Amazon "used products" scam

While browsing the reviews of the Canon 20D on Amazon, I stumbled across this warning to buyers. I’ll repeat it here as it’s probably worth reading if you’re buying online:

Reviewer: phil_72 from Harrogate, North Yorks United Kingdom.
I have used this canon for about 4 weeks and am very happy with it. However, I would like to alert potential buyers that the ‘new’ sellers proporting to sell cheap D20s on marketplace are actually set to rip you off. It works like this, click on the ‘buy this’ link and you will get an e-mail from amazon saying that the transaction could not be completed. Then, if you contact the seller (as the sellers suggest) they will always tell you the same thing: They say “I have a contract with Amazon, but the payment system is not working at the moment. If you want this camera, e-mail me with your contact details and I will contact Amazon. Amazon will send you an invoice. However, you then pay me directly by Western Union.” What then happens is that you get a fake e-mail proporting to be from Amazon. You pay the seller directly…and……no camera will arrive. And, you are not covered by Amazon’s gaurantee, because you paid the seller directly. Its a scam, its all over Amazon, and they do not have the warnings posted up front. Will they let this be posted? Hmmm?


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Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

13 thoughts on “Amazon "used products" scam”


  1. Thanks Phil, this was helpful, I thought it was too good to be true – I wonder why is it only with Canon cameras though.


  2. “the payment system is down. just give me your money and I’ll take care of everything”… that doesn’t sound like a problem to you? of course it’s a scam.

    People don’t stop and think when they feel they’re “getting away with something” because they found a “good deal”. if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Use your head folks.


  3. This kind of scam is already a major problem on eBay as well. Just search eBay’s discussion forums and you’ll find plenty of references to Western Union. The bottom line is: never ever ever ever send money through WU to pay for some product. That payment doesn’t have the protection mechanisms of credit card or personal check. Even a money order needs a real name and address to be delivered to; Western Union transfers can be picked up from any WU agency in the world, if the recipient has the transaction number and payment amount. Try to track down the scammer if you can!


  4. I stumbled into the same problem, posted a link to my blog entry above. It’s rediculous and extremely frustrating. It’s the fake emails from amazon that really get’cha.


  5. No, this problem is not limited to Canon’s. I’ve been keeping an eye on iPods, and I have replicated the situation at least three times. (No, I do not send the money directly). I finally decided to research it and found these postings. Thanks, just as I thought!


  6. This happened to me on amazon with a tv. 800 dollars. gone. amazon wont do anything. :( trying to see if citibank will help me out.. but the outlook isnt good.


  7. Thanks for a heads up. The price looked too good to be true. When emailed the seller. Said the camera is a like new display model with 30 day warranty. He would have to contact Amazon to setup payment and he needed my name and address to get it going. He also said it will be shipping out of Italy. I almost believed him but after reading a few websites I am fully convinced that he is a scammer!


  8. Thanks for the tip. Just got email from seller that the Canon 5D that was listed on the amazon website, is not showing up for some reason but the item in still available for sale. Asked for my shipping address, waiting for a email from the seller asking to pay him directly. Or may be I wont get that email, because I said that I would complete the payment only thru amazon.

    I got an “Invoice” from Amazon asking to send money by Western Union. What a clever scam. Funny thing is that this user showed up on Amazon site with positive reviews.

    This tip was very helpful in saving me my money.


  9. Same as cinciguy above, I just tried to buy a 600d for £300 only to be told that the “listing had run out but the item is still for sale”. I received a confirmation email from Amazon (gmail showed as “via Yahoo”), which asked for payment by WUMT, and I was actually in the process of setting up an account when I decided that it might be a little too good to be true.

    The seller is listed as
    Antonio Manguele
    16 Evalkidou
    Athens
    104 45
    Greece

    And so I turned to Google to put my mind at rest. Glad I did, thanks everyone. Phew!


    1. Luke – it looks like you’re not the only one to have problems with this seller!

      Lately, I have seen a scam on Amazon market place.

      When I tried to check out one used camera from the market place, which is much cheaper than other sellers, I couldn’t complete the check out process because it said that the item can’t be delivered to my address. So I contacted the seller – YouBiQ LLC, via the email in its profile. The seller replied me as following:

      “Hello,
      The Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR with 3.0-Inch LCD and 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens is new, US model (it’s an displayed modeaal, not used and is as good as new it just had to be listed as ‘used’ as the box has been opened. The camera is in new condition, only exposed, not used), comes with 12 months Nikon warranty, receipt, all manufacturer supplied accessories. The total price is $793.62 including all shipping taxes.If you are wondering why the price is lower than the usual,it is because we have some promotional prices before holidays. If you want to buy send me your full name and address and i will contact Amazon asap to process your order. Despatch is by normal UPS Services which takes 1-3 days depending on where in the US you are.My return policy is full money back in 14 days.”

      And the listing was pulled out from Amazon, I asked the seller why it is not there anymore, the seller replied as below:

      “hy , my listing is over on website but the camera is still in stock for sale..right now i will proceed your order on Amazon.
      thank you and let me know when you will receive it. ”

      After a day or two, I received an email from auto-confirm@payauto-amazon.com via yahoo.com, saying that my order in Amazon has been confimred, with following sentense and payment instruction:

      “Thanks for your order, xxxx
      We want you to buy with confidence anytime you purchase products on http://Amazon.com from international sellers. That is why we guarantee purchases from Amazon Marketplace, Auctions, zShops, and Merchant sellers when you use Amazon Payments. The condition of the item you buy and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the http://Amazon.com A-to-z Guarantee”

      “The seller requests to be paid via MoneyGram® Money Transfer.
      To submit the payment with MoneyGram Money Transfer you have the following option:
      Pay for the transfer with cash at a local MoneyGram agent.
      Click here to locate the agents in your area.
      To confirm your payment with Amazon send the payment detaills from Money Gram: Confirm Payment
      Use this secure way to confirm your payment only if you feel unsafe to release the payment details directly to your seller.If you need further assistance contact Customer Center by Clicking here
      Once the payment was sent, provide the following information:
      1) Reference Number (MoneyGram Reference Number):
      2) Sender name :
      3) Sender address :
      4) City where you sent the money from:
      5) Amount sent:
      Then wait for the confirmation that the payment was received. After that you will receive the tracking number for your product.
      The funds will not be released under any circumstances! We will hold the payment until you will send us your confirmation that you have received, inspected and you agree to keep the item. When we will have your confirmation we will transfer the funds to the seller. If the item it is not what was described you will ship it back to the seller and we will refund your money 100%.
      E-mail Address: youbiqllc@gmail.com
      Ship from Address:
      Youbiq LLC
      2051 West Mountain Street
      Glendale
      CA 91201
      United States
      Payment Address:
      Gail Jones
      16 Evalkidou
      Athens
      104 45
      Greece

      Ironically, there’s another seller at that Glendale address!

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