My name is Martyn Allison, K4TEC owner of Radio Mart.
I have been in the Ham Radio business for many years and run the successful e-commerce site www.radio-mart.net
Over the years dealing with eBay, PayPal and being a credit card merchant I have been scammed several times and many attempted times.
For me it’s inevitable this is going to happen due to the sheer volume of equipment I buy and sell.
I have been asked by a few people to put together an example of how I have been able to get my money back from some who desired to be dishonest.
Ok to start with I recommend as best you can keep things civil with the person you have purchased an item from, I know peoples patience lever vary greatly from intolerant to super patent but TRY to be as patent and as civil as you can and try to work any disputes out like grown adults without insults etc as you will always go so much further by trying to work out any disputes.
If however you have defiantly been scammed then I usually do the following
If paid for by PayPal, always try to use a credit card then your double protected, first with PayPal but also with your credit card.
If you pay by PayPal as a gift your pretty much on your own and not protected.
If you pay by wire transfer, Money order or check you’re pretty much out on your own again.
So that mans that most things you buy on an internet web site leave you mostly unprotected however when a problem occurs and I have tried to work it out with the seller I then resort to the following
post office fraud team. If paid for using a USPS money Order
PayPal and or my credit card company
If I have paid by PayPal and or using my credit card.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
They pass on the information to the police in the county of residence where the seller resides.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
I don’t usually go there but have used them twice for cases over $5,000
National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)
Similar to the Internet Crime Complaint center
The State Attorney General
Where the Seller resides, they make personal contact and apply pressure on the scammer.
Your local State Police
The State police where the Seller resides
To boost the report given to your local police, I use state police as they dont tend to mess around and I am lucky having one living not very far from me that I go shooting with
BBB where the seller resides
Like the attourney general they will try to arbitrate and contact the seller direct
Post a report on the ham forums like QTH.com etc warning others of the person that’s caused you distress, stick to facts only.
Contact his internet service provider, funny what effect that usually has
Now I usually reserve about half a day to file all of those complaint simultaneously, a lot of copy past done and a lot of governing bodies notified believe me when I say they all follow through.
Have available all the evidence you can get like copies of the cashed money order, keep all email correspondence and have it all ready to provide anyone who needs it.
Last resort, civil legal action, not cost effective in most cases, For me I have 2 close family members who are attorneys but I have never called upon their services.
Just remember if a deal sounds too good to be true that it normally is.
It is always best to call the seller of an item to just get the feel of the person behind the deal.
It is rare to buy anything from the USA to an overseas seller, most overseas sellers on USA forums seem to be a scam (NO NOT ALL OF THEM) but from my personal experience most of them fall in to the scam category.
If the deal does not feel right then don’t do it.
Use common sense.
I really hope the above advise helps some one get their money back from a scammer