The Hijacking of Harold J. Price

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:26 pm

The Hijacking of Harold J. Price

Post by no0d » Sun Mar 06, 2016 4:33 pm

I am like every other ham I know, constantly looking to buy my next radio. I am purchasing a home and wanted to set up a discrete base station in my new home. I haven't had a base station for several years due to my rental HOA. This story begins when I saw a deal for a Yaesu 857 and Atas 120a antenna.

I simply replied to a post for a radio and asked the seller if it was still available. Unfortunately it was sold, but soon I received an email from K4DCW offering almost an exact deal. My pulse began to raise as I knew I wanted the radio. I asked for pictures and if it was in working order. Harold J. Price replied with the following pictures.
pic 1.jpg
pic 2.jpg
Obviously, the pictures have been slightly changed for the purposes of this story. I liked what I saw but I was still hesitant. I asked for a picture with his call sign in it. He offered:
pic 3.jpg
I the sent a message through QRZ to insure that he was who he said he was, and it was returned immediately. I told him I was on board, and to send me his PayPal address. The return email made me worry, they sent, and asked I send it friends and family. I know that means I cannot get my money back if something goes wrong. I calculated the cost and sent it through regular PayPal for the buyer protection. The seller sent an email when I was slow to send the PayPal.

I patiently watched as the PayPal transaction completed. Then there was silence. I sent numerous requests for shipping status, only to be ignored before a I received a vague email stating the radio had shipped. I began to look closer at Picture 3 with K4DCW's callsign, and realized it was photo shopped. I missed it in the excitement for my new radio. I sent more requests for shipping information, before I finally opened a dispute in PayPal. My money was returned immediately by JKWARE12.

This is where I become childish. At this point I knew that I was part of a scam. I did a reverse email look up for and found it based in Nassau Bahamas: ... 2SQw9Wxm6w

I sent an email telling that I knew what they were up to and added the link. They amazingly offered to sell me the radio through another PayPal address, which they would not give me. I then did some more searching and found the email address to be owned by Jan "Cookie" Brown which I sent to them in an email: ... stMe1brown

(A side note: If you are going to scam people, do not have a public Facebook profile)

Once again, they stuck to their story and offered the radio once again. I was befuddled by their resiliency and fortitude. I then did a little more investigating, and found that K4DCW owns Price Professional Services in Dalton, GA. I tried calling several times, but there was no answer at 706-278-5750. My next email included references to Harold J. Price's wife Mary and business partner Malcolm C. Davenport. This email was returned with confusion and silence.

I then did a little street view of Harold J. Price's address, 304 Lakeview Dr. SE Dalton, GA 30721 and noticed a conspicuous Yagi antenna installed in the backyard. I sent an email asking about the antenna which was returned with:

"what do you mean by all this message my friend"

That was the unfortunate end to our conversation. Although I am going to send them a link to this thread. So I am going to list some lessons learned from this experience:

1. Don't ever send money Friends and Family
2. Don't trust a QRZ email address
3. Make a seller post the thread in the swapmeet section before purchasing and let them admins check it out.
4. Research the buyer before purchasing.

I am using the actual names, addresses, people, and other information in order for it to show up in a google search the next time they try to scam someone. Poor Harold J. Price, K4DCW, is an 89 year old ham that most likely has no idea his name, call, and email have been hijacked by an active scammer. It is an unfortunate reality of the new world. Feel free to add your own advice to this thread, and if you have a Yaesu radio and Atas antenna for sale send me an email.

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Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:06 am
Location: Palm Bay FL

Re: The Hijacking of Harold J. Price

Post by N4URW » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:03 pm

Isn't it amazing what people are trying to do. They spend so much time and effort trying to scam people that if they would take that same effort and go look for a real job they might be successful. I too was Hijacked about a month ago and had to change my account. Luckily one of the QRZ monitors called me to inform me that this had happened and we were able to stop anyone from actually sending funds to the scumbag that did it. Rules of engagement:

1. When dealing with another amateur radio operator, do some research on the ham sites.

2. On QRZ, check to see when the last update to the profile was done. If it was very recent, that's a red flag.

3. See if an email address is listed. If not, that could be a red flag because it doesn't give you a opportunity to contact the real person.

4. Check the IP address of the ad and see if it matches the address or area that is on file for the operator.

5. If they ask for the funds to be send by Western Union or PayPal (Friends and Family) don't do it. You are not protected in the event that it is a scam.

6. If the emails you get are in broken English or they say that they are aboard a water vessel and they have no way to call you, that's a red flag.

7. If they ask for your PayPal address, and they a little while later you get an email showing a PayPal page that shows the funds are in it, first thing you need to do is log into your actual Paypal account and see if the funds are really in your account. People are starting to make FAKE PayPal pages that look very real but are not.

It is so sad that we have to put up with people like this. Hard to trust anyone anymore. Hope the tips above and help in weeding out the scumbags that are trying to rip us off.
Joel McDonald, MSgt, USAF Retired
N4URW, Palm Bay FL

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