The Breakroom > The Water Cooler

Scam? - 'it smells like one to me'

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I have a number of standard searches on ebay for things of interest. Occasionally some comes up that is 'too good to be true'  and starts my alarm bells ringing. Today a very nice lathe turned up.

At the moment I cannot prove it's a scam and I am reluctant to call this particular item out , in case it is legit. So, let's just look at the suspicious  bits. (in no particular order)

The pictures:
 In the past I have recognised the photos as being of a fiend's lathe and so reported the scam to ebay . In this case , even a reverse search has found no originals.  The suspicion is the condition of the lathe; These are 'pride and joy' shots , the thing is polished and posed , devoid of swarf , unused.

The description: "Not only but also..."

The description tells us about the make of lathe, how good the condition: 'made to last a lifetime' .  But wait there's more! not pictured are parts that are very desirable that are hard to find and/or command outrageous prices (one item 'included' is typically listed at a greater price that most lathes) and he'll even throw in the 3ph converter so you can run this at home.

And of course the kicker: He can arrange transport.

There is nothing about why this immaculate machine is being sold .

The seller: 100% feed back... from 53 purchases

I'm guessing this is not the lathe 'owners' actual account (wife/girl friend, ex-?)  , since the items bought (none sold) include fashion, shoes , garden and general domestic purchases. No machining parts tooling etc.

The location: Arseendofnowhere (or near to the 'rigs' - see later)

I'm not casting aspersions on the good people of said county (counties) merely pointing out that the scam machine is rarely easy to get-to and not readily available for collection ( hence the' kicker 'above)

The scam:
The object of the scam is to relieve you of your money and leave you waiting in vain for the delivery of a machine . The story goes something like :
it's for sale because ... bereavement, new job , emigration, exodus   etc.
the machine is not viewable ATM because  , i'm on the off-shore rigs for the next X weeks, or it's in storage, or it's packed etc. etc.
Yes , you can send your own courier. but...
If you send the money ... I'll pay for the shipping ... pay for express shipping ... throw in the girl fiend/wife /ex  etc. etc. etc.

Anything  - as long as you send the money.

The scammer:

Usually male , probably knows something about machines , probably hangs about in forums like this one (Hi, scammer). The may only be a few such people currently operating.

The morel:
Be careful , it is so easy to 'want' something so bad, that ones brain fails to operate normally (under no circumstances go shopping after drinking alcohol - beer goggles work on everything) .
The old old adage 'if it looks to good to be true - it probably isn't" should be first thing in your mind

In this case I cannot prove it is a scam so I cannot act, other than to warn others .

If it seems too good to be true it usually is !

It might be a hacked account - happened to me once, the only reason I found out about it before the **** hit the fan, was because someone asked a question about the DVD box sets I was allegedly selling, before any of the listings (there were about a dozen) ended.

I'm not entirely sure why I didn't get any e-mails from eBay stating I'd started a listing.... this was some time ago though, so maybe they didn't send alerts then. Fortunately everything else about my account (payment cards!!!) were untouched. Again, not sure why (having gained access to the account) said scammers didn't go on a bit of a spending spree on my coin.  Either I got lucky, or maybe they knew that that sort of thing WOULD generate e-mails?
Hacked accounts are all too common. It definitely  looks iffy.

Yes it was a scam.

The real owner came forward after I posted this message on Practical Machinist.

I have reported it to eBay.


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