Caveat emptor

shooter65

Senior Member
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
2,635
Reaction score
3,794
Location
.
This is simply a reminder for everyone. Another forum I'm on is for John Deere tractors. Here is as long story a member on that site shared. I'm passing it on, although, in hind sight it was obviously as scam, as the OP pointed out, in the heat of trying to get a part you've been looking for, we can all get careless.

Be aware of online scams because sometimes you get to be an example to others of what not to do.

This is one of those times. This might be a bit long. Go get some popcorn.

I’ve been on GTT for 5 months now, joining 1 month before getting my 1025R. One of the things I did not get with the purchase was a set of pallet forks and a frame. Main reason being that I was given a set of Rankin clamp-on bucket forks. For various reasons I have decided I want to go with pallet forks and a frame instead (and sell the Rankin's eventually).

So I posted in the Wanted to Buy forum that I…well…wanted to buy a frame and forks, 42” and of course the JDQA system for attaching to my H120 loader.

I titled the post” 42" Pallet Forks and frame”

A day or so later I got a notice that “Ronald001” (I’m using quotes only the first time I use someone’s “name” here) has invited me to a conversation about the forks.

Ronald001:
"Email steve in Ashland he has a 42" Pallet Forks and frame for sale. Here's his email stevemathew660@gmail.com"

So I emailed “Steve Matthew”.

A few red flags in hindsight here:
  • A private conversation, outside of the forum, and away from other people’s watchful eyes.
  • Slightly wrong grammar. “he has a 42” Pallet Forks and frame for sale." instead of “he has a set of 42” pallet forks and a frame for sale.” Note that what Ronald wrote was exactly what I had titled (Pallet Forks is capitalized and frame is not). “steve” is not capitalized either.
In hindsight as well, had I used google to search for the text of Ronald’s conversation I would have see that the same text, verbatim, had been used several other sites and "he" has been flagged as a scammer on some (but not all) of the forums.

I’m north of Seattle and had assumed that “Ashland” was Ashland, Oregon. Later, in emailing “Steve” he’s supposedly in Ashland, Virginia. I figured in my mind that Ashland, Oregon was close enough to drive if necessary.

I was eager for a good deal and was away from my computer for what followed. Both of which were mistakes on my part.

I was spending the next two days evaluating the condition of school buildings in Seattle, so all I could do is see photos and send emails via my phone. I also was always on the move and had to steal moments away from work to communicate with Steve. Again, a private conversation away from knowledgeable and helpful watching eyes.

I sent Steve the same message as in the Wanted To Buy forum, plus “Ronald said you have 42" forks and a frame for sale. I'm wondering what you have for sale, what you'd like to get for it, and what would be the best (most cost efficient) way to get them from you to me. I'm about an hour north of Seattle and there's a nearby Fastenal.”

He said he did have a set of 42” pallet forks that he was willing to sell to me for $350, including shipping. This seemed reasonable to me for a used set. I wasn’t looking for new, just good, and not a project.

I won’t bore you with the back and forth but Steve wasn’t eager to sell and seemed a bit grumpy. Ronald was a bit more pushy, making sure I knew that Steve was an honest man. And honestly, my eagerness was helping a bit too much. The first picture Steve sent was using a SSQA system. He got offended when I pointed out it would not work on my H120, reminding me that he has been working with tractors a long time. I pointed out a couple of more times that he, respectfully, was wrong. Finally he sent a picture of a Titan forks and frame set with the JDQA system. Success! Exactly what I was wanting and a little better than I had hoped. He kept blaming delays in communication on his office manager.

Again, doing all this from the tiny screen on my phone I agreed to the deal and I asked about Paypal or Zelle.

He wrote:
“I think I 'll prefer Zelle so as to get it shipp fast without no form of delay. But i am not set up with zelle but my secretary set up with that. Here is the Zelle to pay to.
robert.cobarrubias44@gmail.com

Let me know once you done with payment i ll send you the tracking number and relevant shipping information once your payment is confirm.”

We agreed to use Zelle for sending funds. My wife has used Zelle for sending money to relatives. This was my first time with it. He got pushy about receiving the money, wanting to know when it was sent. I was working through the process and asked him for the recipient name, phone number, and email. He wrote again:

“Okay. Sorry about that but my secretary is not available to answer quickly. You can just make the payment here now.
briandcarterforever69@gmail.com
Brianna Holes.”

I wrote back that Zelle was requiring a phone number too. So he replied:

“Here is the number +1 (859) 621-9880
Name Brianna Hiles.”

He even provided what he said was his address: "This is my address. 304 South Center Street Ashland Virginia. " I'm sure it's a lie too.

This is going way long, so I’ll wrap it up. I sent the money via Zelle. I never saw the forks. Steve and Ronald did keep up the charade for a few days even though the money was irretrievably in their hands. Then radio silence.

Ronald001 did respond to someone else here on GTT needing a Gator fender and Kylew spotted it in the Wanted to Buy forum and made a comment about it looking shady. I messaged him about my predicament and he agreed that it looked really shady because:
  • Ronald’s response directed you to someone off site who had exactly what was requested.
  • Ronald had a very low posting count (003 at the time, I think)
I went to every step in the way to file dispute/loss forms. No joy so far. I sent a few "honor shaming" emails to Ronald and Steve. Still nothing.

A couple of items that hopefully help you not be a part of something like this:
  • Zelle has no protections. And, to be absolutely clear and fair to them, they are absolutely clear about this. A Zelle transaction is virtual cash. Imagine handing someone a stack of cash. That is what it is. There is no recourse. Once it leaves your hand, and you confirm multiple times it’s ok and that you know who you’re sending it to (which of course I clicked “yes”) it’s gone. No recourse, no recall, no protection.
  • The phone number was a real number, answered by a woman who was not interested in talking to me or about Steve.
  • The names Steve was giving me as the recipient was not him. It was his secretary, and it changed three times.
  • My bank has a relationship with Zelle as their facilitator for online fund transfer. After I realized I was scammed, I talked with them and they said Zelle is a contractor and not part of the bank. So I don’t have protection from online fraud, nor help from their online fraud department.
  • Zelle is clear that they’re just the facilitator. If you say it’s ok to send, that’s all the approval they need to send the money. I filed a fraud claim with them anyway. 30 days later, no response.
  • The money went through Zelle to another bank. That bank then, as I understand it, routed it to a bank that puts the money straight into debit/gift cards. The money is gone, they have no interest in assistance.
  • The US Government does have a department for investigating internet fraud. I filed a report and a form with them. 30 days later, no response.
  • To be clear ONCE THE MONEY IS GONE, IT’S GONE. THERE IS NO DISPUTE TO RESOLVE AS YOU’VE GIVEN THE OK TO SEND IT. This isn’t like a credit or debit card purchase where you have some protections. I sent the money in good faith that once received they would send the forks. Just like if they had sent the forks prior to payment they would have done so in good faith that I would pay.
I have searched on the Internet for his opening text and found more under Ronald001 and even a couple under Ronald002. I’ve emailed their site admins to let them know. Some appreciate it, some don’t.

I know this has been a long read. I haven’t hidden much. If you have questions about any of this, please ask in a reply and I’ll respond publicly as much as I can (or via conversation if you’d like).

I was lazy and eager and was not critical enough, overlooking many red flags for my convenience. That does not absolve Ronald, Steve, or Brianna of being criminals.

Hopefully, this all helps someone else from going down the same path.
 

Big_John

Illegitimi non carborundum
FCBO Gold Member
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
15,605
Reaction score
20,838
Location
Marcellus, NY
This is where I really like Pay Pal. Yea, I know... you hear about "I got screwed" but I have to say that Pay Pal came through for me when I got screwed on a deal. Interestingly enough, the seller was pressured by Pay Pal enough to send parts, but then the seller got smart and started asking for "friends and family" transactions. A bunch of guys fell for it and got screwed.

I walked away from a deal on here. It wasn't anything I needed, but again, "friends and family" was requested. I said I don't want to do business with someone that asks that. IF he had said Pay Pal would be sale price plus 3%, I would have been OK. He whined a lot, but screw him.
 

mopar440

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
714
Reaction score
386
Location
St paul
I was looking for 65 seat belts, and I got a message just like this, my buddy " name here" has your 65 seat belts... I just ignored it, good more people are finding out about these scams
 

haywire 440

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Messages
952
Reaction score
306
Location
Illinois
Scumbags seem to be filtering into a lot of areas/hobbies. It’s great that you take the time to warn others. The other a,b,e only sites have had personal scam stories like yours. Common scam “a friend has it” and it targets “WTB” ads.
A word of caution is always welcome.
 
Last edited:

Richard Reau

Active Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
291
Reaction score
263
Location
Tampa
PayPal tried to screw me big time. I sold a car on Ebay, it went to St. Louis. The buyer was happy with the car, but the Missouri BMV would not honor the Ohio title. I did all I could to help the buyer, but the MO BMV would not play ball.

So, the buyer filed a complaint against me, making up shit, but Ebay found in my favor. Then the buyer filed a complaint with PayPal, and PP also found in my favor again. Next, the buyer filed a complaint with his credit card company, which in turn filed another complaint with PP. Meanwhile, I emptied my PP account and closed the bank account that the PP account was attached to. PayPal acquiesced to the credit card company, and PP went in to my account to remove the money...but I had removed it first! PP sent the thing to two different collection agencies, but I spoke with both of them, and they both agreed with ME! So, I kept the money, the guy kept the car, and the credit card company and PayPal got the shaft.

Unfortunately, my PP account is still negative, I can't use it, and I can't sell anything on Ebay, unless I use my wife's PP account. It hasn't really hurt me.
 

1970FuryConv

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
3,665
Reaction score
3,825
Location
Richmond, VA
PayPal tried to screw me big time. I sold a car on Ebay, it went to St. Louis. The buyer was happy with the car, but the Missouri BMV would not honor the Ohio title. I did all I could to help the buyer, but the MO BMV would not play ball.

So, the buyer filed a complaint against me, making up shit, but Ebay found in my favor. Then the buyer filed a complaint with PayPal, and PP also found in my favor again. Next, the buyer filed a complaint with his credit card company, which in turn filed another complaint with PP. Meanwhile, I emptied my PP account and closed the bank account that the PP account was attached to. PayPal acquiesced to the credit card company, and PP went in to my account to remove the money...but I had removed it first! PP sent the thing to two different collection agencies, but I spoke with both of them, and they both agreed with ME! So, I kept the money, the guy kept the car, and the credit card company and PayPal got the shaft.

Unfortunately, my PP account is still negative, I can't use it, and I can't sell anything on Ebay, unless I use my wife's PP account. It hasn't really hurt me.
Curious. Why wouldn't Missouri DMV take Ohio title?
 

Richard Reau

Active Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
291
Reaction score
263
Location
Tampa
The car had an open title when I bought it. It was a valid OH title, signed by the owner and notarized. It should have been a simple matter of my buyer filling his info in as the buyer, and voila! the thing should have been processed. Evidently the MO-rons didn't like the fact that the title had been notarized 5 years earlier. And this is why I will never buy a car without a title, and now I won't buy one with an open title either.

Yes, I know, I know, there are a hundred guys on this site and everywhere else that say it's easy to get a title, or to title a car from a "no title" state, but I've never had any luck trying to do it.
 

1970FuryConv

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2014
Messages
3,665
Reaction score
3,825
Location
Richmond, VA
The car had an open title when I bought it. It was a valid OH title, signed by the owner and notarized. It should have been a simple matter of my buyer filling his info in as the buyer, and voila! the thing should have been processed. Evidently the MO-rons didn't like the fact that the title had been notarized 5 years earlier. And this is why I will never buy a car without a title, and now I won't buy one with an open title either.

Yes, I know, I know, there are a hundred guys on this site and everywhere else that say it's easy to get a title, or to title a car from a "no title" state, but I've never had any luck trying to do it.

In Virginia, there's no legal way to get title without title. I have gotten title from Connecticut that was open title: signed over from owner to owner. Connecticut allowed sign over process because the car was beyond a certain age. In Virginia, the clerk at the window was clueless and had to get the manager of the DMV office involved. They pulled out a huge book and looked up Connecticut DMV laws and regs. Finally, I got title. What a relief!
That was 2013. Still own the car.
IMG_20201008_175219.jpg
 

68PK21 440.6bbl

Old Man with a Hat
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
7,551
Reaction score
6,858
Location
Siren City
The car had an open title when I bought it. It was a valid OH title, signed by the owner and notarized. It should have been a simple matter of my buyer filling his info in as the buyer, and voila! the thing should have been processed. Evidently the MO-rons didn't like the fact that the title had been notarized 5 years earlier. And this is why I will never buy a car without a title, and now I won't buy one with an open title either.

Yes, I know, I know, there are a hundred guys on this site and everywhere else that say it's easy to get a title, or to title a car from a "no title" state, but I've never had any luck trying to do it.

So...... you got the shaft on a title and you passed it along to another buyer, did I get that right?
Why didn't you title the car in your name? oh yea because it was going to be a PITA.
 

Richard Reau

Active Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
291
Reaction score
263
Location
Tampa
68PK, you assume an awful lot with your brash and insulting comment. Shooting your mouth off without having all the facts seems to be a new national obsession. No, you did not get that right.

If you must know.... I purchased the car out of WV, and took it to Ohio where I was spending the summer. I live in Florida.

Once in Ohio, I re-commissioned the car, at much expense and much personal labor, with the intent to run it in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Kick-off Rallye, which I accomplished, and finished in the middle of the pack, not too bad. Not being an Ohio resident, I couldn't have titled the car in Ohio. Had I taken the car back to FL, that would have been expensive, and FL charges dearly for out-of-state cars. Plus, I liked the car, but I couldn't love it. SO, before I returned to Florida, I put the car on Ebay, with full disclosure of all factors, including the title status.

The Missouri buyer asked a hundred questions, and ended up buying the car and shipped it back to St. Louis. I lost probably 3 grand selling it to the guy, not counting all my labor. Once the guy received the car, he phoned me to say how pleased he was with the purchase. It wasn't until he went in to the MO BMV when the trouble started. They would not honor the perfectly valid Ohio title, nor the subsequent bills of sale I provided to the guy. Obviously I could not control the actions of the Missouri BMV, and the guy was grown man who knew what he was getting himself into.

I use this analogy when I tell this story: If you were to buy a flat screen TV at Target, took it home, and decided you didn't like the TV, you couldn't walk back in to Target and get your money back without bringing the TV back! This Joker in Missouri managed to get his money back and he still has the car and a valid title! Lucky for me I was smart enough to see this coming, so I was able to avoid getting stung. If you read the previous posts, you will read that ebay AND PayPal AND the collection agencies ALL found in my favor in the matter.

SO, Mr. 68PK21, the next time you want to shoot your mouth off before you pop your head out of your ass, do it on someone else's post.
 

68PK21 440.6bbl

Old Man with a Hat
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
7,551
Reaction score
6,858
Location
Siren City
68PK, you assume an awful lot with your brash and insulting comment. Shooting your mouth off without having all the facts seems to be a new national obsession. No, you did not get that right.

If you must know.... I purchased the car out of WV, and took it to Ohio where I was spending the summer. I live in Florida.

Once in Ohio, I re-commissioned the car, at much expense and much personal labor, with the intent to run it in the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Kick-off Rallye, which I accomplished, and finished in the middle of the pack, not too bad. Not being an Ohio resident, I couldn't have titled the car in Ohio. Had I taken the car back to FL, that would have been expensive, and FL charges dearly for out-of-state cars. Plus, I liked the car, but I couldn't love it. SO, before I returned to Florida, I put the car on Ebay, with full disclosure of all factors, including the title status.

The Missouri buyer asked a hundred questions, and ended up buying the car and shipped it back to St. Louis. I lost probably 3 grand selling it to the guy, not counting all my labor. Once the guy received the car, he phoned me to say how pleased he was with the purchase. It wasn't until he went in to the MO BMV when the trouble started. They would not honor the perfectly valid Ohio title, nor the subsequent bills of sale I provided to the guy. Obviously I could not control the actions of the Missouri BMV, and the guy was grown man who knew what he was getting himself into.

I use this analogy when I tell this story: If you were to buy a flat screen TV at Target, took it home, and decided you didn't like the TV, you couldn't walk back in to Target and get your money back without bringing the TV back! This Joker in Missouri managed to get his money back and he still has the car and a valid title! Lucky for me I was smart enough to see this coming, so I was able to avoid getting stung. If you read the previous posts, you will read that ebay AND PayPal AND the collection agencies ALL found in my favor in the matter.

SO, Mr. 68PK21, the next time you want to shoot your mouth off before you pop your head out of your ass, do it on someone else's post.
Welp it seems I hit a nerve... I surmise that you are just 1 link in the chain to circumvent sales tax & title and possibly late title penalty fees and the Missouri DMV picked up on it. And there is no 'B' in DMV. (or is the d broke on your phone).

It's funny this guy thinks nothing about the expense of traveling across country to Florida to title & tag his brand new 20k+motorcycle, but then again he's most likely circumventing California fees.



.
 

Richard Reau

Active Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
291
Reaction score
263
Location
Tampa
Wow, you are so full of bullshit. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is the problem. I realize that nowadays certain types can't own up to their mistakes, it goes to the highest level. After reading my last post, it should be obvious to you that my actions were entirely above board, but instead you want to spin the narrative into something more unsavory. Run along now with your conspiracy theories and alternative facts, the adults are talking here.
 

68PK21 440.6bbl

Old Man with a Hat
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
7,551
Reaction score
6,858
Location
Siren City
Wow, you are so full of bullshit. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is the problem. I realize that nowadays certain types can't own up to their mistakes, it goes to the highest level. After reading my last post, it should be obvious to you that my actions were entirely above board, but instead you want to spin the narrative into something more unsavory. Run along now with your conspiracy theories and alternative facts, the adults are talking here.
:rolleyes:

Missourii.My.DMV.jpg


.
 
Top