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We have a new scam artist to look out for.....

Posted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:31 pm
by W3RXO
Thomas Hughes, Paw Paw, MI. His email is I posted a want, for a simple separation cable and remote mounting head, for a TM-255a, Kenwood. This fellow responded:

On May 14, 2012, at 1:37 PM, biinarycom wrote:
Hello I have the separation cable, and mounting bracket, for the Kenwood TM-255A forsale and in good working condition and i am located at Michigan will ship to your address Thanks and hope to hear from You soon
Thomas Hughes
thanks 73

To which I replied:

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the speedy reply. How much do you want, and can you please give me your call sign?


His reply was:

I have separation cable, and mounting bracket, for the Kenwood TM-255A. forsale in good working condition . ( Works perfectly ) Mine is an attractive unit that's not all scratched up.. I am willing to arrange a pick up (UPS) of the item.In fact, this is preferable to avoid any damage in shipping
am located in pawpaw Michigan
get back to me if you are still interested in buying
Thomas Hughes

It seemed a bit fishy, but I was willing to play along, as long as I was protected. So, I replied asking again, for his call sign, so that I may check his ham to ham reference, here, and on other ham related sites, and, that I was currently dealing with another ham in Paw Paw, and maybe the two of them could get together, to save on shipping costs. Not that either of them had a great deal of shipping cost, but it seemed convenient and fortuitous. His reply was a curt:

On May 15, 2012, at 3:13 PM, biinarycom wrote:


Well, thinking that maybe he was just a crusty curmudgeon, who didn't want to be bothered with details, and heobviously didn't seem to care how he was paid, as I had asked and he refused to answer, I figured the best way to pay him and be protected, would be to pay via PayPal, so I sent him this reply:

I will make the PayPal payment, straight away. Payment will be from Thanks again!!

Thanks much,
Pomona, CA

PayPal, as usual, immediately sent both he, and me, an email confirming the payment, and giving him instructions, on how to collect his payment.

Then tuesday morning, I got this reply from him:
sorry i have not gotten the alert
why not you send the payment via western union with this info

Name........... Thomas Hughes
city................ PawPaw
state.............. Michigan
Zip code...... 49079
and get back to me with the payment info so i can forward the item to UPS office and get back to you with a copy of the waybill and tracking
thanks 73

Okay, all along there were "red flags" but the lack of correct syntax, and the request for using Wesern Union, when all he had to do, was get the money from PayPal, as he had been instructed to do, RED FLAGS and SKYROCKETS went off, I went to my PayPal account, and canceled the payment and sent him this, lengthy, curt response:

Sorry to be a bit abrupt, here, and I suspect I will likely not hear back from you. But the answer to your question is simple. I am neither stupid, nor gullible.
I asked you, more than once, for your call sign, how much you wanted and how you wanted to be paid. Your answer was a very short one:

"On May 15, 2012, at 3:13 PM, biinarycom wrote:

So, since you neglected to provide a call sign, with which I could check your references, and you did not previously specify how you wanted to be paid, it seemed to me, my best option, and I believe it was fortuitous, was to use PayPal, so that I may be protected, from fraud, which I am beginning to believe this is. I am currently in a deal with a ham in Paw Paw, MI, and I have family there. Now, IF you truly wish to sell these items, and are a legitimate seller, you will get back to me with your home address, telephone number and a CALL SIGN, because the FCC has NOBODY on file with your name, in any state, or territory, of the United States, when I enter your name in the QRZ name-based database. And, without it, I have no means to check on you, to know if you are legitimate, or fraudulent.
Had you actually been interested in selling the items I was asking for, you would have gladly provided me with your call sign, and likely would have been happy to accept a USPS Money Order. If, per chance, you still legitimately wish to sell the items, you will provide me with the information requested, and I will forward it on, to my family, who live near Almena Airport, and they can come pick them up, give you the cash, and THEY will see to it that the items get shipped to me, properly. But, sir, I must be frank. Your lack of communication, nor candor, nor means of reference, make me believe I need to look further.
The PayPal payment has been canceled, and again, if I am wrong, and you still wish to legitimately sell those items, I apologize. But before this transaction proceeds further, you will provide me with the proper credentials. By the way, there is also no Thomas Hughes listed in the phone directory, near Paw Paw, either. My family checked. But, I WILL NOT DO Western Union, it affords me ZERO protection, from fraudulent sellers.


I want to be totally fair here. I got a reply, from Tom Hughes, and want to post our last exchange here. His reply that last email to him was:

On May 16, 2012, at 1:25 PM, biinarycom wrote:

and if i may ask ...what are you implying

To which, I replied:

I am not IMPLYING anything. I said what I mean, and mean what I said. IF, you wanted to make this transaction, you very easily could have made it happen, by accepting, an acceptable form of payment, and answered questions as I asked them. I asked at least twice, for your call sign, so that I could check references, in the feedback forums on the usual ham radio websites. You did not specify how you wanted to be paid, for the items, so, I attempted to pay via PayPal. Then, the last, red flag, that said to me, that I needed to cancel this transaction, was the suggestion that I pay via, Western Union, while having no references, nor ability to track you down, if you did not ship. So, I canceled the transaction, on PayPal.

If I may make a suggestion, IF, you are at all interested in selling on QRZ, QTH eHam, or other ham related sites, you would be well served to answer all questions asked by the potential buyer, and give him/her, some sort of way to feel at ease about the deal. If you don't want to give out your callsign, or address, you can give them a phone number. Often times, a personal conversation, gives a potential trading partner, a bit more confidence in the other.
Anyway, if you legitimately wish to sell yours, list them under your call sign, and be more cooperative, with the buyers. Otherwise, red flags and skyrockets go off in a buyer's head, like they did mine.


So, I am posting all this information, to alert everyone to another name to put on your watch list.
Caveat Emptor, folks!!!

de W3RXO/W6
Pomona, CA (at the moment)

Lastly, I have received private messages, on another site, from multiple people, that this guy has tried to pull the same things with them. SO, it seems he is actively, RIGHT NOW, trying to scam hams, out of their money, or goods. While this all occurred on QRZ, not QTH, I believe that we all need to have as much knowledge about these scam artists, as possible, so I am posting here as well

Posted: Sat May 19, 2012 6:21 am
by kg4mlo
Okay Merle... I am putting your name on my watch list. Anyone who plays a game like this KNOWING the red flags are there, is BOTH STUPID AND GULLABLE.

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:58 pm
by W3RXO
Sorry, not stupid, nor gullible. I just let it play out, to it's inevitable end. And if you think my name is Merle Haggard, I appreciate the compliment, but who is stupid enough to confuse a signature line, quoting a famous singer/songwriter, with the author of a BBS post?

BTW-MY name was mentioned 5 separate times in that post, and it's NOT Merle.

I presume you've heard the old saying, "Give them enough rope, to hang themselves"? That's all that exchange really was. It was simply getting enough evidence, while keeping myself protected, that I could confidently post about this scam artist, without fear of legal ramifications.