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  Important Warning - Russian Fraudsters

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Author Topic:   Important Warning - Russian Fraudsters
Joe Davies
Member

Posts: 258
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 09-19-2003 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Davies   Click Here to Email Joe Davies     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just been taken for $400 by a Russian in Moscow. He/she/they are very convincing. I was approached unsolicited which isn't unusual as I have a space website. They offered me several items. Over a period of weeks of emails and discussion I decided to risk a purchase despite having reservations. Of course this was a mistake.

It would appear they are contacting collectors and dealers and gathering names from Google and I suspect online forums such as collectspace. A good friend space collector just called me and they are now offering items that they are getting scans of from Ebay. We could tie together the two approaches and the item offered today is currently for sale on Ebay by an autograph dealer we know!

The use various names, but I wouldn't take much notice of the names. The key facets will bethat they write good English, but not perfect, and very respectful with lots of "Dear xyz" and "Sir". They will offer excellent items and all sorts of assurances about LOAs etc from the Russian Space Federation (is there such a thing?). But most importantly they will NOT be able to supply any refernces of successful sales to space collector/dealers and they will insist on payment via an untracable method such as Western Union, or similar.

I STRONGLY urge you to be VERY suspect of any unsolicited approach from any sources in Russia and to insist on refernces from collector/dealers that you know.

I'm not easily fooled, and although I did have suspicions I went ahead as the people seemed knowledgable about space matters and were very professional in their correspondence. Looking back, I now see the huge holes in the credibility of what they were offering and the way they did it, but like most of us I have found one needs to take a few risks when dealing over the internet. Almost always people are sincere but occassionally they are not, part of life really.

Please note there ARE good sellers in Russia that I have bought from in the past, but having now seen the way these people work they are in my opinion professional con-men who are well versed in the techniques of how to appear genuine when not, they are not some individual hoping to make a quick buck.

If you have collector friends of Russian space memorabilia who are not c'space regulars maybe you could pass on this warning to them.

Joe Davies

cklofas
Member

Posts: 221
From: Euless,TX USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 09-19-2003 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cklofas   Click Here to Email cklofas     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I receeived an email today from someone claiming to be a Russia based dealer offering several "very hard to find" autographs and flown items. They were attractively priced, but as this contact was unsolicited I just deleted it. It sounds like they may be trolling the membership looking for targets of opportunity.
PS The emailer also said they would be willing to trade for Apollo 11 crew signed items --- BEWARE!

Glenn Holland Signatures
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posted 09-19-2003 03:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Glenn Holland Signatures   Click Here to Email Glenn Holland Signatures     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello everyone,
I too had an email today from a 'dealer' that I am not acquainted with. The full text is listed below.
I personally have no idea who this person might be, but given the experiences of Joe Davies, (above), and quite recently Florian Noller too, I would advise caution to anyone who has recieved the same communication unless anyone else in this forum can possibly identify the source as one worthy of our trust.
Philip Young

Dear Sirs,
Aparin and partners Inc. is very interested in buying Appollo 11 crew signed pictures and pictures with the moon walks with signatures.
From my side, I will be glad to offer Gagarin very rare collection,
1. Postcard Photograph signed: "Gagarin" in Russian. Color, 4x6 overall,image 3x4?
Our price is 340.00 USD
2. Y. Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova signed Rare, oversize photo, 11" x 8"
b/w. Our price is 560.00 USD
3. Rare Photograph signed in Russian: "Gagarin", "Titov", "Nokolayev",
"Popovich", "Bykovsky" and "Tereshkova". B/w, 7?x4?. Our price is 960.00 USD
4. Book signed: "Gagarin" in Russian. To the Stars! Published by the Novosti Press Agency, Moscow, 64pp, 8?x10
Our price is 550.00 USD
5. Soviet Philatelic Card signed : "Titov/12.4.76", "A. Leonov", "Popovich", "Bykovski", "V. Tereshkova", "B. Volynov" and "A. Filipchenko", 6x4.
Our price is 410.00 USD
pictures are availible upon the request, and NASA autographs (rare items availible, for example signed and inscribed 3.5 x 3.5 inch splash-down photograph of the A11 capsule. Signed by Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins
with their names alone, inscribed by Buzz Aldrin for only 730.00 USD ),list is availible upon the request.
We have moon stone from Luna 16, which was given to one of Communistic Party leaders and now is availible for sale, we will be glad to provide you information upon the request.
We hope that you may be interested,
My warmest regards,
Alevtina Aparina

Andy McCulley
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Posts: 222
From: Lansdale, PA USA
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-19-2003 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Andy McCulley   Click Here to Email Andy McCulley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got the same email today as Glenn Holland Signatures

overniagara
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posted 09-19-2003 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for overniagara   Click Here to Email overniagara     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello all,
I received the same email today as Philip, and deleted it also.
It is very unfortunate that you were taken, Joe---it could have easily been any one of us. Thank you very much for passing the information on.
Andrew Messer

mensax
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Posts: 861
From: Virginia
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 09-19-2003 05:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And, I got the same email.

Noah

Scott
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Posts: 3303
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 09-19-2003 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got one of those emails today also. I get similar ones from/concerning Nigeria all the time. The giveaway is that they are always overly polite. I can almost smell these things.

poolman18
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Posts: 223
From: Ontario,Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 09-19-2003 07:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same email also

David

Larry McGlynn
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Posts: 847
From: Boston, MA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-19-2003 07:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Larry McGlynn   Click Here to Email Larry McGlynn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got the same email a couple of days ago and deleted it.

------------------
Larry McGlynn
A Tribute to Apollo

andrewcarson
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Posts: 349
From: Liverpool UK
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 09-19-2003 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcarson   Click Here to Email andrewcarson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got in from work..!!!

I have just deleted the same mail ....

Andrew

andrewcarson
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Posts: 349
From: Liverpool UK
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 09-19-2003 07:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for andrewcarson   Click Here to Email andrewcarson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just got in from work..!!!

I have just deleted the same mail ....

and Scott...I thought the Nigerians only mailed me..!!!!!

Thanks for the tip thou..

Andrew

Joe Davies
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Posts: 258
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 09-19-2003 07:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Davies   Click Here to Email Joe Davies     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Scott:
I got one of those emails today also. I get similar ones from/concerning Nigeria all the time. The giveaway is that they are always overly polite. I can almost smell these things.

Good for you Scott.
There is a heck of a difference between a spam email in a subject area that you have no interest in or knowledge of that requests $1billion for some deposed King or whatever, to a well targeted approach containing information orproduct very specific to ones interest area.
My warning was to those less astute and accomplished than yourself.

Joe


Mike Dixon
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Posts: 844
From: Kew, Victoria, Australia
Registered: May 2003

posted 09-19-2003 08:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Dixon   Click Here to Email Mike Dixon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No geographical boundaries with these e-mails as I got the same correspondence ... and immediately deleted it and blacklisted the domain name to avoid future messages. Well done to all on raising the red flag (no pun intended) in relation to this matter.

poolman18
Member

Posts: 223
From: Ontario,Canada
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 09-19-2003 08:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for poolman18   Click Here to Email poolman18     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Deleted email ..but not before I told them to send me any and all items for inspection.

Will forward the funds after I inspect the items.


How do they like it?

David

BigWaveDave
Member

Posts: 202
From: Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA
Registered: Jan 2002

posted 09-19-2003 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BigWaveDave   Click Here to Email BigWaveDave     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boy, I was feeling left out, beacause I didn't get "The Email" from Russia with Love.
But I got one too! Just deposited mine in the circular file.
Thanks for the heads up! Sorry to hear you got burned Joe.
Aloha all,
Dave

Spacebug
Member

Posts: 72
From: Yacolt WA USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-20-2003 03:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spacebug   Click Here to Email Spacebug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to see I'm in such fine company!

E-mail= Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye!!!!

Spaceflyer
Member

Posts: 148
From: Nauheim, Germany
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 09-20-2003 03:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Spaceflyer   Click Here to Email Spaceflyer     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The email reached also germany. I received it yesterday and saw it this morning when I checked my emails.
Thanks Joe for the warning!

Kirsten
Member

Posts: 515
From: Delft, Netherlands
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 09-20-2003 06:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kirsten   Click Here to Email Kirsten     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Me too !

I guess they have our e-mail addresses from the Collectspace board.

Kirsten

spaceuk
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posted 09-20-2003 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceuk   Click Here to Email spaceuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same here.

Like Kirsten last post guess they acquired email from bulletin board?

Didn't respond as I have most of these or similar items anyway.


Shuttlefan
Member

Posts: 173
From: 41366 Schwalmtal, Germany
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-20-2003 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Shuttlefan   Click Here to Email Shuttlefan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi,
got the same stuff with the exact words Phillip mentioned. Put it in the waste.Be careful!
Chris

icarkie
Member

Posts: 617
From: BURTON ON TRENT /England
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 09-20-2003 07:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for icarkie   Click Here to Email icarkie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Gang
I had the same email last night (deleted).
Makes a change from the Nigerian emails I get like what Scott and Andrew had.
Thanks for the warning Joe, sorry you got burned for $400.
all the best Ian

John K. Rochester
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Posts: 1280
From: Rochester, NY, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 09-20-2003 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John K. Rochester   Click Here to Email John K. Rochester     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks like Alevtina is hitting all of us CollectSpacers.. " Lunar rock from Luna 16"?....Hmmmmm, if I get a Russian mail order bride with that order..maybe!!

Scott
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Posts: 3303
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 09-20-2003 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In retrospect I do see how this email and the Nigerian emails are quite different.

Now if someone will just tell me how to get off the mailing lists for the sexual aids I'll be happy.

A friend at work told me that actually you should never "unsubscribe" from one of these out-of-the-blue SPAM emails. Why? He told me that sometimes you actually get them because they are sent to millions of different computer-generated email addresses. If you respond in any way, even attempting to unsubscribe, you are merely verifying that your email address is real, which makes it even worse for you. Pretty evil, huh?

A rule of thumb I TRY to follow: A deal that comes to you is never good. The good deals are found by you.

I DO realize this rule is not applicable to anyone who has a web site, be it Joe, Novaspace, Donnis or anyone else. These people get offers all the time and most are probably legitimate and should be pursued. But this is just my two cents to regular collectors like me. Every time I have broken this rule (switching phone service because I was called at home by a different phone company, purchasing a coupon pack in a grocery store parking lot, etc.), I have ended up regretting it.

spaced out
Member

Posts: 2756
From: Paris, France
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 09-20-2003 10:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott - that is absolutely true about clicking on an "unsubscribe" link on a junk e-mail.

The vast majority of times your reply will be flagged in the junk mail list, indicating that yours is a valid active e-mail. Your adddress is then re-sold to other mass junk-mailers at a premium.

Personally I haven't received a copy of this e-mail but then I only registered on this forum a short time ago and I'm not a dealer.

randy
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Posts: 1491
From: West Jordan, Utah USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 09-20-2003 11:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been contacted also.

Ken Havekotte
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Posts: 2064
From: Merritt Island, Florida, Brevard
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 09-20-2003 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Count me in to, Joe, as I did receive a similar email last week. Normally I would only work and deal with well-established Russian and European sources for material like this that I have worked with and known for many years. Their name wasn't familiar to me at all, therefore, the email was deleted...and based on how their email(s) were targeted...I didn't feel that comfortable with them--not even to "check-up" on this new organization as I didn't want to waste any time with them and have already limited any new Russian/European purchases.

music_space
Member

Posts: 1075
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-20-2003 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same email here in Canada

------------------
François Guay
Collector of litterature, notebooks, equipment and memories!

john ffoulkes
Member

Posts: 141
From: United Kingdom
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-20-2003 02:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for john ffoulkes   Click Here to Email john ffoulkes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Same story, same email from Russia, and five now from Nigeria.

MICHAEL CLEMENTE
unregistered
posted 09-20-2003 03:03 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I received the same e-mail from the Russian Fraudsters. I also deleted the e-mail because I didn't recognize the sender. It's a crying shame that there are people out there that are always trying to pull a fast one. It just goes to show you, if you're not familiar with a certain individual or party either don't buy from them or do some research.

OPOS
Member

Posts: 186
From: Inverness, FL
Registered: Apr 2000

posted 09-21-2003 12:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for OPOS   Click Here to Email OPOS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got the same from Russia (W/ NO love!) but they did sound appealing, but as stated....anyhing that comes to you (private individual) is essentially a scam.

Robert, are they going through our posts by hand and writing down our addys, or is there more sophisticated software at work? ( and don't think I am complaining.....things like this are more than made up for by the benefits of this site!)

Tom Edmonds

nasamad
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Posts: 1958
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 09-21-2003 05:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for nasamad   Click Here to Email nasamad     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Ditto, I got the same too, but have been more preoccupied with the masses of phoney Microsoft Security Updates I keep getting with attached crap !

Adam

Joe Davies
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Posts: 258
From: UK
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 09-21-2003 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Davies   Click Here to Email Joe Davies     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I first thought that they were gathering email addresses from websites, as both myself and a collector friend who was contacted by them both have websites.

But it would appear that they are also sending to collectors without a web presence.
I think it very likely that they are harvesting email address from collectspace, and from userids on Ebay.

Scott
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Posts: 3303
From: Houston, TX
Registered: May 2001

posted 09-21-2003 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also I have heard that many spammers harvest email addresses from chain letters/ mass emails like the ones (well-meaning) friends and family send you sometimes. The spammer gets the mass email and there within it are potentially hundreds of email addresses.

However, if I may give some personal advice, do NOT tell any friend or family member that sends you these to stop sending them. They are well-meaning and are often Internet newbies who actually read these themselves and just want to share something enjoyable with you. It is highly offensive to them to be told you don't want them. Just filter out the messages with an email filter.

Dirk
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Posts: 613
From: Belgium
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 09-21-2003 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dirk   Click Here to Email Dirk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also received mails from Russia....but written in russian....so I don't know what they meant....and I think I will receive my millions out of Nigeria one of these days )

those are mails I never open (preview)

Dirk

Richard
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Posts: 5
From: Morrisonville, New York USA
Registered: Apr 2009

posted 09-21-2003 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard   Click Here to Email Richard     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got the same email also.

Frank
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posted 09-22-2003 12:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Frank   Click Here to Email Frank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got it too !

Frank

dss65
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Posts: 899
From: Sandpoint, ID, USA
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 09-22-2003 11:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dss65   Click Here to Email dss65     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I got it a while back, too, but I'm kind of glad. Look at the GREAT COMPANY it puts me in!

------------------
Don

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