back to article eBay scammer gets four years

The leader of a UK-based gang who made millions selling counterfeit luxury golf kit and other knock-off goods through auction site eBay has been jailed for four years. Gary Bellchambers and six others ran what is reckoned to be the biggest ever such scam between June 2003 and March 2008. Their fraud was eventually rumbled by a …

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Unhappy

Not bad...

...couple of year in (most likely) an open prison for a few million quid.

Where do I sign up?

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Re: Where do I sign up?

https://scgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?RegisterEnterInfo ;-)

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FAIL

aye right...

A testament to ebay's Fraud squad that it took them 5 years to squash one dodgy ring. How many people were scammed by this team in that time, ebay ? What's that ? Don't have the numbers ?

I'll give you a clue: it's all in the database.

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FAIL

Some people don't read

"A testament to ebay's Fraud squad that it took them 5 years to squash one dodgy ring. How many people were scammed by this team in that time, ebay ? What's that ? Don't have the numbers ?

I'll give you a clue: it's all in the database."

"The council team worked with eBay to identify 96,000 bogus transactions including golf clubs, clothing and forged Qantas business class lounge pass cards. The crooks supplied cheap knock-off imitations in place of the promised premium quality kit from US manufacturer Callaway Golf."

Rought guess... about 96,000 :D

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Yes, but which came first...

EBays responses to customers complaints of fraud, or Trading standards involvement forcing EBay to sit up and take action.

I bet it wasn't the former.

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Who's Getting The Fees?

So yes, eventually (seriously, 3 years?) Ebay have done the right thing whether they were asked to or legally required to is a different thing. However look at the percentages Ebay takes from these sales, if the guy made millions on Ebay, Ebay have taken a cut.

Therefore, directly, Ebay have profited from this criminal enterprise. Now I don't know/Can't be bothered to work out how much but the last time i sold something on Ebay a good percentage (about 4%) went to Ebay of the final sale price, plus a 50p or so listing fee.

I'm guessing this was paying the wages of the Ebay investigators/just lining their pockets while they make gestures towards preventing counterfeiting, while quietly continuing to profit from its massive spread on Ebay's marketplace.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

Idasben, couldn't agree more. Ebay clearly profited from this, think they should pay back all of it as it is 'fraud money' after all... they are just as bad as the criminals themselves.

Only 4 years lock up time is hardly anything for a good few millions!

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Badgers

eBay say

"eBay UK ... explained the modus operandi of the crooks"

"They advertised premium goods, accepted money off people then sent them counterfeit copies. Clever eh, took us 3 years but we finally figured it out"

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FAIL

lenient

Crime pays in the UK, very lenient sentences considering the money involved.

I'd happily spend 2 years in prison for a million quid.

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WTF?

2 years for a million quid?

>I'd happily spend 2 years in prison for a million quid.

You're either greedy or stupid then (or both), not going outside fro two years, having drugs forced on you, being raped (HIV, hepatitis), no freedom, even TV is a privilege, possibly shitting in a bucket because the wing that you're in has been condemmed, having cell mates kill themselves, two or three to a 8 foot cell.

I've never been a resident, but I have been in and talked to people there, and seriously there's more to life than money, once you stop being jealous of other peoples possessions you can get on with your own life, it's not all about wide screen TV's you know.

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Coat

FOUR!

years. Mine's the one with the 3 wood sticking out.

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Yep, justice prevailed

After 96,000 transactions and three years, that is! The scammers get locked up for a year or two, then retire to the Bahamas. Ebay keeps their rakeoff as well. The folks that bought counterfeit goods, well...

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Money

Sure, good money for the time behind bars. Trouble for these guys is that the UK has a rather active police unit dedicated to asset-stripping career criminals (under the Proceeds of Crime Act), especially if it looks like there's some decent money stashed away somewhere. Bank accounts? Empty. Nice house? Sold. Car? Gone in 60 seconds. And even offshore bank accounts aren't as untouchable as they were. So unless you can arrange something with the Russian mafia, chances are that money ain't gonna be there when you get out.

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Of Course..

The way around that is to start your own online auction site. After all, it's probqbly quite unlikely that ebay will have to relinquish any of the proceeds they made from this crime.

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Anonymous Coward

Pirates

They were smart enough to know not to put their money in the bank. aaarrrr

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Anonymous Coward

a title

So unless you can arrange something with the Russian mafia, chances are that money ain't gonna be there when you get out.

. "So unless you can arrange something with the Russian mafia, chances are that money ain't gonna be there when you get out."

In that event, all the more likely that the money won't be there when you get out.

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FAIL

eBay: Dead Man Walking

eBay is a totally unscrupulous organization, with a totally dysfunctional system; eBay knowingly and deliberately facilitates sophisticated shill-bidding fraud on buyers by unscrupulous sellers (ie, eBay is a deliberate ‘criminal facilitator’); and PayPal’s ‘clunky’ payments system encourages fraud by unscrupulous buyers on sellers; between the two of these dysfunctional organizations, eBay has become an unsafe place for sellers; it has always been an unsafe place for buyers and eBay’s introduction of masked bidding aliases in 2008 made it, deliberately, that much worse. Nothing eBay ever does is for the benefit of anyone but eBay.

The detail at: http://www.auctionbytes.com/forum/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=6502877

eBay: Totally unscrupulous; dysfunctional—Dead Man Walking!

PayPal: Unscrupulous; systemically dysfunctional to the core!

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Anonymous Coward

Drop in the ocean

This is a mere drop in the ocean. E-bay the 21st century version of the Flea Market.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Online Escrow in the UK.....

Since 1 November 2009, with the introduction in the UK of the Payment Services Regulations, escrow services finally come under the auspices of the FSA and HMRC.

You will find genuine escrow companies at the FSA online register at www.fsa.gov.uk/register/psdFirmSearchForm.do (try searching there for 'escrow' as an example) and/or at https://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/msbregister/checkTerms.do (try searching there for 'tru' in the name box and 'NW11' in the postcode box for one such genuine example).

These new online escrow services may offer exactly the service you are looking for, and cost only £3 or so all-in to use.

Beware, there are many, many fraudulent escrow services which look real - even quoting UK addresses, phone numbers and fake FSA & HMRC registration numbers. They look extremely professional, and any money posted to them (or goods sent relying on them) will be lost forever. So only ever work with a firm on the FSA register and/or the HMRC register, which will be safe.

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FAIL

Who even uses the Tat Bazaar?

Really?

It's bound to fail now and again.

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Anonymous Coward

Chavs online

Ebay started off well but they turned a blind eye and now it is really chavs online.

Hopefully, people will start reporting Ebay scams to the new national fraud line actionfraud.org.uk. Hopefully, then the volume of Ebay scams will finally be recorded and prompt the OFT to take action. Same for Gumtree!

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Anonymous Coward

Token effort

Ebay/paypal:

They have obviously profited from this. Since it took so long for them to stop it, could be looked upon as accessories unless they give up the funds that they made off of it. Since they must have an idea of what auctions were fraudulant, they must also know how much was paid in ebay/paypal fees.

Perhaps giving the money up to schools. That may be good.

Why do these scams occur?

These occur because your average idiot really believes that they can get a $1000 item for $100.

Personally, I buy occasional IT gear on ebay, however before buying, I take into account current retail, devaluation of item, and then watch other similiar items to see what they sell for.

If I were buying a piece of $1000 gear, average auctions current and past are in the $500 range, will be suspicious of an item selling for $50 - $100 with a "buy it now" or a user selling a large amount of similiar priced items.

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Megaphone

Two schools of thought....

1. eBay should be 100% accountable for everything sold via their portal

2. eBay has no responsibility for anything sold via their portal

The way that it stands currently is that eBay (claim to) have no responsibility for what is sold, in which case you must assume no protection and consider your purchase acordingly, using PayPal will give you some protection (assuming basic precautions are taken).

After 500 transactions (including individual purchases of several thousand pounds, no I didn't use PayPal!) I have some paid, not arrived, and only one that I had to contact eBay about, after a 2 minute phone conversation they agreed to refund the money in full (the item arrived the next week, oops).

I don't think there is a problem of people selling $1000 "things" for $100, anyone who sees a deal too good to be true and doesn't think "that must be too good to be true" needs a reality check, the real problem is "good" fakes that cost 85% of retail price, personally I don't mind a good quality fake that does the job for 1/10 of the price but some of the fakes available on eBay are so good people are getting away with it when people don't even realise they are fake, handbags and tiffany jewlery for example, some of these things are almost perfect copies, I believe the Turkish term is "real fake", a fake Rolex can be stripped for parts to fix real ones they are that good.

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