So I just had a very unfortunate situation and realization that I got taken for $2700.00by a scammer on a Terminator 2 pinball machine. I will be adding a video here as its too much to type here but is the short story. But I will try to summarize.
If you have been following my recent posts at all you will see I have been searching for a T2 for a while. I did recently buy a local one from a guy in Sacramento. But what I have not posted is that I actually had already purchased one a week before from a seller out of state who sad my ad on Pinside.
I hadput up a post in the wanted section of Pinside about 3 weeks ago: https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive/53310.
A seller calling himself "Danny Barnes" reached out to me stating he has one. My first question was are you on pinside... He said "no" immediate red flag should have known better. He proceeded to tell me the condition and he was actually fairly knowledgeable as I was asking some technical questions, I mean this guy was good. He sent me lots of photos of the machine - I attached to this post. I was sold we agreed on a decent price he said he was going to ship via U-Ship.
At this point I was having hesitations so I asked to see a photo ID, so he sends me a photo of his passport. I was too nieve to do the math at the time… As in a text, he told me he was 56, yet on his (well the fake passport) it said he was born in 1969, which would make him 48. He continued to assure me as he stated he “was a man of age, and I have nothing to worry about.”
He kept pushing for a bank wire (another red flag) or friends and family. I said NO, ill send normal payment so I get buyer protection, which I did.
He receives the money but PayPal (because they were protecting me the buyer) was going to hold the funds for 25 days until I received the product. I talked to PayPal and the reason they do this is for sellers who either have a bad reputation/history with PayPal, OR they do not use PayPal often enough. Another red flag
He then tells me he can not wait for 25 days, and how about he gives me a refund, and that he will send me photos of the machine packaged and provide tracking to me then I pay him via wire. “Wow, ok” I'm thinking.. “he must be legit if he is going to give me a refund.” Again, this guy was good. The reason why he was giving me a refund is he knew He would never see the money through papal because the machine would never arrive to me.
So he sends me a text stating UShip was not open in his area ( i should have just called them) and that he is going to use a local “trusted” shipping company:
He sends me photos of the machine palleted and honestly looked totally legit… BUT after looking closer all the images were super blurry, if he had a cell phone of any modern age, the photos would not have been at the low quality they were… Another red flag
I get this from him:
I have successfully completed shipping.
Local shipper website : http://www.1aamotorcycleson.com/en
Tracking #: ES768990111
I check and the site appeared legit and the site did provide tracking.
I after the fact researched and found this was a fake/proxy site based off a real one: https://www.1aamotorcycles.com/ and they Looked identical!! and if you try to visit the old one its gone…. I called the legit shipping company and to my amazement, the representative says they get calls like mine all day long!! and that she has seen sites that pop up and then disappear that “copied our site” her words. Then it hit me… I lose….anyway back to the story
So he convinced me to send him a wire, and provided information to his “accountant” who handles his transactions:
Bank name :Chase bank.
Account name: Gloria Hernandez
Account number :000000561829933
Routing number :071000013
Swift code CHASUS33
Bank address : Bank address: 3451 Kentucky Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46221
Account holder’s address: Account holder address: 5351 Eel River Ct Indianapolis IN 46221
I'm like ok it's on its way… I check the next day and it still says “shipment accepted” meaning it had not left, and “Danny” the fake sealed assured me it just can take a day or so. Well, I try to check it later that day… website is gone:
http://www.1aamotorcycleson.com/en <—-fake URL
https://www.1aamotorcycles.com/ <—-Real URL
I try to track on the real site… says it was delivered:
Contract number: ES768900
Ship from: MC LEAN, VA 22102
Ship to: OAKLAND, CA 94612
Actual Pickup Date: 10/31
Actual Delivery Date: 11/08
Shipment status: Shipment has been delivered
Delivery signed for by: MIKE
I'm now very confused and I contact “Danny” the fake seller, and tell him I want a refund, as it appears this is just not right. He tells me that he is in Florida helping the family in the Irma hurricane (how low is that) and that he will give me a refund this week… this week turns into later this week as I continue to text him, later this week turns into Friday (today) I contact him this morning… nothing MIA, and then it really hit me… I totally got scammed.
Without going into anymore more detail I just want others to be aware of this, as this guy used Pinside as a method to scam me. Typically this type of scamming happens on Craigslist, and if this seller had come from CL I would have bailed on the deal immediately. But I trust people on Pinside.
It's not Pinsides fault at all, its mine. I just want you all to be very aware that this is happening and these scammers are getting better and better. I feel like a total moron, and I'm such a kind trusting person that this really affected me, super bummed but the only positive thing I can do is try to warn you all. This is real, and people are not all good, trust your instincts, as I should have from the beginning. I love this hobby and Im not going to let it taint it for me in any way. Hard lesson learned, and thank god it was not like a 10K+ machine -Brady