Scammer on Gear Swap board
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Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Scammer on Gear Swap board on 05/25/2013 20:12:42 MDT Print View

I was recently scammed in my search for a Tarptent Stratospire 2 and figured I would alert everyone on BPL in order to help anyone else avoid the same fate. The guy's name is William Park (at least that what he goes by) and his email is williampark229@yahoo.com. The weird thing is I contacted him after getting his name from someone else on the board, instead of the other way around. Against my best judgement I sent him a money order (stupid I know) instead of Paypal. I also figured out that he's using one of Franco Darioli's pictures of the tent that I was unable to find anywhere on here or on Google. Only reason I figured out it was Franco's was by examining his backyard fence in other pictures. Anyways, just wanted to alert everyone in the off chance that he contacts them with offers to any WTB threads.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Scammer on Gear Swap board on 05/25/2013 20:40:01 MDT Print View

That blows. How long has it been since you had contact. sent the MO?

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Anybody Else? on 05/25/2013 20:54:17 MDT Print View

That stinks.

Anybody else have this problem?

Edit - I took out something that I thought MIGHT come across in a way that would make an innocent partly look suspicious. Nothing to see there.

I've never been scammed here but all my purchases were from members that had been here a long time. Someone interested in a quick scam is unlikely to spend three years discussing gear just to scam me out of $80 or so.

Edited by Cameron on 05/25/2013 21:19:45 MDT.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Contact on 05/25/2013 21:05:17 MDT Print View

I've actually been in contact with him within the last day. I sent the money order on the 10th and it was cashed last Friday. He's saying he's sick and hasn't been able to leave the house and mail it. That's the weird thing. Once you get your money why ever even answer my emails? Who knows what the motivation is. I told him I'd inform the apartment complex I sent the money order to that a mail fraud scheme was being run out of their complex so maybe that's why he still answering me.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Scammer on Gear Swap board on 05/25/2013 21:08:20 MDT Print View

I imagine scammers are quick to cash out and break all communication. This person waited a good ten days to cash your money order? Doesn't seem to fit the mold. Anyway, hope springs eternal... maybe you will get your tent -- just taking an annoyingly longer time?

Also, curious, was this sale posted on our forum? Or was the transaction made 'offline'?

Edited by ben2world on 05/25/2013 21:12:09 MDT.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Wasn't that great of a deal on 05/25/2013 21:10:43 MDT Print View

Luke, that's another weird thing about it. It wasn't that great of a deal. $250 for a $330 tent so I'd figured I'd buy used and save a bit of money. It's not like he was trying to attract someone with a really great price. Plus I got his name and email from another member instead of him finding me. I did have reservations but tried to make sure it wasn't too good to be true. I had him send me pics of the tent set up and back checked them against hundreds of Google images. Only after a week of waiting was I able to make the connection between the fence in the pictures and the once in most of Franco's pics.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Originally a WTB thread on 05/25/2013 21:13:17 MDT Print View

Ben,

I originally posted a WTB thread for the tent but never got any offers. I found another WTB thread from someone else who said they got two offers and bought one of them. I PM'd the author seeing if I could get the info for the other guy who offered him the tent that he didn't buy. He got back to me with Mr. Park's email and everything went from there.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Odd on 05/25/2013 21:14:55 MDT Print View

That's the weird thing. Why keep up the contact once you have the money? Can't really understand the motivation to do so so that's the only thing that keeps my hopes up.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Originally a WTB thread on 05/25/2013 21:15:03 MDT Print View

I see. After reading your subsequent post above, I revised mine...

Anyway, I hope your tent will show up... my hunch is that it will... eventually.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Forgot to mention on 05/25/2013 21:16:19 MDT Print View

Also forgot to mention that he had me send the money order to an Ann Hogue. Another curious thing that made me nervous but sadly didn't stop me. So definitely look out for that name as well if you get an offer on an item from them.

Ben Smith
(goosefeet) - MLife

Locale: Georgia
Re: Scammer on Gear Swap board on 05/25/2013 21:18:10 MDT Print View

I put up a WTB for some Gray 10d - William Park responded that he had some available. I replied back, but I have not heard back. I'll make sure that I don't send him any money!

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Great on 05/25/2013 21:28:18 MDT Print View

Glad to see I helped someone. I also saw someone else on another WTB TT SS2 thread say someone contacted him about selling one and wanting a money order. I let him know my story and he told me it was indeed Mr. Park. Based on that I contacted Mr. Park under a different name and email and he offered the tent to me again. That's when I let him know he was caught and he got back to me saying he had an agent or something that could get him another one for my fake guy. Another telltale sign was his English wasn't great so beware anyone that fits that bill. Another classic warning sign I ignored but I wasn't necessarily expecting a Korean scammer, maybe Nigerian.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Great on 05/25/2013 21:54:42 MDT Print View

Hi Dustin,

Did the guy have much of a history on Bpl?

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Couldn't find a profile on 05/25/2013 21:58:07 MDT Print View

Stephen,

I couldn't find a profile for him. I was given his email by another member and am unsure whether he got it through PM. I would guess that would have to be the case and will PM the other member and see what his profile was.

Edited by dsmith87 on 05/25/2013 21:58:43 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Scammer on Gear Swap board on 05/25/2013 23:14:59 MDT Print View

What city is the scammer's mailing address in?

You should contact the postal service. It's mail fraud.

Dustin Smith
(dsmith87)

Locale: Bethesda, MD
Austin, TX on 05/26/2013 06:33:42 MDT Print View

I sent the money order to an address in Austin, TX. And I will be filing a mail fraud complaint with the Postal Inspection Service. Both my grandfather and uncle were Federal Postal Inspectors and my cousin is a postmaster so hopefully that'll encourage them to take the case more serious than normal.

Cody Bartz
(codybartz) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
scam on Tarptent SS2 on 05/26/2013 07:46:29 MDT Print View

I was scammed as well. Luckily, I was able to cancel my payment before he was able to cash it.

I originally put out a post on gear swap to find a Tarptent StratoSpire 2. I had two people respond, one was Randy Worth and the other was William Park. I first chose Randy Worth, as his was the better deal. Randy sent me a StratoSpire 1 on accident, not realizing that is what he had. So I was refunded by Randy Worth, and I returned the tent to him.

Then I contacted William Park to see if he still had the StratoSpire 2 available. He said he did and we went forward with the deal. We had agreed on $235. I also was a bit weary of his English. He sent me 4 stock photos from the Tarptent website. He said he was located in Texas, but had me send the money to Shirley Alvarez in California. All signs that I decided to look past.


!!! >>> everyone please beware of William Park. email address williampark229@yahoo.com

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: scam on Tarptent SS2 on 05/26/2013 08:27:44 MDT Print View

Sorry to hear what happened guys, I hope you get your cash back.

William Lotman
(wl1193) - F

Locale: East Bay
Scam on 05/26/2013 09:18:39 MDT Print View

Go to 411.com and type in the address and or phone number. You can get a lot of info on whether its a home or business, sometimes who lives at the address and whether the phone number is land line or cell phone etc. It is free.

Whenever you send a money order etc to a third party at a different address than the person who it's for - run away. Don't do the deal.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
scam on 05/26/2013 10:52:26 MDT Print View

Sad to see there is that kind of thing here. Hope you get some resolution.

I guess we all need to pay attention to anything signs out of ordinary.

Lots of transactions take place with stock photos, or no photos. Its just quicker and easier that way. Most know what they want, what it looks like, and trust other members here to not be dishonest.

Getting a current photo, with recent newspaper (dated) in the photo is a good way to verify the seller at least has the item. I dont think a legitimate seller would mind providing that, I know I wouldnt.