Scammed out of $280 by a 67/30's Year Old

G'day.

So I've been in a stressful situation since last Saturday and need some help. I'll try to do a quick run through of everything that had happened.

I put up an ad on Gumtree for some games I wanted to buy. A guy responded and we negotiated a good deal; $140. I sent him the agreed $140 through bank transfer. He then said he preferred cardless cash and threatened to give the game to someone else unless I paid him via cardless cash. Mind you, he sent me his bank details despite wanting cashless. I really wanted the games so I told him I'd give him $140 via cardless if he sent me $140 back. I got a receipt of the supposed $140 transfer he 'sent back' and I sent him the $140 cashless. Fast forward over a week, and he never sent me the games despite making several promises. The $140 transfer he sent never arrived, which all but confirms he sent me a fake receipt. He later agreed to refund me the full $280 I've now lost, but now he's sitting on my money. Any and all responses has been extremely slow or have been ignored outright and he's now virtually refusing to do a task that'd take him literal minutes. I know $280 is mickey mouse money in comparison to some other scams on here, but it doesn't take away the fact that it's made me extremely stressed.

Some other things; the guy is a compulsive liar. He initially said he was 67 only to later say he was in his 30's. He has also said he could post my game on several occasions but never did. One of such occasions was last Thursday, which was supposedly his off-day, only to say he was busy working when he never sent it. He is also with ME Bank.

(EDIT: since a lot of people thinks he's from the same state as I) - The guy is from Victoria, Melbourne. I don't have his address because I stupidly missed him offering to send me his license, but I can guess he's around South Bank, since that's where he said he could meet at. I'm from South Australia.

I've been in contact with both mine and his bank since last week. My bank has been useless as always, and I'm awaiting a response from ME. I've also got into contact with Gumtree over suspending his account. Whilst I wait for these responses, I'm wondering if my case has any chance of being picked up by the police. I know it's probable that my chances are low, but at this stage I'm quite desperate. I'm hoping something as small as a phone call by the police could shake him enough to give my bloody money back. I also know that I'm a fool for blindly sending a stranger money. I've been scammed from bank transfers before, so I don't know why I keep making the same mistakes, but I've now sworn to a strict no bank transfer policy.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

*** UPDATE ***

Alright, I've heard you guys loud and clear. I am a hopeless idiot probably living off backdoor rub-and-tubs whilst smoking ice in the streets next to the garbage bins. I've finally learnt my lesson and I'll be sure not to repeat it again. However, I've searched the bloke's number online and turns out he's a serial scammer. I don't want to risk suspension or ban by posting specifics but he has been scamming for at least 3 years now. His real name has been out and about and three supposed addresses (all within Victoria and coincidentally, 35 ~ minute driving distance to South Bank) has been linked with him. Apparently he's even been imprisoned for 20 months but is now out on parole or have been released. Obviously, that all should be taken with a grain of salt (I could speak) but this information has been repeated by multiple people on multiple websites over multiple months. Some have apparently reported this to ACORN and Victoria Police, but he's clearly still operating, whether it's him himself or an accomplice or two.

I believe I have his current bank details - he has previously been with two others, and a phone number that he has been using for a while and clearly didn't think to change. This on top of his real name, addresses, etc that I've found.

Any further help would be appreciated - I do hope that I can at least help take down this bogan back to the hole he was born in.

Related Stores

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closed Comments

  • When will people learn.

    • +5

      Some people apparently don't learn.

      I would have thought they'd learn through experience.

      But OP is wondering why he keeps getting scammed despite being scammed before.

      I guess he's immune to operant conditioning.

      You're a medical marvel OP, donate your body to science, and I'll give you $280 bucks, promise.

    • Some people can't resist the dangling carrots.

  • Does Gumtree have any protection other than meeting the other person? I've only ever done one Gumtree transaction many years ago and was amazed that there was no protection. I went through with the entirely trust based interstate purchase because it was only 20 bucks but I've never been back.

    And the honourable seller came good.

    • No protection and unfortunately they even encourage PayPal as a payment method.

      • PayPal won't offer any protection right? Could the purchaser file a claim in PayPal saying the item is defective?

    • that there was no protection.

      This is a good thing. Cash-on-pickup is a protection in itself. If Gumtree had protections of any kind, they would probably introduce fees and other crap that would ruin it.

  • +3

    There are plenty genuine buyers and sellers in Gurmtree to be fair.I had many transactions done with them sellers for small $ transactions through bank transactions. It depends upon people’s intrigity .

    • Yep lots of nice people, just don't do it for more than you can afford to lose (it is a bit like gambling)

      • Yep, in the last few weeks I have done a couple of deals where I paid upfront, then organised for a courier to pick the items up, they were both for similar amounts to what the OP has lost. They have both worked out OK, but it's a risk. Putting up a wanted ad, and then sending the money is just a sure way to attract scammers though, I wouldn't do it for "popular items" either, especially if they are a really cheap.

    • +1

      My guess is, you may not have exchanged items that are "hard to find", "sought after" or "a fantastic deal", which are highly likely probable items to get scammed.

      What ever game OP was wanting (already asked by others and not disclosed) would most likely be one of the 3 category of item(s).

  • +1

    I'm also very curious about the games, more than anything (it's unfortunate about your money, I'm sorry).

    Also, if you post the list of games, you might get lucky and some people here may have some of them and offer them to you. Just saying. Maybe that's just a reddit thing tho.

  • -1

    Gotta say it but serve yourself right for buying on Gumtree! 🥱

    • +10

      Disagree. Victim blaming validates the scam. So now, it is OK to scam people because they are naive? We should expect better as a society. Police will likely victim blame too, as the OP has experienced.

      • -1

        I’d rather police resources went to legitimate victims rather than OP who is directly responsible for his choices.

        • +12

          Yes. I agree with you, completely. Police should use their resources on protecting legitimate victims. And of course, the OP is a legitimate victim.

          Plus, it is not like the person on the other end of this scam is only doing this for a lark, it is likely their job, but they get a free ride because they were smarter/better informed than the OP?

          We should at least educate! Follow the guidelines from the ACCC who do suggest reporting it.
          https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/get-help/where-to-get-help

  • +4

    Lol, wow, you are asking to get scammed and was probably his easiest prey.

    I sent him the agreed $140 through bank transfer. He then said he preferred cardless cash and threatened to give the game to someone else unless I paid him via cardless cash. Mind you, he sent me his bank details despite wanting cashless. I really wanted the games so I told him I'd give him $140 via cardless if he sent me $140 back. I got a receipt of the supposed $140 transfer he 'sent back' and I sent him the $140 cashless. Fast forward over a week, and he never sent me the games despite making several promises. The $140 transfer he sent never arrived, which all but confirms he sent me a fake receipt.

    • Well said!

      • +1

        It's fraud take it to the police ffs

  • +3

    a new member and this his first contribution…Considering the wide ranging experiences and knowledge here, on ozbargain - some members could be police and legal professionals or para legals, and some may have lots of experience with gumtree. A post like this would be a good way of finding out whether a particular scam could work; and how to fine tune it.

    Think of a scam, put it out there for feedback before implementing it. No cost, no danger, knowledge gained without actually implementing anything.

  • +4

    Put it down to learning and don’t make the same mistake again. Consider yourself lucky it was only $280 and not $28,000.

  • +1

    We all need to know. What were the games you were hoping to receive?

    • +1

      Probably Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet for Nintendo Switch.

  • +1

    What’s ‘cardless cash'? Isn’t that what a bank transfer is?

    • +1

      Cardless cash is when you withdraw from an ATM using the commonwealth bank app and 2FA through a text message and don't need your physical debit card.

      • So you can withdraw money from your own account without a card but how do you pay someone using cardless cash?

        • +2

          You send them the code and tell them which bank's ATM to use

          • +1

            @kerfuffle: Ah, ok I get it now. Thanks for explaining.

  • Another newbie falls for being scammed and wants help…. Learn and move on. Only option is to go to the police, but they will in all probability do nothing.

  • This is just another post from Scumtree 😷

  • All ATMs have cameras.

  • Sorry bud, move on. We lost $5k a similar way via ebay. Cash or paypal only going forward.

  • +1

    Why are you people still dealing with GumTree…. come on

  • you live and you learn mate. youre lucky it wasnt more money

  • +2

    on another note… would you be able to find out the date/time and branch which the cardless cash was withdrawn?
    They might have cameras

  • +1

    I don't want to go into too much detail, hence I deleted the above comments.
    Went to the police station last night for a similar scenario.
    The cops were able to arrest the offender but unsure if it's the same person.
    I just hope Ill be able to recover my belongings.

    • +1

      Hope so too :(

  • +1

    OP has left the building.

  • Report it, move on. Hard lesson to learn.

  • Plot Twist: Maybe Scomo is a paranoid scammer who is desparate to see what trouble can come his way.

    Funny Side-story: Scammer who scammed me is catching on. Must have seen all those posts. :P

  • I suspect you were bedazzled by the awesome price and lost the common sense.

  • Police won't touch it. File an acorn online fraud report. Might not get anywhere but it could build a file for future reports to build on

    • Police will touch it. But very slow. And will get a chance to prosecute the offender. All these possible since the offender is in Australia

  • OP is your Zodiac sign Aries by any chance?

  • +2

    Some other things; the guy is a compulsive liar. He initially said he was 67 only to later say he was in his 30's.

    I wouldn't say that's compulsive lying. That's just how scamming works…. You lie to the other person for money

    • +1

      Precisely. That's no compulsion, but part of the scam.

  • Move on, stupid mistake. Won’t get your money back.

  • +1

    Go to SAPOL asap and set up a case of deception. And take all the evidence with you.

  • Scomo is that really you?

  • +1

    Hey OP, ive seen stolen property being sold on Gumtree/other scams, if you have their number and any details them (name, bank account details etc), best thing you can do is go into your local police station and report it. Take screenshots of all comms. You'll have to do a Stat Dec and you will 'lose' 1 hour of your life.

    Pretty much zero chance you will get your money back, but if enough evidence stacks up against this fellow from other people that they scam, then at least he'll have more convictions connected to him.

    Really sucks dude. I've trusted people and have almost never been let down thankfully, stings when there's injustice.

  • I sold a Withings Nokia watch by sending it to his PO Box first, then 2 days later he pay ID me ! This was on gummie too

    • What's the PayID?

      It at least has their real name associated with the bank.

  • Do people still fall for these troll posts? 🤦‍♂️

  • -1

    Lol. I don’t even need to read the other comments here to know that they are saying exactly what I am about to say.

    This is your fault. You did not act safely and therefore made yourself an easy target for being scammed.

  • +1

    You got scammed. He’s not giving you money back, you need to accept that. You’re giving us all the reasons why he keeps saying he hasn’t done it yet, which tells me that you still don’t understand that you just got scammed.

  • +1

    Hey, sorry for the loss. I think I've met similar people on Gumtree. I've been after second hand pokemon games, whose prices are now stupidly inflated. Every now and again a ripper deal comes up, so I contact, and get one of two things. People either need the money today, so can only do a bank transfer, or they are old, and "don't understand the whole PayPal thing". Both occasions I offered to pay PayPal, and cover the seller fee and postage, but they were adamant they couldn't do PayPal and didn't have it set up. However, funnily enough, their Gumtree profile showed them as having a PayPal account linked. It also showed they were members as of this year.

    So my point really just is, no matter how badly you want the game, always pay paypal. No exceptions. If they're not willing to do it - move on, and at best let it be a bargain for someone local.

    • I might be wrong, but it will say PayPal is available in every listing even if you didn't set it up.

      • On their profile it notes PayPal is linked. Not on the listing.

  • <INSERT> popcorn.gif

  • you can report all day long but nobody is going to do shit over $280

    just move on and take the lesson

  • Nothing you can do similar shit happened to me a few years ago only pay cash on collection or when a service is completed otherwise no deal

    it is a shit lesson but it is one you needed to learn in life

    Just be happy it was only $280

    the police wont help you - they will direct you to VCAT

    • Why would they direct him to VCAT?

      You can't take someone to a tribunal if you don't know anything about them

      • This is true - so more so OP is pretty much up ship creek

        • Yeah, I say just take it in the chin and move on from it. $280 isn't an earth-shattering amount of money to dwell over, traffic fines are around that amount.

          • @Butt Scratcher: I lost close to 700 on a scam a few years ago it burnt hard at the time but i took the lesson out of it

            Sadly the law lets this happen…imho scammers should face fines triple the amount scammed to stop people from running this sort of crap but the criminal justice system literally gives Zero F**ks

            • @Trying2SaveABuck: Even 700 is a minuscule amount in the grand scheme of things when you consider the cost of investigating these incidents. I'm sure if these police departments had unlimited resources they would chase it as far as they can, but the reality of things is they don't.

              As a taxpayer, I sure wouldn't want them to pursue trivial matters like this (If I had to put an estimate on it, it would probably cost $5k-10k of public money to prosecute someone for this). Especially when it can be prevented with a bit of education… (in this case, it costed $280)

              Last time I bought stuff on gumtree, there was a pop up message somewhere telling people to only deal face to face

              • @Butt Scratcher: As a taxpayer i would rather the police stop criminals weather big or small….you're right in the fact $700 isnt a lot of money but to some people it is.

                Sure it is $200 here and $700 - but if you dont stop these petite crimes they add up quick - There is literally people that scammed out of house deposits etc and the system allows it to happen…

                I find it amazing they will book you 300$ for parking 20mins over a public spot the time limit but wont stop people essentially stealing from other citizens

                • -1

                  @Trying2SaveABuck:

                  As a taxpayer i would rather the police stop criminals weather big or small….

                  Do you seriously think spending 5k-10k+ of public money is worth it for these petty crimes that is the fault of the person who let them self get scammed? For every gullible person out there, there is someone out there to take advantage of them. For all we know, this scammer might not even be in Australia.

                  There is literally people that scammed out of house deposits etc and the system allows it to happen…

                  Okay, now you're talking nonsense, show me a case where police has done nothing when someone got scammed out of their house deposit? Those are taken a lot more seriously and I have definitely seen people get prosecuted over it.

                  I find it amazing they will book you 300$ for parking 20mins over a public spot the time limit but wont stop people essentially stealing from other citizens

                  You've kinda contradicted you were saying in your first sentence. It seems like you want the public resources to be allocated to suit your preferences

                  In the future, feel free to spend $10k+ on solicitors and a private investigator to investigate the person (or even take out your own time and money) who scammed you out of $700. Then hand the evidence on a platter to the police. I'm sure they will gladly prosecute that person

                  • @Butt Scratcher: https://7news.com.au/technology/internet/online-scam-melbour...

                    LMAO - im not talking rubbish evidence about next time use Google…all these 'little scams' are getting bigger

                    But real life experience I had a patient (M 75ish y.o) scammed out of 9k because someone from the 'ATO called him saying he had been hacked and needed to transfer his money ASAP'

                    9k when you're on the pension is a lot of money…. but hey the police have better things to do….

                    I had another scammed by a similar scam he lost 2k

                    one other lady was 'almost' scammed out of 12k but she actually called the 'ATO' to see if it was legit she was a bit smarter in fairness but she was also a bit younger 60s

                    As for the police spending money - the Police Spend 100s of millions in upholding trafficking laws (ie parking fines) they can spend a few million stopping actual criminals

                    As i said the system is broke

                    • @Trying2SaveABuck: What I replied to, you suggested that nothing gets done about it. Like in the case of your $700

                      I don't doubt that these kind of scams happen. The best preventative way is to educate people, I'm sure these people won't be prone to getting scam again. But instead of being educated they learnt it first hand

                      • @Butt Scratcher: The system needs a simple solution - if someone scams you out of your money and you have the transaction and can prove that services or goods had not been delivered that person should be fined instantly - Just like a 'speeding/parking ticket' that person has the right to appeal at there cost - if they appeal and can prove they didn't scam the person who made the complaint has to past the court costs and the cost of the fine….

                        Simple solution to a rampant problem - they do it for speeding and parking but they dont do it for peoples money?

                        • @Trying2SaveABuck: You certainly could try. Like I said, if you are happy to fork out $10k+ to prosecute someone over your $700, go for it. There's a reason why banks require your identity before you open an account here. Like in the article you linked, it suggest authorities are working with the bank to trace the money.

                          Just because someone didn't get their money back, it doesn't mean nothing was done about it.

                          By the way, that story that you linked. I'm almost certain if the money can't be recovered, it would be covered by the conveyancers indemnity insurance.

                          • @Butt Scratcher: here is another one https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-17/aged-care-resident-sc...

                            I reckon i could post 40 different articles about people being scammed in Australia in the past 18 months alone - as for insurance in some cases this is true but it isnt about 'getting the money back' it is about stopping perpetrators from scamming someone else….

                            I dont think you understand the roll of the police - when someone is murdered you cant bring that person back the idea of locking up criminals is to stop them from re-offending and rehabilitate them…

                            As i said 700 isnt a lot of money to me but i hate the idea of people scamming myself or anyone else and getting away with it because the system is too lazy to do anything about it

  • +1

    Wow. Not only scammed for $140 once…. but twice?? Good lord man.

  • Tell him you also prefer to get your $140 back via cardless cash and so you will send the $140 he sent you back via bank transfer

    • Scammers too stingy to ever send money.

      Stealing is their go to.

  • -2

    Bahahahahahahaahaha

  • I've used Gumtrees built in PayPal when selling or buying things. Works a treat.

  • Ahhhh rookie. Gumtree is always always cash

  • You will be good pals with a Nigerian prince

  • Scomo? Mate, your money is at Engadine maccas.

  • There is a free legal aid service in your state. You can call and set up a free appointment and see what your next steps should be. I have used the QLD service and it is awesome.

  • -1

    $280 is cheap for the valuable lesson you learnt mate, thank the scammer for the bargain and move on with your life.

  • Look at it this way, you paid $280 on "school fees" to learn an important lesson (cash for face to face, or if you can't make it, send a friend to collect on your behalf).

  • I just don't get how people are not learning their lesson even after alllllllll yeh posts relating to a similar situation…..

    It's simple op, you wanted something soooo bad that you over looked the simple gumtree rule which is to exchange item with card in hand.

    Learn from your mistake and move on.

  • Fact you are so naive, I’m happy for you, least you can chain a sentence together and reflect on your stupidity.

    +1 you got a discount on a valuable life lesson.

  • I am always so paranoid about bank transfer, even when i see the money in my account I still worry.

    How do people reverse the money after it has been deposited into your account?

    • Pretty complicated.

  • Bank transfers are now instant, no more waiting for 2-3 days for transferring, therefore your money is gone.

  • Gumtree: always Cash on Delivery.

    IF (and that's a big IF) you're doing interstate/shipped, paypal goods and services.

  • Multiple people have asked what games they were but the OP has ignored this question.

  • I can tell you one thing for sure the police can't do shit. Only thing they can do is ask you to fill a form and wave your bottom dollar goodbye.

  • "I've been scammed from bank transfers before"

    Jesus mate, maybe you should stop using the internet for any kinds of sales/purchases, cause you're clearly not smart enough for it man.

    I don't mean to seem mean but…..yeah, you're not learning the basic rules of selling/buying online, you're just gonna keep losing money and being an easy target.

  • +1

    Another troll post to trigger ozbargainers? Lol

  • +1

    do you have his name?

    • Yes. But I don't think Ozbargain mods allow it.

      OP has the left the building - regardless.

  • +2

    Hey OP, just noticed you've updated your post (by chance). However your update came after the last comment(s) were made, so I don't think anybody would have known you've updated your post with your latest discoveries.

    Hopefully my comment may allow others to see this post has new comment(s), therefore allow others to see your update. Let see if anyone could provide assistance to you (if not already done so).

    All the best!

  • OP has requested for the forum post to be removed as the issue has been resolved. Thread closed.