Scammed on Gumtree ($3400) - Can I Do Anything?

yes this is another i got scammed on gumtree thread.. probably too late to be telling me to only meet in person but just looking for some advice..

Found an ad in QLD selling what i wanted (in in NSW and this is audio/DJ equipment that does not come up very often hence why i couldnt just look locally)
seller insisted on local pickup but couldn’t since his address was in townsville, but got him to send me photos with my name on a piece of paper next to the item to confirm he owns them, talked on the phone a couple of times and all seemed very legit

skipping the sale details and to cut a long story short, i stupidly ignored warning signs (eg. didn’t want to use paypal) and have direct deposited him the money ($3400) on tuesday. Today on Facebook i have found out 2 other similar sales happened to to friends for same item a couple of weeks ago, in their case turning out to be a scam, and since it was the same item i compared stories with them.. turns out its the same guy (different fake details however phone/name/bank account all different) but exact same ‘invoice’ however

I am still in contact with him and he doesn’t know that i know its a scam yet (not that this probably helps) the only thing i have going for me is that i know he actually does own or have access to that gear (not that that really helps either) i am also in contact with him under another phone number and identity (now saying he has the same 'backup' gear for sale)

He is supposedly sending them out tomorrow but by the weekend assume he is going to cut all ties with me and get rid of the number
i am almost certain now that his name and address are both fake.. plus he has multiple (i assume throwaway) phone numbers and bank accounts

What can i do? i have contacted the bank who have filed a case to try and recover the money, but I’m not hopeful with this as funds will be long gone by then

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Comments

  •  

    Could you contact the bank or local police to express your concern?

    Direct deposit is less secure but maybe your bank can do something to assist you?>

    By the way, have you checked their BSB number to identify the bank?

    •  

      like i said, i have contacted the bank who have put in a request to recover funds.. thats the best they said they could do and from what I've heard I'm not hopeful on this route

      yeah checked the bsb before sale (484799) which is a suncorp in Brisbane and didn't seem out of the ordinary

    • +2 votes

      Have you reported this to Gumtree? This scam needs to be shut down and the scammer identified.

  • +9 votes

    have direct deposited him the money ($3400)

    o.0

  • +4 votes

    Document all evidence, contact police. Don't give him hints that you know what he is up to.

    •  

      yep, will most likely go to the police tomorrow.. unfortunately one of the other two guys went there this week with the same case as mine and was politely told there is nothing they could do really.. will still probably give it a go anyway

      •  

        Jeez the police are lazy useless bastards.
        Clearly this guy is operating a fraud. That is also clearly a criminal act. And yet they do nothing.
        Bloody useless.
        As for the OP - if you don't get your money back I'd commence proceedings, subpoena the bank, then send the bikies around to collect.

        • +3 votes

          Subpoena the bank for what?

          For all the bank knows, the OP could have received the item and now wants his money too.

        • +2 votes

          @ozhunter: Clearly you have no idea.You subpoena the bank for the records connected with the bank account details you have transferred the money to.
          The bank doesn't need to know or care. They must respond to the subpoena (unless they apply to have it set aside which won't happen so long as it is framed appropriately).
          Unfortunately I deal with this a couple times a week - people who clearly have criminal complaints go to the cops, and the cops tell them they won't do anything and claim its a civil matter. Like I said, lazy bastards.

        •  

          @blaircam:

          Don't you have to go to court so you can subpoena the bank?

        •  

          @ozhunter: See my comment above "commence proceedings…"

      • +8 votes

        It's good to inform cops. The more number on complaints is better as they will be forced to do something.

  • +2 votes

    I got scammed $150 on a New 3DS XL purchase from a Victorian dude. I paid for it at even paid shipping… but it never came :( However, I think you have more of a chance considering you have paid more :)

  • +1 vote

    Pretty much follow the scam watch site https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/where-to-get-help (or can report here https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam) though I don't see it telling you much that you probably don't already know.

    If you had the BSB then you can find what bank it was sent too, if you have the police with you, or even by yourself, it might be worth going to the bank it was sent too (or one of their branches or maybe even calling them up) and tell them that the account is tied to a scammer and there is a police report or similar. They may be able to halt it or shut it down forcing the user to have to actually come into the bank to unlock it? or stop him from grabbing that money out possibly allowing for the charge back? Might be best to discuss with someone to see if this can have any adverse effects though?

    Unfortunately not sure what else you can do, besides hoping for the police to actually look into it. I despise people like this sooo much, I'll be happy to sit here and hope it gets hit by some sort of massive transport vehicle.

    • +3 votes

      Sorry to hear about your story, but pretty sure you have zero chance of getting your money back via the bank. Long story short, the scammer MUST agree to release the funds back to you if you sent the funds. Pretty standard banking procedure.

      And telling the other bank to shut down a persons bank account because you believe its a fraud????? Just wont happen without seeing a magistrate I'm afraid.

      Your best bet might still be the police, the local station guys might not be interested but there are cyber/fraud sections, you'll have to get them to pick up the case thou.

      Best to use a credit card or paypal for these high risk transactions.

      Good luck with it.

      •  

        Oh right, my understanding is that it takes a few business days for the bank to clear the funds, so i was hoping it was more of a bank not clearing it right away if they knew there was a problem (especially if knowing the other bank was going to attempt to "recover the money").

        Shutting down was definitely not the word I meant to use here, I just meant that there may be a system in place if there is a major fault with the account that they can halt it (for example I always thought if I called the bank I can get them to freeze my money if for example someone stole my credit card).

        But from your information it does sound like all that is (understandably) wrong, so I appreciate the message. Apologies I wasn't super clear, but you're right in that it probably wont help XD, cheers.

        •  

          Is it possible to find out whether the other party has withdrawn the money if you were to approach Suncorp about that? There area Suncorp branches in NSW so you could go in person and explain the situation to them. The reason for knowing that is to also let them know that you have reported this to the police and they are investigating this as fraud. Of course you will need to report this to the police - better sooner than later and give Suncorp the Police Report no as this will show that you are legitimate. If it hasn't been withdrawn surely you can advise the Police - and in a situation of stolen goods the police normally put a hold on them - so couldn't this situation be the same where the cash is held/suspended until it is fully investigated?

  • +1 vote

    that's unfortunate op, a request to recover funds is your best option IMHO

    • +2 votes

      The bank will send a nice letter to the scammer saying something like

      "funds sent incorrectly, if you agree to return funds please sign below and return to your nearest branch."

      Thanks how bank operations work with direct deposit transactions.

      •  

        this is how it used to be when i had to do the same thing a few years ago but upon talking to my bank last night, it is actually the case that he will have to prove that he is entitled to his money, i am not hopeful with this however though as he would have withdrawn the funds and closed account by then id say

        •  

          thats sounds pretty positive and if its the case good luck with it.

          I just had a nice letter sent to me from NAB requesting i return some money for the sale of an item about 3 weeks ago, im not a scammer, the buyer just got a bit pooie with the timing of the goods.

          I returned the money to him via a direct deposit and disregard the request to pay back.

          But from what your saying, sounds like a great way to punk people, tell the bank Turnball's account is blah blah blah and he has to prove the money is his?

          Not saying your situation is false and i hope you get your funds back but I would not bank with a bank that held MY money because someone made an accusation with no real proof.

  •  

    organised crime - report to ACORN

    •  

      thanks, have reported it yesterday

  • +2 votes

    Now i feel less bad. as I gotten scammed too lost 1200 dollars. nothing you can do but mine was buying gift card with paypal, they dont cover gift cards..

  • +3 votes

    scumtree strikes again

  • +2 votes

    Assuming he's going to post it up for sale again, you could act like another interested buyer who's in Townsville to pick it up from his address? Might make it easier for police to track him down?

    •  

      i have done that already and have the address but am 99% sure it is fake as its the same one he gave me as an interstate buyer

  • +1 vote

    Most items in "Townsville" are fake on gumtree, not all! But most. Be careful, they KNOW most people will be unable to local pick up there

  • +1 vote

    POLICE !!!To open a bank account ID is necessary. And so there is a lot that the Police can and will do.

  • +1 vote

    How do people get away with this? Can't they be identified through bank account details?

    •  

      Easily done… Scammer buys something from someone else on the likes of Gumtree and pays by direct deposit. Unbeknownst to the seller that the funds are coming from another scam victim. When the OP attempts a chargeback they are in then attempting to recover the funds from the 2nd victim while the scammer is riding into the sunset with their new stolen wares.

  •  

    Please call the police NOW and give them the info you have already.

    I know a couple of people who were also scammed by townsville people and they called the police and got some joy.

    •  

      do you mean just call my local station?

  •  

    Nothing you can do. Voluntary transfer of cash. Banks wont help and neither will police.

    • +3 votes

      No that is not correct. This appears to be a clear case of obtaining money by deception. The police get paid to investigate fraud.

  •  

    As it was over the internet and over state boundaries, the appropriate way to report it to police is through ACORN (acorn.gov.au).

    •  

      he probably wasn't over state boundaries as i am 99% it is a fake address

      •  

        Either way, ACORN is a reporting tool for online fraud. The report is then sent to the relevant area of the state police departments. It's more likely someone will look at it than the local station cops.

        •  

          thanks, have reported it yesterday

  •  

    did you pay with your credit card you may be able to get your money back? have you contacted gumtree about it,there is a small chance if you contact the police in Townsville and report it to them giving them the address and phone number they supplied to you,who knows the seller may be known to them, you can only hope,
    ONE THING TO REMEMBER ALWAYS ASK TO PAY VIA PAYPAL AND ASK HIM TO SEND YOU AMENDED TOTAL AMOUNT INCLUDING THE PAYPAL FEES WHICH YOU OFFER TO PAY AND IF THEY STILL DO NOT AGREE TO THAT THERE IS A %95 CHANCE IT IS A RIP OFF,when reporting this problem including to the police and bank make sure that you include the phone number he supplied for you to contact them,

    best of luck

    •  

      Oops.. comment deleted

      got myself confused with the multitude of 'I got scammed threads' of late.

  • -3 votes

    I'm wondering if it's possible to go and pay the scammer a "visit". Maybe you and the other two people who were ripped off. The rest is up to your imagination…

    •  

      Doesn't work that way champ. It's not Hollywood
      You won't find him first but if you do….
      You hurt him- jail time and lawyers. He/she will sue (lots of $$$)
      He hurts you- dental work, income loss,

      •  

        Not if it's self-defense…..though you need to make sure he makes the first move on your before you can do anything about it.

  • +1 vote

    Lol as if you would send 3400 to a gumtree seller

  • +1 vote

    Why do people do this?

  •  

    I was bitten once too, but for a lot less than $3400!!!!

    Really Gumtree needs to be more up front with just how widespread fraud is on their service. They should partner with an escrow service that offers very low fees and have the only methods of payment be cash or escrow.

    • +1 vote

      Really Gumtree needs to be more up front with just how widespread fraud is on their service.

      Or perhaps people need to think first.

  •  
    Merged from Any chance to get money scammed from online transfer?

    Hi guys,

    I did one of the stupidest thing ever on internet. Saw a brand new S7 on gumtree for $500 bucks (shoulda known too good to be true), and decided to buy it off a lady who live in another WA town. Talked to the lady and confirmed everything on the phone & SMS. She sounded honest & genuine, so in good australian spirit, I transferred the money to her. Initially asked for paypal, but she didn't have one (should have persisted), so we did online bank transfer as she wanted the money quicker.

    Anyway, after two days, still haven't heard anything from her, didn't pick up her phone etc, so you could say I'm officially been scammed!

    Now, is there anything I could do about my situation? I asked my bank to reverse the transaction, but it's too late now. I was told I could file a reverse transaction, but highly unlikely I could get the money back if the lady decided not to return it. I got the lady's name (hopefully it's real one), phone number & acc number & I did have most of our conversation in messagings, any chance I could file a police report or anything?

    Feeling so pissed right now, I would even hire a private investigator, find her and force her to pay back everything including my private investigator hire fee.. I'd rather not resort to violence resolve if possible.

    • +1 vote

      Getting a private detective would just be sending good money after bad.

      •  

        who cares, I'll make her pay for everything or I'll give her hell

        But how much it cost in general?

  •  

    the only real slight chance of getting you money back is 'scaring' them into returning your money.

    maintain email communication, slowly build up the degree of law enforcement involved.

    log every piece of information you have on him, phone numbers, ip, emails, etc. save photos that may have meta data.

    start with bank deposit dispute, forward him all correspondence, whenever the bank sends you a letter that they will investigate, redact your info and send him a copy.

    always provide your bank details so they have them available if they wish to refund. (no you don't need to provide your actual account name).

    then let them know you are creating an acorn.gov.au report, then create it, then send them confirmation,

    with any luck police will be involved, then send them further correspondence.

    there is a small chance you will recover your money, and it will take a long time.

    every few months email him, his circumstances might have changed.

  •  

    Well that is an expensive lesson for you, never pay direct deposit, unless you are prepared to lose the money. For anything more than $100, i would always pickup, or get it delivered and pay on delivery.

    How is it the police cannot help ? Isnt fraud for $3400 a significant crime. Sometimes i dont understand what the police think their job is.

    •  

      Sounds like the coppers are doing their usual handball routine to avoid the paperwork. Clearly an offence to Obtain Property (Money) by Deception. Poor effort.

  • +1 vote

    Similar story to you OP. Bought something for $500 from someone in QLD. Everything seemed legit but no contact afterwards. Called my bank that called their bank but all they can do is request the money back. If the owner/scammer rejects this claim, the bank cannot forcibly take the money away from them. I called the cops and was advised that this is not their 'job' and that I had to call the cyber crime department.

    I put in a ticket with them, and sorta forgot about it. About 2 months later I got a call back from them advising me that they are currently working on it, but told me there wasnt much chance of a recovery.

    That was a month ago and I dont really have much hope of getting it back. Sorry for the bad news but thats my experience with a similar situation albeit smaller amount

  •  

    Hi mate

    I have just suffered the same scam but for $3000

    Did you ever get the money back and how did you go about this?

    cheers mate