Your PS3s Are Stuck In The UK And You Have To Buy Four More

Mea culpa. It sounded like a good idea, but the “people-powered” comparison shopping site we wrote about, beatmyprice.com, got one of our readers scammed when she used it in a non-savvy fashion. Rebecca ordered a PS3 from the sketchy-as-hell looking “omexelectronics.biz” for $260. After she ordered it with her Discover Card, she got an email telling her to complete the transaction via Western Union instead. She did so. Big mistake.

After they picked up her money, she got another email saying that the PS3 is shipping out of Spain and is stuck in the UK because DHL will only allow a minimum of 5 devices of this type to be shipped from Europe to the USA. They’re ever so sorry but now they want Rebecca to Western Union $1040 for all 5 PS3s.

Rebecca isn’t about to do that and is demanding her money back. In all likelihood, she never will. Once money is sent via Western Union, it can be picked up anywhere in the world as long as they have the control number. Once picked up, there is no possibility of a refund or cancellation.

Unfortunately, some of the “people” who chose to “power” Beatmyprice.com are scammers. I feel really bad about one of our readers getting scammed of one of our posts. Everyone needs to be aware of the following caveats when shopping online:

  • Never give money to a stranger via Western Union.
  • Only buy things online using a credit card.
  • Never just go by the lowest price you find. As we warned in the Beatmyprice post, if you haven’t heard of the retailler, check out their reputation first.

The email exchange between Rebecca and the advance fee fraudsters follows.

— On Mon, 11/17/08, Rebecca Hatfield wrote:

From: Rebecca
Subject: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.
To: omexelectronics@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, November 17, 2008, 7:39 PM

I just received this notice from Western Union saying that my payment was picked up. I would like to request a tracking number please. Thank you.

From: Omex Finco
To: Rebecca
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 4:11:35 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.

Ms Rebbeca.

Yes your payment has been picked up and also, this is to inform you that your Order has been shipped out of Spain and it’s presently in United Kingdom, DHL refuse to shipout 1Unit of the Brand New PS3 Sony Playstation 3 , They said the Minimum Unit that can be allowed to enter into your Country is 5Units due to the new president elected and for this reason any consignment that is below 5 to 10 kgb will not be allow in FOR SECURITY REASON BEST KNOW TO YOUR GOVERMENT and your consignment is just 1kgb, So for this reason My Company shipped out 5Units of the Brand New PS3 Sony Playstation 3 to you.

We used another Private Shipping Company to deliver the PS3 Sony Playstation 3 to you, The name of the Company is GLOBAL PRECIOUS SERVICE ( http://www.glopre-int.com ) The Tracking Code is ready, So the shippers will shipout once the balance of the payment is confirmed.

The balance amount to send is $1040, The PS3 Sony Playstation 3 will enter U.S.A by Tuesday Evening once the payment is confirmed tomorrow.

Note the custom officer in respect and in hold of your consignment is Mrs Caroilne Smith and you are free to contact her if you wish to. You can call her on +447031939379.

We are truely sorry for the delay

Thanks for your Understanding.
http://www.omexelectonics.biz

— On Mon, 11/17/08, Rebecca wrote:

From: Rebecca
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.
To: omexelectronics@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, November 17, 2008, 11:05 PM

Absolutely NOT.

YOU will refund my money! YOU will wire me the cost of the merchandise PLUS the Western Union fee! YOU will send me an MTCN number confirming that you are wiring me 294.00 OR ELSE I will post in AS MANY PLACES I CAN FIND ON THE WEB THAT YOUR WEBSITE IS A SCAM WEBSITE and I will detail how this transaction went.

You have 24 hours to get me an MTCN number or else I will start spreading the warning people NOT to make purchases from your website.

From: Omex Finco
To: Rebecca
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 5:32:32 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.

Please i will not take such word from you anymore SCAM how and when have you getting to just conclusion,listen we are real and qualify legit company you can go as far as doing what you wish to do,the deal btw our company and you is too open that any one esle can come in to judge for us,it was not our fault and i went as far as expalining to you but it seem you are not giving me any litening ears trying to take judgement into you hand which may turn out to a total lost to you at the end of the transaction and if you wish to have your money back that will not be any problem ok but you will need to give sometime to us to get read of these off.i have explained to you as a brother here and you keep been hard on me,get the 5 consignment you have just pay for on,but i am begging you pay just for two now and all total you payed for will be three and when ever you have money for the remaining two balance you can do so,but seem to be too hard on me.

So what do you want me to do now?mrs rebecca

— On Tue, 11/18/08, Rebecca wrote:

From: Rebecca
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.
To: omexelectronics@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 12:02 AM

As the merchant, it is your responsibility to research the customs policies in the countries through which the merchandise must go to make it to your customer. I don’t appreciate being threatened with a total loss at the end of this transaction. I’ve already lost. I basically gave you $294.00 for nothing.

I will not be sending you any more money and I have contacted my credit cards to let them know not to make any unapproved transactions. As I said before, I’m going to report OmexFinco.biz as a scam to anyone and everyone who will listen. Unless you can get me my money back.

From: Omex Finco
To: Rebecca
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2008 6:35:03 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.

With this word if you wish you are not comfortabale with my ideal here i am sorry about it

(As the merchant, it is your responsibility to research the customs policies in the countries through which the merchandise must go to make it to your customer)

But Madam why not for this time give to me a listening ears.i am not threateneing you but if all this hot you at the same time i am sorry but madam the true still remain on what i am tell you please i am begging you let try to have second thinking and i belt you this will be our long lasting relation in business,your ps3 are in UK under the care of mrs caroline smith,please i will beg you in the name of god to call her tommorow morning.so you will see all iam telling you is real, let see you have your ps3..

point of correction madam rebecca we are not SCAMM company ok.stop such words you are my customer and is my duty to treat you nice.

please bear with us all the cost

— On Tue, 11/18/08, Rebecca wrote:

From: Rebecca
Subject: Re: Fw: Western Union: Pickup Notification.
To: omexelectronics@yahoo.com
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 12:46 AM

I don’t care who has the PS3s at this moment. I only ordered ONE of them. I’m not calling anyone tomorrow because I’m not going to throw away any more money on this.

It doesn’t matter if what you are saying IS true. I can’t afford to pay any more money. I could barely afford what the single PS3 cost. You won’t see a penny more out of me.

OK MADAM,SINCE YOU WISH NOT TO ACT ACCORDILY WITH WHAT I WISH WILL HELP ACHIVE OUR AIM HERE,THEN YOU WILL NEED TO GIVE OF SOMETIMES AND RESOLVE THIS ISSUE.

THANKS.”

(Photo: joka2000)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. jrlcopy says:

    Ask him if any of his buddies know any princes and kings that are trying to sneak out of the country. ;)

    Some of the responses were just too jumbled to read.

  2. NotYou007 says:

    I’d like to say I feel bad for this person but I don’t. Does a cheap price make people do such stupid things or is it greed?

    Again, it’s truly hard to feel bad for this person.

    • SegamanXero says:

      @NotYou007: I feel bad for her, she was trying to find a deal on a PS3… You know like all of us should when buying anything…

      She was smart enough not to send anymore money to the scammers, and carried out on her threat to post on every site she could if she didnt get her money back.

      I honestly hope she gets her money back.

    • lizk says:

      @NotYou007: I have a hard time feeling bad for these people, too. I mean really… how long as the “you need to send your money through Western Union” scam been around? YEARS. The fact that people are still falling for it just baffles me. Do they not ever read newspapers or watch CNN? Crimony.

      • snowlock says:

        @queenlizzie: who reads newspapers? cnn?

        really?

        • SegamanXero says:

          @snowlock: well, come to think about it… as soon as i would hear, “Oh sorry there is a problem proccessing your payment with your creditcard or paypal, can you send it via western union?” i probably woulda said cancel the order… and did a chargeback on my credit card… I still feel kinda bad for her…

  3. macdude22 says:

    Is saving 20 bucks on S*** really worth dealing with all these fly by night sites and ebayers? I’m always happy to pay a buck or two more to ensure I’m dealing with a reasonably reputable site or person. This is why I rarely get anything from pricewatch, so many “companies” selling cheap goods on that site are just joe blow drop shipper in his mom’s basement.

    I feel for the victim but sometimes we dig our own holes looking for the best “deal”.

    • madanthony says:

      @macdude22:

      fly by night sites and ebayers?

      Grr. As someone who sells on eBay occasionally for some extra money, I hate to be lumped with “scammers”. Most sellers on eBay are decent, and if you know how to protect yourself you can get some decent deals on the ‘bay.

      It’s a shame that scammers have made eBay synonymous with scam. Granted, eBay Inc. hasn’t helped.

      • Ajh says:

        @madanthony: I have purchased many very nice items from ebay that are not from scammers. The tell tale signs of a scam are usually there if you look for them. In this case it was the usage of Western Union. I’m betting you as a reputable seller have never asked someone to send money like that, correct?

  4. trujunglist says:

    You know how they say if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is? PS3 for $260 sounds something like that. Sorry to hear about your monetary loss; I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson.

    • Corbin123 says:

      @trujunglist: No biggie really, it was only $260 in worthless fiat money. Good thing she didn’t send liberty dollars.

    • EyeHeartPie says:

      @trujunglist: Not necessarily…I got my PS3 for $250 plus tax. Admittedly, that was a deal using a Sony CC and purchasing from the sonystyle store, so a little more reputable than the site used in this story.

  5. colinjay says:

    this has all the hallmarks of a nigerian scammer. bad spelling, bizarre turns of phrase, Western Union, request to call some bogus number…

    i feel bad and at the same time i don’t.

    scams like this prey on people’s desire to get something for nothing. you should never be surprised when you end up with nothing for $omething.

  6. miguelggarcia says:

    Apparently that company is now on:
    [www.omexelectronics.biz]

    Please note that they are based in Spain (I’ll have to assume that’s the reason behind the poor english, a spanish guy that doesn’t know english very good).

    They provide with a new -yahoo again- e-mail address:

    omexelectronics@yahoo.com

    • MyPetFly says:

      @miguelggarcia:

      I did a “whois” search on the domain and got the admin contact name and address (the phone number is one digit short).

      Consumerist staff, is it okay to post that information here? I don’t know if admin contact information can be faked in a domain registration or not.

      • trunkwontopen says:

        @MyPetFly: Post it. Screw it. They scammed someone, and that information is public.

        Besides, it should be rule number one to NOT deal with a vendor, that has their own FQDN, but uses a yahoo.com or hotmail.com free email address.

      • pterrell says:

        @MyPetFly: The contact info is supposed to be legit. But of the several companies that I’ve registered domains with, none verified the contact info, other than the e-mail address.

        Now if you request a HTTPS security certificate, then more vetting is done.

        Randy Cassingham of This is True tells the story of a registrar “catching on” to fake info at [www.crankycustomer.com]

    • jrlcopy says:

      @miguelggarcia: OMG… if this is what the site looks like when she ordered…. It screams scam, fake, set up last minute… Haha
      I love the fake ‘ecommerce by yahoo’ link on the lower left side.

    • shufflemoomin says:

      @miguelggarcia: ‘…a spanish guy that doesn’t know english very good’. I hope you appreciate the irony in that.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @miguelggarcia: i don’t understand why rebecca doesn’t just follow their clearly stated refund policy:

      REFUNDS ARE MADE ON GOOD NOT DELIVERED IN GOOD CONDITION AND CUSTOMERS CAN CALL FOR REFUNDS IF ORDERS ARE WROUNGLY PLACED WITH 14 WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEPTION OF GOODS.

      ok, now if we canonly help her figure out wth that means. anybody?

      O.o

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      @miguelggarcia: Definitely not Spanish. Nigerian. Even actual Spanish is better English than that shit. The Nigerians do lots of scams throughout Europe.

  7. halbowitz says:

    Could of gotten it for the same price from Sony. You get $150 off if you use the Sony Rewards card. Of course, you need to qualify for the card though.

    That being said, i do feel sorry for the buyer. Regardless of the fact that most people would be a bit more careful and most wouldn’t do a WU wire, it still sucks to be out that much money with no recourse.

    At least, the economy inst so bad that we’re back to bartering. I mean, imagine if you traded your last 10 chickens and one bag of rice and got nothing in return. That would really suck… worse.

    Sliver lining.

  8. colinjay says:

    the site isn’t down, you just forgot the “R”

    here is the link to the offending ad.

    [www.omexelectronics.biz]

    • m4ximusprim3 says:

      @colinjay: Holy shit, really? That website looks like someone ate every laffy taffy they could get their hands on and then vomited into the tubes.

      My god, I may have to clean my monitor- some of the pink and green is still stuck to it!

    • Anonymous says:

      @colinjay:
      (link to scammer’s site)

      Unfortunately I can’t go glory in the colour clash bonanza m4ximus reported – as the site is now down. It would seem someone squealed either to the feds that they were up to no good, or to the site admin that they’d been rumbled and to shut up shop quick. Whatever, they’ll likely be back with a new address and almost identical shocking 1997-vintage HTML quite soon, operating out of next door’s shack in downtown Lagos.

    • dale3h says:

      @colinjay: The website seems down to me too.

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    As soon as I saw omexelectonics.biz, I knew it was shady. How come she didn’t either? More than $100 off a PS3? Really?

    Sorry, I can’t feel sorry for her because she should’ve seen all of the 100 extremely bright, blinking warning signs all over this one.

  10. CyrusOpeth says:

    She goofed by going forward once she heard “Western Union”. Time was, all the really low prices you saw at Yahoo shopping and the like were just the Brooklyn camera stores; worst case, you’d spend a couple days and about an hour of your time before realizing they weren’t going to sell it to you unless you bought the overpriced accessories and warranties and non-gray-market units. But now it’s gotten more sophisticated, now that people are greedier on both sides of the fence. But still, there’s a golden stopping point: Western Union. They say good judgment comes from experience–and experience comes from (where else?) bad judgment. It takes only once. For a really good time, search for “p-p-p-powerbook” and see the story of a scammer scammed BIG time. It’s hilarious. Revenge is indeed sweet.

  11. ClutchDude says:

    Don’t be so hard on yourself consumerist. You even said to watch out and check resellerratings.com to be sure!

  12. ShariC says:

    Not everyone is as savvy about vetting businesses as those who read and comment on the Consumerist. Part of the reason the Consumerist exists is to inform and educate those who don’t know the ropes already.

    This woman didn’t do anything wrong, so let’s not be so hard on her. Someone else committed a crime and she’s going to lose money, but everyone blames her for not thoroughly investigating the store.

    There are still some people in this world who are naive enough to think that stores (mail order or brick and mortar) are places where you give your money and get goods for it without having to do a background search to make sure they’ll uphold their end of the bargain. It’s not a sin to be so lacking in cynicism that you still subscribe to this belief, naive as it may seem to those of us who are old hands at scrutinizing the background of every web store.

    • m4ximusprim3 says:

      @ShariC: Naivete is not a sin, but it sure is expensive!

    • Altdotweb says:

      @ShariC:

      For the sake of counterpoint and to avoid a disemvoweling,

      The victim is a reader of this site. It’s not a stretch to assume that she chose her desire to save over her desire to have a safe transaction.

      The silver lining in this is that she has now made alot of the readers of this site more informed not only about omex, but also about beatmyprice and western union purchases.

    • Propaniac says:

      @ShariC: “Scrutinizing the background of every web store” isn’t really the issue here; have you looked at the Omex site? I don’t mean to be mean here, but I find it hard to believe that anyone who exercised even the slightest bit of discretion would give that site their money. There is literally not a single thing about it that appears trustworthy or legitimate, especially given the super-low prices.

      • Propaniac says:

        @Propaniac: Which is not to say that they have any right to be ripping people off, of course. Since the site appears to be utilizing the Yahoo! Store service for their checkout, I would suggest that Rebecca contact Yahoo! with her e-mail chain and I’d think they would revoke Omex’s account.

    • RurouniX says:

      @ShariC: This isn’t about being savvy or reading and commenting on informative sites like Consumerist… Let’s face it people this sort of thing is COMMON SENSE. Why would anyone just give their credit card information or wire money to a business they know nothing about or have never read anything about?
      Hey maybe it’s me but I don’t trust anyone I don’t know – let alone give away my personal information so readily.

      Information is widely available these days for those who are willing to take the time to look for it. This is no one’s fault other than Rebecca’s. I’m not unsympathetic…but I’d like to see people take responsibility when they screw up and not make excuses or trying to pass the blame.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Nice use of a UK Cell number too… For future reference, if any scammer gives you a number that starts +44 7 then it is a cellphone number. All UK landline numbers would start +44 1, +44 2 or (as of very recently) +44 3.

    UK numbers are often listed with a leading zero which you would need to drop (which is why they are often in brackets) For instance +44 (0)10 111 1111

    • Anonymous says:

      @BondNoodle:
      (UK numbers)
      You forgot +44 5 and +44 8 for the non-geographical numbers (same as 1-800 etc in the states, though often higher-cost rather than a free/cheap call)… however I’m not sure how accessible those are internationally.

      Basically if they list a +44 7 as a main contact, just skip on immediately. Not having any kind of landline = shady business. Like the guys I bought a previous cellphone from on a “cashback” rebate plan thanks to family recommendations, stupidly without checking out their credentials or whether they had any complaints. Only to find out they were already shipping water at the same time they shipped my phone and people had been bitching about them not honouring rebates and doing other dishonourable things for at least a year. Leaving me stranded with an artificially expensive call plan when they went bankrupt (likely from the directors siphoning cash out), not long after I’d given up trying to pin down the actual address of their business premises or a contact number that wasn’t a 0891 (50p/minute) or a dodgy-looking 07xxx… Learnt my lesson good that time.

    • Anonymous says:

      @BondNoodle: +44 7x can also be a so-called ‘personal number’ redirection service forwarding calls anywhere in the world; I guess in this case that’s most likely.

      Also worth watching out that with services like Skype, even an apparent UK landline (+44 1x, +44 2x, +44 3x) can be redirected to a computer or phoneline somewhere else in the world.

      bad luck Rebecca… caveat emptor.

  14. Raekwon says:

    Everyone report this to Yahoo merchants and get them removed at least. The fact that they list under Yahoo merchants makes people think they are legit.

  15. MaliBoo Radley says:

    You know, I don’t want to blame the victim, but come on! I saw the web page and it stinks to high heaven. The page isn’t even secure! If you’re going to buy on the web, you need to be web savvy. If the price is too good to be true, it is!!

  16. Rawkus says:

    y cld lwys drv t NJ. wld ssm ths s th prsn s w
    Dmn Nm: MXLCTRNCS.BZ
    Dmn D: D27203752-BZ
    Spnsrng Rgstrr: MLBRN T LTD
    Spnsrng Rgstrr N D: 13
    Dmn Stts: clntTrnsfrPrhbtd
    Rgstrnt D: C122192776969346
    Rgstrnt Nm: Dvd Tgr
    Rgstrnt rgnztn: Dvd Tgr
    Rgstrnt ddrss1: 868 Rdgwd Rd.
    Rgstrnt Cty: Mllbrn
    Rgstrnt Stt/Prvnc: NJ
    Rgstrnt Pstl Cd: 07041
    Rgstrnt Cntry: ntd Stts
    Rgstrnt Cntry Cd: S
    Rgstrnt Phn Nmbr: +1.212543234
    Rgstrnt ml: mxlctrncs@yh.cm

    Wht pgs:

    Dvd Tgr
    hm
    868 Rdgwd Rd
    Mllbrn, NJ 07041-1450
    (973) 258-1184

    • ngth says:

      @Rawkus: I would assume the scammer is a little bit smarter than using his/her own real name and address. The look-up information can be forged.

    • Ben Popken says:

      @Rawkus: Um, more likely the actual scammers are in Africa or some shit and they’re using someone’s identity on the reg.

    • ClutchDude says:

      @Rawkus: Better let the “registrant” know anyways if it is a real # or person. No doubt they don’t want their name out their for someone not as critical as yourselves.

    • Extortioner says:

      @Rawkus: If we were to believe the WHOIS data, then it would seem that the president of a local jewish synagogue is scamming people ([www.uscj.org]).
      Very unlikely if you ask me…

  17. macinjosh says:

    I blame the victim for not giving listening ears.

  18. GrantGannon says:

    “Due to the new president elected…”

    Financial crisis, climate change, skyrocketing health care costs….and now limiting shipments on PS3s.

    Obama is going to have a tough time come 1/20

  19. badhatharry says:

    “the Minimum Unit that can be allowed to enter into your Country is 5Units due to the new president elected”

    Are we sure this isn’t just the Republicans trying to screw people for voting Obama?

  20. shufflemoomin says:

    Ah, greed and stupidity. What a tasteful combination. Throw in a little naivety and it adds the final kick. Some people just shouldn’t be shopping on the internet. It’s that simple.

  21. Ratty says:

    I just have a hard time believing someone would see that website and whip out a credit card. guess that’s why so many of those sites exist–someone bites the bait.

    That godawful pink color should never be used that way.

  22. weirdalfan27 says:

    “Please i will not take such word from you anymore SCAM how and when have you getting to just conclusion,listen we are real and qualify legit company you can go as far as doing what you wish to do,the deal btw our company and you is too open that any one esle can come in to judge for us,it was not our fault and i went as far as expalining to you but it seem you are not giving me any litening ears trying to take judgement into you hand which may turn out to a total lost to you at the end of the transaction and if you wish to have your money back that will not be any problem ok but you will need to give sometime to us to get read of these off.”

    Sounds really legit, huh?

  23. Outrun1986 says:

    There was a warning in the beatmyprice post about checking out the seller you are buying from before actually buying the item, so consumerist did warn the buyer. I have been on beatmyprice several times since the post and found very few legit sites through it, most were sites that I would not order from because they were places I have never heard of before.

    I am all for a search engine that gives you a price comparison from reputable dealers (amazon, buy.com, etc.) but this gives you results from what seems like a bunch of fly-by-night companies.

  24. shepd says:

    Absolutely a scam company. The http://www.omex-es.com site is clearly a fake bank, and a google for “omex-es.com” shows one page related to the site: One that in the cache is a weirded up version of the google page. The omex-es.com is from their email address.

    Try emailing that omex-es.com address and see if you get a response from the company. If so, check the headers. The MX for omes-es.com is hotmail, so you will find an IP address in there in the X-Originating-IP line. Check the other emails for a similar line, they seem to love hotmail. That IP address is the IP of the scammer at the time he sent the email. Now here’s the fun (?) part: Do with that IP what I’ll show you for the omexelectronics.biz site, the IP address for which is 68.142.205.137. You can use web-equivalents of the utilities if you don’t have them.

    $ nslookup 68.142.205.137
    Server: 206.248.154.170
    Address: 206.248.154.170#53

    Non-authoritative answer:
    137.205.142.68.in-addr.arpa name = html1.store.vip.mud.yahoo.com.

    In this case we’re lucky, it clearly shows this is an IP yahoo.com serves. If not:

    $ whois 68.142.205.137

    OrgName: Inktomi Corporation

    You now know the scammer’s ISP, or at least the ISP of the proxy they are abusing (lots of scammers aren’t *that* smart). Sometimes the nslookup will even give you enough info to geolocate the person (such as city/state/country).

    Now comes the sleuthing: If it’s not an open proxy, you’ve narrowed things down significantly. You’ll need to discuss with the ISP what’s going on, and possibly call the local police department for where the person is and have them investigate. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll actually get someone that cares enough to do something about it! But, basically, this is probably as close as you’ll get to the person.

    You could try bugging the people in the whois for those websites, however, it’s likely useless, and worse yet, probably an innocent person’s stolen info (happened to me when I managed to get a bunch of credit cards cancelled on a scammer–Did you know fraud departments at credit card companies don’t [well, didn’t 3 years ago] have any procedure for someone to report someone else using a stolen credit card? Seriously, every card I reported confused the hell out of their fraud departments…). One lists in the UK, and the other in the US.

    Best of luck!

  25. StutiCebriones says:

    Ironically, woot.com had PS3s for less than that just last night.

    One of my golden rules: Never do business in the .biz domain.

  26. octajohnny says:

    I feel sorry for the buyer, but in this case it does show why some people should stay off the internet and stick to shopping at Best Buy. As much as I hate that place, it does serve it’s purpose to those that don’t know any better.

    BTW, these sites are a dime-a-dozen now. Scammers have at least taken the time to design a somewhat legit looking e-commerce site / use “real” ecommerce apps, as well as buying adwords to show up in the paid search results first… but to the unexperienced internet bargain hunter, they look just as good as any site out there, but it’s painfully obvious how fake they are to even the semi-trained eye.

    Here’s a good example of what popped up first when I recently searched “PS3″ on live.com:

    [otek-electronics.com]

    Fake “Hacker Safe” logo and lots of other fake “authorized” logos, but the kicker is the non-SSL checkout.

    I’m sure her Discover card # is being traded on Russian ICQ chats as we’d speak. I’d be more concerned about that, than the $300 she Western Unioned.

    • humphrmi says:

      @octajohnny: Seriously, especially when the “Hacker Safe” and “Authorize.net certified” banners link back to their own site! Some other things I noticed:

      To be sure the product`s warranty will be honored.
      Some manufacturers will only honor a request for service under warranty if the item was purchased from an Authorized Retailer. You may be asked to show proof of purchase in the form of a dated invoice from an Authorized Retailer.

      See anything missing there, like WE are an Authorized Reseller? Sure, above that, they say:

      Otek Electronics, Inc. is authorized to sell most of the top brands online…

      Anyone is authorized to sell stuff online. But that doesn’t actually say that they are an “Authorized Retailer”. So let’s check out the “Sony Authorized Internet Dealer” logo they put on their website. Looks impressive, no? But what happens when you click on it? Nothing, ’cause it isn’t linked to anything. The reason is, they aren’t an authorized retailer, they probably just grabbed the logo from another web page. Sony’s “Authorized Retailer” website explains that that logo should link back to their webpage:

      Whenever you see this logo on a web site, click on it. It should take you back to this site to confirm the dealer has been authorized by Sony.

      [www.sel.sony.com]

      Three browser tabs (well, including this one, so two) and five minutes later, and I can tell that this site is a scam(m).

      • West Coast Secessionist says:

        @humphrmi: I went to “buy” something from that site just to screw with them and they REQUIRE WESTERN UNION! hahahaha. Oh also: Minumum order is $500 and if you spend $1000 you get a FREE GIFT!

        I’m going to try to finish placing the order. I want to waste these motherf***s time and get a strongly worded letter in Mailinator. I will, uh, give hearing ears to that.

        • West Coast Secessionist says:

          @West Coast Secessionist: Forgot to share the payment section with you:

          We have encountered several problems with credit card payments since the financial crisis that is affecting the United States. Our company.s losses reached a critical stage due to the fact that some of the financial institutions that issued the credit cards are now bankrupt and failed to honor their payments. Also, numerous banks no longer process credit card transactions made to and from online purchases. Lack of liquidity in the banking sector and the risky financial environment forced us to stop the credit card payments until the situation returns to normal. In order to avoid further losses and unpaid debts we have decided to receive deposits through Western Union Money Transfer Service® (Money in Minutes). We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding in this matter.

          • West Coast Secessionist says:

            @West Coast Secessionist:

            [www.recessionforums.com]

            “Payment Instructions:
            Order status – Payment pending.

            The payment for your order must be sent to our payments representative, Mr. Ronald Foreman.
            Here is all necessary information:

            Name: Ronald Foreman
            Address: Via Attilio Regolo 19
            City: Rome
            Country: Italy
            Total amount: Please check the invoice above payment instructions. “

  27. Firesoul1 says:

    the site screams scam
    as the design is horrible
    and un-professional.
    if you look at the home page
    and scroll all the way down,
    you’ll see a listing for a prototype ps3.
    people always remember this
    “if its too good to be true, then it is”
    –some wise person

  28. purplesun says:

    Ah… Did she cancel that credit card? Because now they have the number, her name, her address, the expiration date, her phone number, her email address…

    She should really cancel that credit card.

  29. parkavery says:

    I don’t know what, if anything, they can do, but Western Union has the following on their website (they have an entire section for fraud. *Shock horror*):

    If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact us at spoof@westernunion.com.

    At the very least, maybe they can help you in reporting this to the relevant Spanish authorities. I’m guessing they have CCTV or something in all of their stores.

  30. Anonymous says:

    The site isn’t even well designed, and grammer/spelling errors are a dead giveaway. The “it’s a company from Spain, so we have to forgive them” is bunk. If they plan on selling to English speaking countries, they should have invested in an actual english speaker to code the site (yeah, I know, it’s a spammer site).

    Never send money via Western Union to a company you don’t know. Never send money via Pay-Pal, unless you have protected yourself by using a major credit card as the source. Make sure to check out companies before your purchase, and if the price is too good to be true, you probably won’t get what you paid for,

  31. Anonymous says:

    Oh dear… the 409’ers (or whatever they were called) strike again. One look at the FIRST email she got back regarding DHL’s supposed inability to deliver and you can tell that thing’s been sent from Nigeria.

    My sympathies … but having to use a money transfer service like that is the first sign that thing’s aren’t right and you should walk away.

  32. DrRonster says:

    When I buy from somewhat dishonest companies that I fear will continue to charge the credit card used, I obtain one of those temporary credit cards for just the amt needed. Last time was $40 with 2 month expiration for some crap from Publishers Clearing House.

  33. Brookeorama says:

    I really enjoy the subject of the google ad’s on this particular thread: “A New PS3 at $29.10?
    Get your new PS3 for $29.10 only. Don’t miss the next auction on PS3″

    Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?
    Lollerbaw!

  34. hardtoremember says:

    Is it really that easy to scam people?
    Wow.
    I feel bad for her very expensive lesson as I learned a similar lesson 7 or 8 years ago.

    Be glad they’re not in your bank account!

    • LoadStar says:

      @hardtoremember:
      Is it really that easy to scam people? Unfortunately, yes. One person where I work responded to a phishing attempt via email that was plain text and not much more than “Please give me your personal information:” then asking for their username, password, and a few other pieces of information.

      It doesn’t take much to fool people.

  35. vw195 says:

    Dont feel too bad, Ive lost a hell of a lot more than that from Wall Street.

  36. forgottenpassword says:

    I ran across a similar thing when I went to make a $30 purchase from a website. Seemed legit. I filled out my shipping & credit card info. to purchase the item.

    ANd a day later I recieved an email from them saying that they didnt take credit cards anymore & that I would need to pay via paypal (I hate paypal). I got annoyed & decided to buy from someone else (who would take credit cards) & told them that I didnt trust paypal for the most part & preferred credit card transactions as they offer prettymuch ironclad protection.

    Didnt even get a reply to that. Then about 3 weeks later I get a call from a hostpapa.com rep asking if made a purchase with them recently. I had not. Seems someone used my card & info to buy nearly $200 in services from hostpapa.com.

    I had to inform my CC issuer, get a new card and for good measure get my credit reports to make sure noone has applied for credit under my name (I may even pay the 10 bucks per credit reporting agency to put hold/locks on my credit so noone can apply for credit under my name).

  37. Aesteval says:

    Actually, the customer has a responsibility to familarize themself
    with the customs laws of their own country when they’re importing a
    product. That said, a five unit requirement for importing something
    into the US is a load of BS and could not have anything whatsoever to
    do with a president-ELECT seeing as they are not yet in power.

  38. bsalamon says:

    sounds like it was translated to english on babelfish

  39. jb008 says:

    Weight of a new PS3 with all packaging looks like it runs around 15 pounds, NOT 2.2 lbs (1 kg). According to amazon.

    Not sure if it will help, but clear instance of fraud and deception in the company’s communication is always a plus in making a case.

    • vliam says:

      @jb008: I was going to say the same thing. I’m just an ignorant American. I’m not that familiar with kilograms. However, I also own a PS3. I can assure you that it weighs much more than 1kg.

      As far as that goes, what shipping limits are ever expressed as a range?
      for this reason any consignment that is below 5 to 10 kgb will not be allow

      Why would they have to ship five? These things might come in a case of 2, possible 3. Most people couldn’t lift 5 of the damned things, especially with the bulk of the boxes.

      Not a single thing said makes any sense.

  40. kc2idf says:

    Pardon me for asking a stupid question, but I don’t own any gaming console, so bear with me on this one . . .

    Would a PS3 shipped from Spain work in the US anyway? Europe has different electrical and different video standards than we do. I picture ending up with a device that wants to run on 230V (not the 120V we use here) and send 25 or 50 FPS to the monitor rather than the 30 or 60 that our HDTVs would be expecting.

  41. Corporate_guy says:

    Tell them that you have found 4 other buyers that will be happy to purchase a ps3 at the listed price. But they will not send their money until the first ps3 is received to prove this is not a scam.

    That is probably your best bet at getting the first ps3. These criminals are usually stupid, so they might believe that if they send you one, they will receive another $1040.

    • West Coast Secessionist says:

      @Corporate_guy: That could maybe work… however i bet you they don’t have any PS3s nor know how one would actually go about sending packages from Nigeria to the US. Since they are strictly in the business of e-theft and not electronics retailing. These people usually operate out of an internet cafe and have never once shipped even a single product to anyone ever.

  42. morganlh85 says:

    Consumerist, no need to feel bad. This is soooo not your fault.