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Attention: Suspicious Activity in Buy & Sell: Lothe1961 and various aliases

Discussion in 'Expired Listings' started by Amin Sabet, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    One of our members reported suspicious Buy & Sell activity by a user named Lothe1961

    The activity was flagged after it was noted that "Seller wants quick Gift payment and is using a photo that is not his... And while he has a few feedbacks, they are from members who all seemed to join on the same day"

    Another member noted "identity not matching up with their paypal account"

    I banned Lothe1961's account and deleted all of his posts. The deletion tool notified me that this individual has sent 66 PMs, which is very concerning. Please be warned that this individual is likely a scammer and seems to have also used the following user names:


    Hopefully no one has been scammed by this person. This is a good time to review our Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed and as good a time as any to remind all members that buying and selling here is at your own risk. Be careful!
    • Like Like x 87
  2. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    0   0   0

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Thanks Amin: I only buy from people I've known have been around for a while. That may be unfair to newcomers, but when I bought a Sigma DP2 over at SC from Luke, I knew who I was dealing with. Some folks join seemingly just to sell something. No doubt many of those are honest people, but it raises a red flag to me. If someone has been on the forum for a while and has a couple of hundred posts, I feel a lot more comfortable, and of course some people you get to know like a neighbor.
  3. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Rating - 100%
    10   0   0

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Amin… Yeah I look at the # of posts and the persons status on the board.. IE MU-43 All Pro or MU-43 Veteran… those tags are great to know if someone is a new user on the board or someone that has been here for awhile… great feature btw!
  4. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    Rating - 96.6%
    29   1   0

    May 20, 2013
    I don't think I have that many posts to my name, but I'd definitely call myself honest and would never take someone's money and run. I "bought" an E-P5 and Panasonic 25mm from this guy but did it regular Paypal because it did seem fishy. If you're already getting an insane deal, it's worth paying 2.8% more for piece of mind if you're not sure about the other guy.
  5. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Rating - 100%
    35   0   0

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Again, what a great place this is. The level of mutual respect here is just phenomenal and very refreshing.

    I have bought here from members with really low post counts, but have engaged them in conversation (PMs) first, and checked the references they supplied upon request. I try to balance caution and good deal with a new member who needs SOMEONE to be his or her first transaction here.
  6. jurgen

    jurgen Mu-43 Regular

    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0

    Jan 27, 2014
    I'm a forum newbie (joined to swap E-M1 pics and stories) but coming from ... well, any other forum on the internet, this place is refreshingly friendly. I've had good luck so far dealing in the BST as well and am glad to see the mods/admins take this sort of potential scam reporting so seriously.
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Rating - 100%
    52   0   1

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Best way to build a solid rep is to buy first and then start selling. If the sale deal is too good to be true, most likely it's not!
  8. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    0   0   0

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Thanks for the heads-up.

    You just never know, do you? :thumbup:
  9. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Rating - 100%
    6   0   0

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sellers asking you to use "gift" PayPal is always a red flag. If they're willing to steal from PayPal, how honest are they??
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've known for a long time now that some of those aliases were from the same person, but none of them were selling anything much less giving each other feedback, so I didn't ban them. From now on I will be quicker to ban when something seems off.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Rating - 100%
    23   0   0

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    aw crap you caught me! I give up! *makes another user name*

    Hey I have Amin's EM5 for sale if anyone wants it. paypal gift only. (does Amin have an EM5?)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. cd23murray

    cd23murray Mu-43 Regular

    Rating - 100%
    10   0   0

    Aug 7, 2012
    North Carolina

    I can't think of a legit reason why a person would need multiple logins here (or really almost anywhere). I'm kinda surprised you didn't ban them when it was noticed. I'm not blaming or anything, I just figured you probably would have, under those circumstances.

    I joined here mainly to buy/sell and everyone I have dealt with have been great (although not always, great about leaving feedback :smile:)  I read a lot, but posting is not something I normally do as I do have much to add useful.
  13. MrPhotoBob

    MrPhotoBob Mu-43 Veteran

    0   0   0

    Jun 16, 2012
    I have made one sale from someone on here and even though it was a great deal and it did take a while to receive my lens, I really had no problem with my lens purchase. You do have to be careful with buying anything off of here.
  14. steve16823

    steve16823 Mu-43 Veteran

    Rating - 100%
    9   0   0

    Sep 26, 2011
    Brookfield, IL
    Damn. Nice catch, Amin. Cunning of him to set up fake accounts for feedback.

    I even stood up for the guy when people started trashing him on a for sale thread (although I still think the appropriate response is to notify admins of suspicious activity not fight it out in a for sale thread).
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Most of the time people have more than login, it's because they changed their mind about the user name they want. The most frequent illegitimate reason for multiple accounts is to bump their buy & sell threads. This guy was tricky because he used a bunch of different IP addresses, and I never realized just how many accounts he had until the suspicious activity was reported and I did some real digging.

    Banning is not as easy as it sounds. I banned three other people yesterday alone for multiple accounts yesterday, and ALL of them emailed me to complain with some story about how their girlfriend or mother is also doing buy & sell from the same IP and computer. I believe none of them but reinstated two because of a perceived 1% chance that they are telling the truth. And if they now know that if they ever comment on one another's Buy & Sell threads, the ban will be permanent. All of this takes time and energy, but I try hard not to ban people unless I am 99.99% sure they deserve it.
    • Like Like x 4
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Rating - 100%
    19   0   0

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I agree that we don't want to be having discussions in 'for sale' threads in general, but I think in cases where fraud is suspected, it's good to have some sort of alert, so folks aren't scammed in between the time when the admins are notified and the time when they are able to act.
  17. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Rating - 100%
    2   0   0

    WOW, thanks Amin.. I almost bought from him, but i was hesitating because he seems in too much of a hurry and something about him was just off.
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Rating - 100%
    18   0   0

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I agree with you. Furthermore, I'd like to remind members to report suspicious activity asap in addition to whatever alerts they are posting in the threads.
  19. playak47

    playak47 Mu-43 Veteran

    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0

    Nov 4, 2010
    Any equipment sold should have the actual image of the equipment with the date and username of the seller in the same image. This will eliminate many scammers/fraudulent transactions.
  20. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    Rating - 96.6%
    29   1   0

    May 20, 2013
    I don't agree with this: I've probably bought and sold more things using Paypal gift than with regular Paypal. It usually is a small amount in the end, but it could be the difference between someone scoring a sale/buy here and someone going somewhere else.
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