MacRumors vigilantes nail UK teen scammer
'Max on Macs' took cash, didn't stump goods
A British teenager who tried to scam fellow MacRumors members learned the hard way that when enraged fanboys get up a head of indignant steam, you'd better run for cover.
The story of "Max On Macs" began with this post by member skoker on 23 October 2006, and ended recently with Max on Macs interviewed by Thames Valley police and promising to refund skoker for the $500 he'd taken for "a clamshell iBook, Mac mini, and PowerBook G4", which never materialised.
The full post reads:
If you are thinking about buying or selling with Max On Macs, I urge you to think twice. He'll seem like a nice guy at first, but then he'll real you in and screw you over.
Here's my story
In the end of August/beginning of September, I posted this thread, to which Max contacted me wanting to work out a deal to trade for a busted up PowerBook. I was interested in the deal, but after I was unable to commit the xbox to him, we began to work out a cash deal for me to purchase a clamshell iBook, Mac mini, and PowerBook G4 from him, for an amount of money that I will not disclose. He told me that he was an Apple Authorized Retailer (and seemed to be able to back it up), and that he would offer me the products for a discount as he wanted to start moving them, and needed to build up some feedback. I agreed to it, and promised that I would do him the favor of giving him positive feedback to whoever enquired to me (via phone/email/PM/AIM). I sent him the money (this was on a Saturday) and he told me that same day that I would have it within 8 days, which would be the next Monday.
The Monday came and went, and nothing arrived. I asked Max where my stuff was, and he said the 'I always ship 10-14 days' and said that if I did not have the stuff by the next Wednesday, to let him know and he would look into it.
The next week and a half came and went, and nothing. At this point, I could not even talk to Max because he was not responding to my IM's and emails and PM's here on MR. I eventually got an IM from somebody claiming to be his "sexy housewife girlfriend-type thing" (I am not making this up folks!) and she said that Max was away for school for two weeks and that I'd have to wait for him to get back. She later told me that the package bounced back, and that it looked like Max never put my address on it or it fell off. She promised that she would send it out within the week, and we agree that I would send an extra $60 to cover the difference between Royal Mail and FedEX so that I could track it. She promised to send it out on a Wednesday, and Wednesday came and went, and nothing got shipped.
I eventually heard back from Max on the following Sunday (this is now mid October, for those keeping score), and he told me that it still had not been shipped, and he wanted to send me a refund, but the refund would not even cover everything that I had sent to him and the fees that I had incurred. We eventually agreed to a refund amount (that really did not satisfy me, but at this point I just wanted to get as much back as I could). I wanted him to ship me the products that I bought, but he claimed that he 'lost them', and I replied by asking why he could not just send out a new set, after he told me that he had millions of them lying around. He refused, and promised to send the money back to me within 3 days. Three days came and went (notice the pattern?) and I got nothing. Another week went by, and I got nothing. Eventually he told me that he had to go to Leeds to take a friend to a funeral, but offered no apology or explanation as to why he missed the date he said he would send.
Fast forward another 2 weeks to today, a promise from him that money would be sent on last Friday, and a $500 + hole in my pocket (I did get my $60 back), an entire summers worth of money gone.
Max, if you read this, and I hope you do, I want the money sent IMMEDIATELY to me. I've already contacted the local police as well as other agencies.
Your comments/support are appreciated.
So you buy some Mac hardware in exchange for games console and/or cash on a messageboard from someone you've never seen, has no feedback, no fraud guarantee (like eBay) -- the whole thing was dubious from the start. The buyer was as equally stupid as the seller was malicious. The buyer was naive beyond description, I'm not apologising for a 17 year old crook, but anyone stupid enough to caught up in a transaction like this can only expect to get fleeced. There were scams like this for supposedly "collectible" Star Wars toys in newsgroups a dozen years ago - I can't believe people are still falling for it.
Justice served luke-warm?
I wouldn't use the term "nailed" to mean, "forced to visit the police, sheepishly apologise, and pocket $500 anyway". The end result hasn't changed a bit!
I find it a bit odd that the same British law which makes it illegal to behave "anti-socially" with completely open-ended penalties can't manage to penalize someone for stealing half a grand... Maybe I've just misunderstood, and actually ASBOs are just a polite admonishment to be a bit nicer in the future?