- Important Information
- A Letter from Head-Fi
- How to Protect Yourself
- Known Scams (Updated January 2019)
- Recent Scammers (Updated January 2019)
- Past Scammers
If you believe you have been scammed by someone, please report the classified or private message by clicking the "Report" link located on the bottom left of the post or PM. Please do NOT PM a moderator. Flagging the post/message sends it to all moderators at the same time. One of the moderators will then contact you if necessary.
A Letter from Head-Fi
There has been a rise in scam attempts on the For Sale forums lately, and we feel that there's a need to reiterate some of the important guidelines that are listed at the top of every For Sale forum, starting with buying and selling:
As a buyer, if you pay for an item using PayPal Gift and the seller doesn't ship said item, there is no protection for you. None. Please do not agree to pay for items with PayPal Gift. Even if you feel that you can trust the other party, we still recommend against it. Making payments via PayPal Gift could end up costing you far more than the PayPal fees (roughly 3% + $0.30 on many US transactions).
This is what to expect at a few price points:
In most situations, PayPal has the seller pay these fees. Many of the sellers on Head-Fi include these fees in their asking price, which is something we encourage all sellers do.
- On a $50 sale, that's $1.80 in fees.
- On a $100 sale, that's $3.30 in fees.
- On a $1,000 sale, that's $30.30 in fees.
- On a $4,000 sale, that's $120.30 in fees.
Our Buy Sell Trade Rules ask that sellers do not request payment via PayPal Gift or any other unprotected methods such as wire transfer or money order. If a seller is asking you to pay via any of these methods, we recommend declining and offering to pay with a protected payment method. With PayPal, this will help ensure that both parties are protected under PayPal's user agreement.
If you're a seller, make sure that you're shipping to the address listed on a PayPal account. Shipping to a different address voids PayPal's seller protection and can potentially result in both a loss of product and payment. For your protection, please only ship to verified PayPal addresses.
Now as for trades:
We cannot stress enough how important it is to look at all of the information available to you before even considering a trade offer. Does this person have enough feedback (trader history, found in their profile) for you to feel comfortable trading with them? Is this the profile of a long-standing member of the community or was it recently created? Has this person been active on the site? If the answer to any of these questions give you pause, then it's probably wise to not accept the offer.
Remember, when agreeing to a trade you are giving up all protection as soon as that package reaches a shipping location. We ask that everyone consider every trade thoroughly before agreeing to an exchange. Also keep in mind the other party's location. International trades carry greater risk than those completed within your home country.
We love the Head-Fi community, and we don't want to see any Head-Fi'ers end up losing gear or money to a bad sale/trade. All we're asking is that everyone who uses the For Sale forums look out for themselves and be awesome to one another.
Best of luck in all your sales and purchases,
How to Protect Yourself
MOST IMPORTANT: Do not ever send money to people using Western Union or bank transfer. There will be no way to get it back if the transaction goes wrong.
Do not ship to any address other than the address verified by the payment service, as we have had at least one scammer using stolen PayPal accounts as well as stolen credit cards.
Do not send packages to other countries by any method that doesn't have tracking. The customs agents in some countries, if not the mailmen themselves, are known to borrow or steal packages. Again, there will be NO way to get the item back, nor any insurance generally available if it is sent regular mail. Not using registered mail and/or tracking may end up resulting in you throwing your money or merchandise away.
If you don't like the terms of a trade, then BACK OUT before either of you sends money or the goods.
You can leave negative feedback on their profile which can be edited or deleted later if necessary. Click on their user name and then "Trader Feedback" and "Leave Feedback" to warn others. If you paid money via PayPal, you can open a dispute that way. If you have their address if necessary you can contact the police in their country.
Tip: A Head-Fi'er caught a previous scammer by noticing that the images for the item for sale were taken from another site. Using Google Image Search to check if an image in a classified is not genuine can be a great way to prevent falling for a scam.
1. One of the most common scam attempts that we see is a PM where the sender appears to be reaching out on a friend's behalf, and suggests that you email the friend. Here are a couple examples that we have seen:
These profiles are often newly registered with few posts on the forums, but can sometimes come from profiles with an active history. If someone is asking you to contact a third party off-site, please report the message to the moderators using the Report link.
2. Another common scam we see is the cross-shipping trade. Never cross-ship during a trade. The other party will may even go as far as to provide a tracking number of sorts, but during a scam no item will be shipped to you. This tracking number come from something as simple as a recent Amazon order, or the scammer can create a label and provide the number, saying that they'll ship it soon. If anyone offering a trade has no post or trade history on the site, we discourage agreeing to ship your gear first. Wait until you have received the trade item (and verified that it's as described) before shipping yours.
Note: This type of scam is the preferred method of the person who has come to be known as the Lakeshore scammer, below.
While the vast majority of people (and thus trades) on the forums go ahead without issues, unfortunately a handful of people, despite being banned, sometimes re-register multiple times, at times to abuse our forums, either flipping items sold cheaply on eBay (and/or elsewhere) or taking people's money or items and sending nothing in return. Following is a list of members whose activities regarding for sale/trade we have become uncomfortable with, and so whom we advise caution transacting with. If you believe they have re-registered on Head-Fi, please report them to us immediately.
While we wouldn't normally share detailed contact information online, we're doing so here as a very last resort after these people, despite numerous warnings have gone far out of their way to evade bans, and to re-register additional profiles.
Repeat trade scammer (added 1/2/19):
1233 Lakeshore Drive
Camden, New Jersey 08104
(Click on the spoiler to open the archives)
thepooh: Agreeing to trades then never sending the item.
jeronim0: Attempting to sell items asking money be sent to Paypal accounts with different names.
Esperanto Begue or Joshua Adrien (Both likely fake names)
12, Rue des Pinsons
Tombeau Bay 742CU001
firstname.lastname@example.org, Used for PayPal, which showed up as Matthew Schneider (probably fake or stolen)
OICWUTUDIDTHAR, DroppingDimes; trapper1, OGKoosh, kappachino, Yajirobe1, LordOfTheGearz, handthatfeeds, HwanSolo, ChingLongChan, MidgetPalpatine, Chan007. Lied about the condition of goods. Continues to create new profiles in an attempt to use the classifieds. Becomes rude and abusive when confronted.
Also known as "bobbylou" on various forums, including Head-Fi, where he appears to have a history of being banned for bad trades, eg: Here.
Canada T2Z 2G2
Craig Olson, Aka: gabbadabbadoo, olsonc84 (including Audiogon), craigjolson, SunnyMcGrath, spierce, audiophoholic, UofLFAN, nwvalleyrv, Erinmagdalik
Notorious for flipping AKG K1000s. He is so well-known I think our UAE scammer attempted to pretend to be him! He sends numerous messages to buyers to try and persuade them to buy gear for massively inflated prices.
2xxx xth St
Berkeley, CA 94710
CBRE: ATTN Amber Smith
10*** Willows Rd NE
Redmond WA 98052
Paypal ID: email@example.com
2Erly, QuadralSx, Delly, minisc223
Various names, using what is likely stolen Paypal accounts, but all requesting shipping to a different address, whereupon he files a claim with PayPal:
280 Weston Rd
Toronto Ontario M6N 3P5
Email addresses used: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Terence Pinnock, Maria Write, Terry Wright, Richard Cai
theon3, Johnth3bliss, bluj, zenithofbliss, blackholesunecl, zeromancer, blissking, pulseultra, LunarEclipse, Blackoc3an, blueblackness, lupakansaja123, Eclipsez, Z3nith, jonthenny, skydarkly, kadablu, swallowthesun and numerous other profiles.
Numerous accounts and suspicious classified activity with at least one member having to file a Paypal complaint after goods were not sent. Requested money be sent as a "gift" as Paypal obviously wouldn't let him access the funds for a regular transaction immediately. Continues to make new profiles!
Repeatedly registering attempting trades and failing to send items.
607 I St
San Antonio, Texas 78220
Vlooienuker / tsiknus / iso300and8, snarfarlarkus, audiophilegamer.
Engaged in straight trades with a number of members, but didn't send the traded item. Created a second account to leave himself positive feedback and continue trading. Started again in 2014 with a new profile and new, very likely false name.
Jan 2016: Sent candles instead of a pair of traded headphones.
Leon Optimus / Leon Kuhn
71 D Wiri Station Road
Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand
129 Middlefield Drive
Auckland, Flat Bush 2016
Kewstone, lojikman, medicalsupplies, swappie931, tengomalani, goldsilver993, changantoo, tengomalani, orionstone, theodoret1, hamita112, jambalayacfp, kamejame, awatanatum, huhana7748, eylmfao, johnwidked, killowatts, potingjun, Josephrsm, ringostarr910, harud1, ichbon
Sent an empty box as part of a trade. Created numerous profiles, claiming that they are friends and family, with one profile leaving him positive feedback.
2016: First classifieds involved trying to flip an item for a profit.
WILSON LOK YUN WOON
2, LORONG INTAN BAIDURI 2B, (possibly "Jalan Intan Baiduri 2B")
TAMAN INTAN BAIDURI,
52100, KUALA LUMPUR,
New address, June 2016:
Kor Weng Chai
33, Jalan bukit tembok
weijunz, from Singapore, requested payment for the same items from multiple people and was banned. Recently, asdfg, an old account, was reactivated and that person requested payment for the same and other items from multiple people in the same manner, in most cases asking for money to be sent to different Paypal accounts, presumably to avoid being caught. Both accounts were accessing the site from the same IP address. It could also be a group of people attempting to scam others or a criminal group using stolen accounts.
Name: Tan Jun Yan Caleb
Paypal accounts used:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Beitriss Chua
Paypal accounts used:
chenxi2012, zongpeng123, zongpeng2012, chenxi2014, qqexqwe; chinahifi2012, submarineeew Using stolen credit card details to buy expensive items under multiple profiles.
Paypal emails: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
a.k.a. chenxi2014, zongpeng2012, zongpeng123
Address: (Possibly fake)
Xi HaiAn Yi Yuan, HuangDao, ShanDong Province,
266555, ShanDong QingDao, China
US Addresses: (Likely forwarding services for Chinese users. See here: http://www.qq-ex.com/user/news/detail/945)
3025 Bowlarama Dr
New Castle, DE 19726
261 QUIGLEY BLVD. Suite 1 # 114177 NEW CASTLE
3760 W CENTURY BLVD
Inglewood, CA 90303
Gogohuskies, toothlover, huskies
Created a new profile to evade negative feedback, then another profile to continue trading once banned. Continues to create new profiles.
GustavMahler, GradoLove, Kamilion, opencan, TheBigMuse and more profiles.
Flipping items bought from members on Audiogon. Two pages of listing of items he is flipping, including multiple pairs of AKG K7XX!
He will ask to buy something, then put it up for sale even before the item was sent, often asking that the item be sent to a completely different country to the one he lives (Israel), because he is sending it directly to his buyer.
Sold the same item to multiple people and send them all empty boxes to the wrong address so it would appear that their neighbours had taken the item.
Name: Darryl Koh
Name: Guo Wei Bin
Woodlands Drive 14
The Nigerian scammer has been returning under numerous profiles. Beware that they are getting clever and even threatened to report people to the moderators or admins in PMs! They very often ask people to email them instead of using PMs (as they can't post pictures) and send pictures taken from the internet.
February 2015 New profiles:
audio432 - firstname.lastname@example.org
audioa23 - email@example.com
corscorpius - firstname.lastname@example.org
dadreq - email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (stolen Paypal account?), email@example.com
meaudio21 - firstname.lastname@example.org
jodesff - email@example.com
ulogin, headu, uloginhd, abchead and numerous other profiles.
Bad trader. Extremely abusive after trades went wrong.
Man Hin Cheung
*** E23 Street
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Signed up with a second account and left feedback from the first account after a bad trade.
Not sending items and insisting on Paypal gift payments.
Ken Lee, Cantrelle ?
Under the former account, had a dispute claiming a member tried to scam him by saying an item never arrived, yet then sold it again to another member insisting on a Paypal gift payment then sent a tracking number generated from the USPS web site ("Electronic shipping info received" = Item not sent). Unfortunately that member didn't think to realise that if another member had tried the "item not received" scam then he wouldn't have had the item to sell again to him!
Under the latter account, requested a Paypal gift payment to avoid fees for a pair of HD-800s (likely sold under the other account) then never sent the tracking number.
Apparently attempting the WTB scam:
lee0612, thisissparta, Aka: jeydee, iLjimaE, finalaudio999, maynard14, audiomaniac06, finalhope11, crntrggr11, iLjimaE, nokialumia1520
Also known as Squall Leonhart or SquallLeonhart14 and is from the Philippines.
Repeatedly selling the same Final Audio Design and other expensive IEMs over and over again, collecting money but never sending them. Using secondary profiles to PM people wanting to buy expensive IEMs and trying to persuade them to send money.
2015 update: Was trying to sell possibly fake FAD IEMs claiming he was from Hong Kong.
Email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org (PayPal), email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
April 2014: IDENTITY THIEF WARNING: nikkicharles198, aishaboulos33, dominguez1155, aishaboulos33, amateur12, audiohw, olsen11, mibull, mibulb, mibulbc, bin12, chol, and other names attempting identity theft:
Email addresses used: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Please note that the members Maxfazer and imacker are reputable people that the scammer has been passing himself off as.
We received complaints from a number of members who had received PMs from this and other accounts from this member offering to buy items to them that they had posted for sale, but then asking them for eBay feedback, copies of their passport and other ID. They then attempted to use those things to scam other people!
What one member told us (edited to correct grammar, spelling and remove personal information):
June 2014: The scammer is back, obviously with someone's passport scan and links they are using to try and scam others:
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: The name given obviously belongs to someone else.
Candc07 / gigtcj
Trades are ok for a while, then suddenly stops sending items, making excuses. Re-registered as gigtcj recently.
Name: Christopher Jones
Address: ** Sandpiper Drive Bloomfield, CT 06002
Paypal email address: email@example.com
Lvrhs, whatcar1990, rikardoliepa, Runnlv, tomasskalnin, cubota890, iemguy66, tomy55538
WARNING: CONTINUES TO MAKE NEW PROFILES!
Beware of any user asking you to send items to Latvia!
Numerous bad trades under multiple profiles with members having lost money and items.
Tomass Kalnins firstname.lastname@example.org
Rihards Linde email@example.com
Once used the Ship-to service to avoid detection:
11407 SW Amu St.
Suite # D3084
Tualatin, OR 97062
TakashiMiike / AmbientRevolut
Multiple incomplete trades under two profiles. Agreed to sell or trade items then never sent them and stopped communicating.
4111 N Blythe Ave. Apt #257
Fresno, CA 92722
juniorheadfier, stationwagon, ozrocks Sri-Lankan scammer.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sold a pair of Ultrasone Pro 900s to 4 different people. See his feedback for information.
Because the buyers didn't use Paypal gift/personal but a regular transaction, they were able to get their money back.
nkkuma, nkkuma1, gogators, socialscene, faithmore, leixingzhe, microsound, safer and numerous others.
email@example.com sometimes using the name Chaghao Bi
This person has been reselling products on eBay for a profit (flipping) under numerous Head-Fi profiles (the above is only a partial list), and repeatedly re-joined with these numerous profiles despite being banned and told not to register on the forums again.
Address: (Partially blanked)
Ju Li or Changhao Bi
**** Yosemite Ave
El Cerrito, Ca. 94530
Miow and a great many aliases.
Attempted to avoid the rules for Members of the Trade and promote his headphone modding business through multiple accounts. Also issues with items not received from one of his trades (see feedback). Update: Re-registered as Divine33 and was asking people to send him money for items using Western Union.
Luis Paulo Dias Ferreira Almeida (and other names as he is/was sharing an apartment)
Rua Dr. Maciel, 153, 6 ESQ.
3700-175 S. Joao da Madeira
i2ehan, Night Crawler, Oof Oink, Yprime17
Was caught flipping items from the classifieds on eBay. He repeatedly registered new accounts pretending to be a newbie presumably to try and avoid detection.
**** Stonecrest Drive
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Scam warnings: From the "Protect yourself against Scammers" and another thread:
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