Sorry to hear that you were scammed.
It's important to look at a member's history and reputation on the site. When they have no posts and little activity and are recently registered, that's generally a red flag.
Sometimes people are hesitant to report a scam after they realize they have been taken, and that just gives the scammer more opportunity to continue operating. Yes, it's a little embarassing, but the sooner you report it, the sooner we can try to prevent the same thing from happening to others.
Another member did report boyd's suspicious behavior, and we shut down the account immediately after that. Unfortunately, he had already been actively contacting people for a little while by the time we became aware of the account.
Moderators can't see PMs. So, if you have someone who is contacting you that looks a little fishy, you are always welcome to open a moderator feedback thread and ask for a second opinion. We would much prefer to see possible false alarms, rather than have complete silence and let a potential scammer operate unimpeded. A little pro-activeness goes a long way.
Right now, a common scam is for one account to PM you saying something like "hey, my friend over in (town) has what you're looking for. Here's his email address: g1bb3r1sh@aFreeEmailAccount.com" Basically, that's sometimes to lure potential victims away from the site in case the account gets blocked while the correspondence is underway. Or, make a referral for another member's account who is in reality the same scammer, just operating two accounts.
Scammers are a tricky bunch and are always finding loopholes and workarounds. They're grifters and con men, and now that they've learned some of the terminology of the pinball hobby, it's gotten a bit more difficult for less experienced buyers to pick them out as scammers.
Unfortunately, there's not much he can do once the scammer has done the deed or after the account has been blocked. He can provide documentation if requested by the financial institution, but usually the scammer uses throwaway accounts that aren't very traceable.
I've read in other threads that people were SOL if they used friends & family and tried to report the scam to paypal. Paypal came back saying that is what the goods & services option was for. You can always try contacting paypal, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high.
If you used a credit card as the funding source, you could potentially do a charge back.
So, please keep your eyes and ears open, use common sense, and trust that little warning bell in the back of your mind. Please report any fishy or suspicious behavior. Even if you're not quite sure about someone being a possible scammer, please report it anyway; we're usually fairly adept at getting to the bottom of it and nobody is harmed even if it happens to turn out to be a false positive. Better safe than sorry, and again, your pro-active reporting could save someone else from being scammed.