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Fraud Alert

Posted By: John Cleveland
Date: 5/20/13 15:01

I am posting this message to warn people about a fraudulent transaction that I experienced last week.

In March, I posted a WTB ad for a tripod. I received an E-Mail from a guy named Benjamin Wolf who gave an address in Dayton, OH. He indicated he had one for sale. In my E-Mail traffic back and forth, I ultimately developed an unseasy feeling about Mr. Wolf and ended the correspondence.

Earlier this month, I was contacted by a Mr. W. Dean with a tripod for sale, giving an address in Scottville, MI. While I was not 100% confident about Mr. Dean, I nevertheless sent to him a deposit on the tripod he said he had for sale (and which he had forwarded photos of to me). He received the deposit and I have not heard from him since.

I have reason to believe that both these people are the same person, using fake names. Both used a similar odd style of writing in their E-Mails, suggesting that English was not their native language (might be Russian or from a Slavic country).

Examples are as follows, from Mr. Benjamin:

"Am currently busy in and out on some project now so going downtown to cash your check will not be the best timing for me."

and:

"Please have a USPS MO sent to me and i will have shipment heading your immediately it gets here".

and:

"Thank you exceedingly for your consideration and kind indulgence."

Mr. Dean used a similar style in his correspondence:

"I have packed tripod and sorted out your address for shipping. I will have shipment heading your way immediate funds is received."

and:

"I got your address set for shipping Via FedEx. How best would you want to pay me ? Let me know your soonest"

Mr. Dean wanted to be paid with a Moneygram (sent through Wal-Mart or CVS pharmacies). I made the mistake of sending him a deposit on the tripod that he represented he had for sale, with the balance to be paid when I received the tripod. Mr. Dean has gone radio silent and has not replied to any of my E-Mails inquiring about the shipping of the tripod.

Other similarities in these two situations: both Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Deal asked that the payments be sent to their wives - in one case Edarose Wolf and in the other case, Vick Dean.

After realizing I had been defrauded by Mr. Dean, I checked the addresses provided by each of Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Dean on Mapquest and could not get an exact match.

While I feel quite foolish at being scammed by this guy, I wanted to alert as many people as possible using this site that this dirtbag is out there. Since he had some modest success with scamming me, he will probably try to scam other as well.

If you have any questions about this, please E-Mail me.

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