke too rather than asking me to prove that I made a payment to him!).

So a perfect storm. I thought a long standing member was legit (later he posted that he was hacked and changed his password, sigh...) and another member legitimized this by stating he sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (before posting later that he sold it to someone else, sigh again).

Now reporting via the bank and Zelle (neither making it easy) with little hope for money back. The amount is actually small but makes me feel quite sad...

Caveat emptor!
I guess they are not staring to hack accounts… the only read way to deal with his is to ask for latest pics with the buyers name written next to it
 

rainbow21

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I guess they are not staring to hack accounts… the only read way to deal with his is to ask for latest pics with the buyers name written next to it
Yeah... kind of like the forum policy states, lol. But it has been getting lax for some time now.
 

Canucke

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Members would also do well to remember that it's not all that difficult to photoshop in a sheet of paper with UU and a name written on it next to or over an instrument. I've asked for that to be placed under the strings in a high resolution image. It's not foolproof, but takes a lot more effort to get the shadows right. I suppose woven between the strings might be even better. Someone earlier mentioned zoom call. That might be the best.

Sad for you rainbow21. Have to admit that with a well established member I would have likely forgone that too. Thanks for the warning.
 

mingus

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I had sold that KoAloha last November, and was shocked to see it for sale. As soon as I started a conversation with that “member” it was removed!! They were obviously a scammer, sorry to hear you got taken!!
 

rainbow21

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Worse is being taken for a ride by both Zelle and Citibank right now, lol.
30 minutes hold time with Citi is ongoing after an hour. And Zelle wants a transaction ID number that does not show up on the Zelle payment or on the Citibank site. But it will be on the bank statement that might be mailed in the next month. How does a bank show that the money has been transferred and not have a transaction number? Crazy, crazy, crazy!
 

Ernie

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One thing we should be understanding about is that there are several members who are located in other countries and for whom English is not their first language.

Most have posted from time to time. That will provide some support that the poster is not a scammer.
I would like to second this. All of the above cautions are legitimate and worth mentioning, but it is also important to remember that a person can be a new member who may not speak English as their first language. As we exercise caution, we need also be careful about rushing to judgement. Be on your guard, but don’t be too quick to throw suspicion on someone who might just be looking for a forum of like-minded folks. 8^)
 

rbeetsme

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I would like to second this. All of the above cautions are legitimate and worth mentioning, but it is also important to remember that a person can be a new member who may not speak English as their first language. As we exercise caution, we need also be careful about rushing to judgement. Be on your guard, but don’t be too quick to throw suspicion on someone who might just be looking for a forum of like-minded folks. 8^)
I’m a longtime ebay buyer/ seller, since they first appeared. I used to buy and sell camera equipment. I’ve seen a lot scams. My best advise is to follow the rules, communicate through UU pm, never send money through Western Union or some of the many crypto sites. I’ve e been using Paypal forever, costs a bit but good safeguards. If a buyer won’t go Paypal consider a bank money order or personal check. Take the check to the bank and ask them to contact the buyers bank. It may take longer but worth it in the end. As the Sargent on NYPD used to say, “be careful out there!”
 

Mister X

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As the Sargent on NYPD used to say, “be careful out there!”
Hill St Blues. As I recall he died in the execution of his of duty.....

If that doesn't work then remember his replacement used to say ......"let's do it to them before they do it to us" 😉
 

Kenn2018

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One of the advantages of using a credit card linked to your PayPal account is if the transaction is fraudulent, the card company can go after them and they should refund your money.

Make sure you put what the PayPal transaction is for and the condition of the item in the note portion of the PayPal Transaction.
 

rbeetsme

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Hill St Blues. As I recall he died in the execution of his of duty.....

If that doesn't work then remember his replacement used to say ......"let's do it to them before they do it to us" 😉
I knew that wasn’t right, thanks.
 

Neil_O

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Meanwhile, adding to the "authenticity" of the listing, another well respected member said they had sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (unfortunately, putting pressure on me to complete the purchase). Only later did this member edit to say they sold it to another buyer, not this one.
This makes this the story different from other scam scenarios. If the previous owner had not vouched for the authenticity of the uke's owner, things might have gone differently.
 

mingus

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This makes this the story different from other scam scenarios. If the previous owner had not vouched for the authenticity of the uke's owner, things might have gone differently.
I did not vouch for the authenticity. I recognized the ukulele I had sold, started a conversation with the “seller” then realized something wasn’t right. By the time I realized something didn’t make sense, I immediately edited my post to reflect the oddity of the seller’s post. Then almost immediately, the entire thread was erased.
 

Neil_O

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If the UU marketplace is discredited, where will sellers go?

Not all attacks are about stealing $375.

Some may be TikTok things or people playing games because they see UU as an easy target for their "fun". There are "collectors" who love to scam a ukulele for fun. It can be a great game, but if you want to play, you have to pay real money and be serious about the buying and selling process.

These are my suggestions:

1. When you open the marketplace forum, realise it is a place for selling. Real money and real ukuleles are changing hands. It is not your FaceBook feed to hold a conversation or discuss your own uke or similar stuff. If you are not interested in buying the uke, do not comment in any way shape or form. Just leave the marketplace forum to those who seriously want to buy or sell ukuleles. Avoid long discussions about your war stories buying and selling, post those on UkeTalk.

2. Follow the rules, both ways. Refuse to respond to any post on the marketplace that does not comply with the rules. If the photos do not have the date and seller incuded on every photo, leave the post hanging and let it sit there until the seller reads to rules and complies. Do not be "helpful" and "give them pointers". Just let it sit and ignore it. Eventually the seller can choose to post on UkeTalk to find out why there are no responses, if they want to.

3. Also follow the rules for reporting. Report scammers and do not engage them in any way.

4. Do not send money or ukes to anyone you have not personally vetted and authenticated. Do not rely on what other UU members post. Do not even post a testimonial on the sellers thread. Let the seller authenticate themselves, let them show that they are bona fide.

In the past I have posted how good it would be to just access the best ukes on the planet via the marketplace, and suggest we allow some leniency. However, that is just leading to activities which will have a very negative long term credibility of the marketplace which will keep many sellers and buyers away. So, now I am suggesting that we do need to follow the simple rules in order to maintain credibility and get buyers and sellers to view the marketplace as safe and convenient if they follow a few simple rules.
I'd still buy a sopranino with good intonation. My faith in the forum is not tested. There is a rash of scam listings for Reverb guitars right now. Just being aware of an upswing in crime is not going to sink the Marketplace. I shudder at that thought, because this place is so fun.

Bill1:
If you are not interested in buying the uke, do not comment in any way shape or form.

Me: What if you recognize a longtime (521 posts) member's account selling a uke, but you think they haven't posted in 7 years. Then you look at their recent posts, and the most recent are from 8 years ago. Do you comment those facts on the posting. Or how about if it's your uke, and you can plainly see an identifying feature or serial #. If not a comment, what would that warrant? I'm not sure all the rules work all the time.
 

shanmoon

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Thanks for the alert.

One "protection" I try to use is Paypal purchase protection instead of the "Friends and Family". A number of legit sellers like the F&F but there still is a charge (that the buyer now pays). My last purchase, I picked up the charges for the protection and felt the reassurance was worth it.

And glad no one bought the $20k MB from the new account that refused to post photos.
I used to use F&F but now it is worth it on both sides for paypal purchase protection. I've got a couple PMs lately of similarly awkwardly worded messages related to ukes I previously mentioned as possibly selling. This is a good community of uke enthusiasts, I hate to see scammers proliferating here.
 

ukecaitlin

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Okay... I just got taken here for $375 and thought I am tagging onto this thread to "warn" others. The listing has already been removed by UU. Hope no one else got taken too.

A KoAloha Noah sopranino was listed for $375 by a long standing member (2011 with over 500 posts). I PM'd interest. Shortly after, another well regarded member offered to buy it as. There was a series of PMs. Meanwhile, adding to the "authenticity" of the listing, another well respected member said they had sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (unfortunately, putting pressure on me to complete the purchase). Only later did this member edit to say they sold it to another buyer, not this one.

So I completed the payment via Zelle app, and a few minutes afterwards another member posted that this was a scam. He generously explained on phone after PMing his number, that he contacted the account holder (I think via phone) and was told that he had no uke for sale after this account holder posted that he received no payment (it would have been nice to alert others that he was not selling an uke too rather than asking me to prove that I made a payment to him!).

So a perfect storm. I thought a long standing member was legit (later he posted that he was hacked and changed his password, sigh...) and another member legitimized this by stating he sold this uke and wanted to buy it back (before posting later that he sold it to someone else, sigh again).

Now reporting via the bank and Zelle (neither making it easy) with little hope for money back. The amount is actually small but makes me feel quite sad...

Caveat emptor!
Sorry to hear Rainbow. It's sad how thieves destroy trust within communities. I've valued the trust I've had in the people I bought from.
 

necessaryrooster

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I had sold that KoAloha last November, and was shocked to see it for sale. As soon as I started a conversation with that “member” it was removed!! They were obviously a scammer, sorry to hear you got taken!!
I haven't been on the forum in a while but I definitely still have this uke. Sorry to hear someone tried scamming about it :(

Glad you saw the post and were able to call them out.