The Museum of HP Calculators

HP Forum Archive 15

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Message #1 Posted by Hank Jostock (Wisconsin) on 11 June 2005, 10:49 a.m.

I have received several "interesting" offers to buy some parts of my collection and I am sure that a few are pure scam. An interesting thing is that some of those "interesting" offers share a common part of the email address. The common part is I am not sure about the common element, but I suspect that some folks are using a yahoo mail "box" while their actual home email would be in some other area of the world. I can not verify these messages as being scammers at work, but I am worried. Some interested buyers have included their office or home addresses and phone numbers. I might be wise to gather more more solid information before making or accepting any offers. It is a shame that we are dealing with fraud at both the seller and buyer ends of our transactions. I would love to see someone come up with a great way of protecting us at both ends. Hank Edited: "My key stokes suck on some occasions". Hank

Edited: 11 June 2005, 10:51 a.m.

Re: Scams
Message #2 Posted by Howard Owen on 11 June 2005, 11:54 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hank Jostock (Wisconsin)

That's the major benefit eBay brings to the table: trust. Their reputation system works pretty well in assuring buyers and sellers alike that each participent is a real person, with a track record of completing online transactions. It isn't foolproof, of course. Passwords can be stolen, among other things. But it works well enough.

I don't know what a smaller site could do on its own to compete with eBay on those grounds. Some sort of peer-to-peer distributed reputation system should be possible. But how to actually build one is beyond me.

What about escrow mechanisms?
Message #3 Posted by John L. Shelton on 11 June 2005, 2:17 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Howard Owen

Do the escrow mechanisms offered by eBay sellers work? I haven't tried them. In theory, they should solve the trust problem, at least in one direction.

Also, I would expect that some of the eBay drop-off sites (such as AuctionDrop) would inspire trust, as the merchandise for sale has been dropped off at an independent site.

Re: Scams
Message #4 Posted by Frank Boehm on 11 June 2005, 5:01 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hank Jostock (Wisconsin)

Using yahoo or any other freemailer won't give you any clue if it's a scam or not - most far-east people I know use "funny" email-addresses for their business (even large companies), think of "". No scam there though. But using a freemailer might give a hint - I don't think there is any logical reason for someone in UK/USA to use .ru / .il or .kr mailers. You might want to check the mail header too (this requires some technical skill), as the senders IP is often embedded into it (even when using a web-based portal). Even easier is to use fair judgement and your feeling - if the offer sounds too good to be real or some oddity is involved ("I will send you acheque, send the rest via Western Union to my brother in Nigeria") or is very unspecific ("I want to buy your item" - if someone is going to pay real $$$, he should know, what he is buying) - back away. To be on the safe side, only accept "real money" (cash is fine), don't accept *proposed* escrow services - if they want escrow services, suggest your own one.

Re: Scams
Message #5 Posted by Dan on 17 June 2005, 8:09 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Frank Boehm

The first time this happened to me, I took the responses seriously. I wrote to them but they wrote back the same thing, asking for the best offer I'd had, saying their agent would be in touch, etc.

The second time, these responses left me sad, partly because I hadn't gotten any real offers, but also because they are pathetic! It somehow violated my innocence about the whole process.

So now everytime I post a FS or FS/obo (less often as I'm out of original HP calculators!), I get about a half dozen of these. It is sad.

Think I should advertise an original padded case? Maybe for an HP-25 but I'm not sure. A bargain at $5K.


YES! just sold my HP12C manual for $10K!!
Message #6 Posted by barry on 13 June 2005, 10:57 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Hank Jostock (Wisconsin)

to a!! oh, don't forget the $3K shipping i'm charging him; he says "NO PROBLEM"!! and when he requested a picture of the "item" he got a nekkid woman w/ 3 breasts!! & guess what, STILL NO PROBLEM!!

you can't shake these guys once you respond to them - they figger they're going to be able to get you for something if you answer them; i do it once in a while just to screw w/ them. last time i did it for such a large sum the respondent had to call in his mentor, because i was charging him $150K for a lot of 30 inspection calipers, plus $20K shipping; even the mentor tried to run the scam after taking over.

like i said down below, i've dealt on the net for almost 10 years; i get these scams all the time (and EVERY time i post to the HPMofC Classifieds, they REALLY like the ads here! it only takes a few minutes to determine who's for real and who's not; i guarantee this one is a poorly educated Nigerian or lad from Singapore (2nd largest scammers heaven), going by the grammar and spelling.

almost 99% of the scammers are using free email addys, and is VERY popular. it is BEST not to respond to these people, it's very possible you'll eventually get someone sending you a virus or trojan. i do like sending them the FBI homepage when they ask for my website address, tho!

Re: YES! just sold my HP12C manual for $10K!!
Message #7 Posted by Howard Owen on 13 June 2005, 11:10 p.m.,
in response to message #6 by barry

Now cut that out! You'll inflate the market for the rest of us collectors! 8)

if this keeps up i'll be goldplating my calcs!!
Message #8 Posted by barry (nevada) on 13 June 2005, 11:43 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Howard Owen

and i'll buy out HP and have them build whatever youse guys want!!

i'm in the BLING! BLING!

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