The Mining Claim and Gold Scam Hits Just Keep Coming (Conclusion)
We're finally at the end of this series and that's probably a good thing. You see, talking about scams and hustles is valuable in the greatest sense, but it's not the most uplifting topic when it comes to all things gold. In this concluding post I want to relate to you a couple of scams involving PayPal and then we'll move on to bigger and better things.
Coming Through With the Goods
Right off the starting line I want to say that I've used PayPal as an online payment tool for quite a few years now. In fact, for those of you who do donate to Bedrock Dreams, your donations are processed by PayPal and the "Donate" button in the left sidebar of the blog links directly to the PayPal site for processing. PayPal makes its money by charging a slight fee for all transactions and this is just...well...the way of the world, both digitally and otherwise. I'm good with this because its my contention that PayPal does a damn good job and is very easy to use. Plus, I've never had a problem using PayPal myself. They've always come through with the goods, even in the one instance where an "online" seller tried to rip me off some years back. Whether this dude was deliberately trying to perpetrate a scam is up for grabs, I guess. Most scams involve some sort of undercover trickery or fraud, but the lowlife who tried to burn me was pretty upfront about things. So here's my PayPal "scam" story:"
My tale of woe regarding a rip-off artist and PayPal starts with me purchasing a website software online from a reputable site for buyers and sellers (no, not eBay). A work colleague had told me this site was an excellent place to get "deals" on expensive computer software and that he himself had used it numerous times without a hitch. So I got on this site and purchased the software for $40 (USD) and the seller was supposed to send me a digital copy of the software so I could download it onto my computer. The purchase was handled through PayPal, which both I and the seller used to complete online buyer/seller transactions. Everything went as smoothly as could be...or so I thought. I expected to receive the purchased software via my e-mail account lickety-split but one day went by and then another, and yet another. No e-mail and no software from the seller. So I sent the seller a courteous e-mail asking what the problem was with sending me my purchase. No response. I tried e-mailing him again with the same result. I hit him up again via e-mail. Nada. By this time the dim light bulb in my brain was blinking a bright red and I was thinking to myself, "This dude just ripped me off."
"Golden" in My Book
So I contacted PayPal, told them my tell of woe, and named the seller. PayPal must have put the heat on him because within a day or two (if I dis-remember correctly), the seller sent me an angry e-mail, asking why I had contacted PayPal because his selling "opportunities" were now at risk since PayPal was his main online transaction site. He also launched into a diatribe calling me every four-letter name in the book. In essence he said "'F' you and your f'ing software." Yep, you heard right. I was the villain who was putting this ass clown at risk! I kept my cool and did not respond in the same vein (no pun intended). I simply told him to just send me what I paid for and all would be well. Lo and behold he responded with another four-letter appraisal of yours truly and told me I wasn't getting anything. OK, I got ya dude. So I contacted PayPal again and they asked that I include this person's nasty e-mails to me, which I did gladly. The upshot of all this? The next day my $40 had been refunded to my PayPal account and I suppose this dude crawled back under a rock since I received no more nasty missives from him. What this dude was all about I can't say. It's not much of a scam when you take people's money (40 lousy bucks?) and then don't deliver the goods. It's just a straight burn played out by an idiot. But since PayPal was the middleman in all this, they weren't about to let this asshole get away with it. So I will tell you straight right here and now that PayPal is "golden" in my book. I've never had an issue with them and they took care of business quickly when a heavy hand was needed. There it is...
(Ass clowns are one thing...thieves are another.)
Tom V.'s Story
Bedrock Dreams reader Tom V. also had an interesting run-in with a scammer using PayPal as the financial mediator or go-between. Here's his tale:
"I heard a while back that fake gold bars are also being sold on eBay. They are made from tungsten which supposedly weighs about the same as gold so if you weigh the bar it seems legit. The bar is covered in gold leaf I guess. Seems like the internet is making these scams possible.
(Allow me to interrupt the flow here to say that Tom is absolutely correct. Gold's specific gravity is 19.32 and tungsten has a specific gravity of 19.22. Pretty darn close I'd say.)
(Specific gravity of 19.32.)
I almost got smoked by a guy wanting to buy an expensive pulse detector of mine. He e-mailed me from a website I often visit. But several red flags started coming up as I was letting my guard down. Number one, it was this guy's first post to the forum...but not really the forum because he e-mailed me directly and had never really posted on the forum as such. And I had never officially put the PulseStar 2 up for sale. I just mentioned I MIGHT want to sell it (possibly). So how did he even find me?
Next, he offered to pay a fair price for the PulseStar but since he lived in Canada he would have a friend from Chicago pick it up and pay me via PayPal. It seemed legit until I ran it by the forum moderator, Steve. He told me this was a common scam...I pay...his friend picks the detector up...the buyer tells PayPal he never got the machine...PayPal refunds the money to the buyer, and I am out a $2,000 machine.
The last red flag? This guy's e-mail was worded like one of those Nigerian con artists or scammers. Uh oh. I did look this guy up on Facebook and he was on FB telling everyone he is a musician. Well, anyone can masquerade as anything they are not on the internet! Anyway, I ended up telling this guy to leave me alone and never contact me again and why. He was quick to point out he was perfectly legit and a musician to boot...
I was sure glad I asked the forum moderator about things first. But how are we supposed to know who we can trust when selling (or buying?) stuff online? Selling detectors under $400 I got burned once in 10 times. It's these expensive machines where you can really get hurt."
So there you have it. Scams abound in all online venues and not through the desire or fault of online businesses like PayPal. Where there's a will there's a way. Scammers and rip-off artists know this and use the shadows of the internet to do their dirty deeds. So keep thy guard up.
(c) Jim Rocha 2019
Questions? E-mail me at email@example.com