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How I Got Scammed By a Seller On Alibaba

Published 11/13/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

I debated about whether I should share this story, but at the end I decided that my experience might help prevent someone from falling into the same scam as I did. At the time I was young, inexperienced and financially naive. Since then, I've learned and improved based on my past failures and eventually went on to run a small but profitable home business by making money online with ebay, at least for a modest period of time.

It All Started With Too Much Greed

Shortly after college I decided I wanted to start a part time side business selling merchandise on eBay. But first I needed to find a wholesale supplier. After some research I decided I wanted to focus on consumer electronics such as GPS navigation devices and Apple iPods, and concluded my best bet at finding a supplier would be through a free network site like Alibaba, that helps connect sellers with buyers of goods. Little did I know at the time, but sites like Alibaba are crawling with scammers and evil doers.

I ultimately decided to focus on selling Garmin and Tom Tom branded GPS units. After a few searches, I was amazed to find numerous sellers offering brand new Garmin GPS units for very little money. The Garmin GPS model I was interested in buying in bulk retailed for more than $1200 on eBay at the time. The sellers I found on Alibaba were offering each unit for only $700 each. The asking prices were exceedingly low, but sadly I was too overcome with dollar signs in my head to realize that the offers were likely too good to be true. I essentially had blinders on and was too busy calculating all the profit I was going to make by selling these units for such high markup. Eventually I narrowed down a potential seller.

Greed Prevented Me From Recognizing the Warning Flags

When you are overcome with greed, it is hard to think clearly, even when a clearly fraudulent transaction is staring at you in the face. I should have been more aware of all the telltale signs that the seller was likely a potential scammer and a fraud. First of all, the seller provided me contact information based in Indonesia, a country like Nigeria that is notorious for being a hotbed of scammer activity. He also provided very limited company background information that could be used to verify his personal or business identity, or determine his true geographical location. The phone number he provided me did indeed work, but I should have realized that nowadays with VOIP technology, phone number locations are very easily faked. It's easy to reside in one country and still obtain a temporary, disposable local phone number from another. Even paid identity authentication and verification services are subject to abuse and illegal manipulation as well. It's not all that difficult for online scammers on Alibaba or any other Internet exchange service to obtain a genuine TrustPass or Alibaba Gold Membership certification using falsified identification.

Another thing that should have raised red flags was the fact that the seller offered to pay for shipping, which is an extremely unusual practice for first time wholesale purchases, especially since international shipping can be quite expensive. The seller also insisted on rushing the sale, frequently threatening to end the lucrative deal if I continued to demand more verification information and not move forward with payment. But otherwise, the scammer was extremely convincing in the way he portrayed the deal as completely legitimate. Rather than thinking that the sale was a scam, I just thought I was getting an excellent deal.

Because I was so motivated by greedy emotions, I was more fearful of losing the lucrative buy than I was of being scammed. There were so many warning signs that I simply ignored, such as the seller refusing to accept Paypal or even credit card payment. Instead, he demanded payment through bank wire transfer. If I had conducted more due diligence, I would have known that unlike Paypal or credit card transactions where my money would have been protected, bank wire transactions are permanent and irreversible once properly executed.

I Fell For the Trap - Hook, Line, and Sinker

Ultimately I sent him over $2,025.00 through bank wire transfer for 3 sample Garmin GPS units. Once he had the money, he disappeared without a trace. I attempted to contact him through the phone number he provided me, but the line had been disconnected. He never responded back to my e-mails and I never received the merchandise. My money was gone and I never recovered it.

Afterwards, I felt very stupid and ashamed, but I learned many valuable lessons as a result. I'm glad I experienced this hard knock life lesson earlier in my life when the potential stakes were lower. I thought something like this could never possibly happen to me, but it did, and I allowed my greedy emotions to get in the way of rational caution. You and I, we may think we're very smart and that we're so clever, but we are only human, and still susceptible to basic human emotional irrationality. It's difficult to control emotions like greed, fear, and pride. So my friends, it's important to always stay vigilant - scammers are everywhere and one day you might be in their cross hairs too.

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296 Responses to “How I Got Scammed By a Seller On Alibaba” 

  1. Allan says:

    Charles... ALIBABA, or BABA ALI is the fucking web site. If you are a chinese, they will do whatever it takes. Do you know how much GOLD MEMBER and TRUST PASS MEMBER in Alibaba? Most of them are scammers. But allowed to publish their stupid fake products on alibaba. I think who's running Alibaba or BABA ALI, is a skinny stupid chinese man.

  2. Jaber says:

    jack ma should be shot dead. that fuck8in website is full of scammers. about 95% are scammers. and they dont give a shit!

  3. Buffort T. Pusser says:

    I just thought I'd let everone know that Deviansyah K. Manoch is still in business and trying to scam people using the website www.bayubuana.350.com . I was looking to purchase some items and he sent his info for a wire transfer so i decided to do a search on this guy and this blog came up. After reading your comments i decided to do exactly what you said and I've been making him jump thru hoops, asking him for all this stuff, making him lower prices, asking tons of questions, changing things and generally driving him crazy. To date he thinks I'm now ordering about $33,000 worth of video game stuff and hes getting a $5,000 deposit. I think im going to keep this up for another week cancelling the deal and other stuff to drive him crazy. If you'd like his current phone number and info i'd be glad to provide it to you.

  4. Raymond says:

    Buffort,

    Excellent! If the site you indicated is indeed run by or anyway connected to Deviansyah K. Manoch or whatever his real name is, I'm all in favor of wasting his time and driving him crazy. Please list his real phone number, email addresses, and mailing addresses for everyone's benefit if you wish. He changes them frequently but the information may help other's avoid falling into this scammer's trap.

    The website you provided indeed has many similarities to my encounter with Deviansayh...for one thing, all prices included shipping as well, which is a telltale rarity in the world of retail or wholesale shipping prices. Legitimate providers almost always charge extra for shipping. This guy is just trying to make his prices extremely attractive to greedy buyers...

  5. Zotyak says:

    Thanks for all the comments. BUSTED!!!

  6. Zotyak says:

    Hi, Here is more info. Be carefull.

    Bayu Buana [bayubuana@live.com]

    Western Union payment
    Receiver Name DEVIANSYAH K. MANOCH
    Location Jakarta - Indonesia

    Bank transfer payment
    Bank Name BANK SYARIAH MANDIRI
    Account Number 169 - 700 - 7357
    Account holder Deviansyah K. Manoch
    Swift Code BSMDIDJA
    Bank address Kantor Kas Cilandak 169

  7. Raymond says:

    Zotyak,

    Thanks for providing more banking information about this wiley Deviansyah fella. The more financial information we have been on him the more it'll severely hinder his criminal scamming activities. Hopefully more people will find this blog website when doing their research and will be able to stay clear of him.

    When I got scammed by him years ago, there wasn't any information about him on Google. Now there is!

  8. Stan says:

    Thank God.

    I am about to purchase several Nintendo Wii from Deviansyah on bayubuana website.
    I researched his or her name and found he's a scammer.

    This scammer is very smooth and VERY convincing. You must be careful report him or her to both the FBI and the Indonesian Police.

    I am sharing his or her details b the end of the post.

    Remember guys, any GOOD trader or company will offer payments by CREDIT CARD because your credit card companies can do something when fraudulent transactions occur. NEVER USE MONEY ORDER or BANK TRANSFER. Don't be greedy when you see special prices because as the Western Union website says, when you "special" prices, the chance is it is a scam and now I see it is true.

    I have reported him or her to the FBI and the Indonesian police.

    How much money did the shit get from fooling people? People lost a lot of money because of this snake.

    Stop stealing people's money; if you want money, get a job.

    He even tried to convince me by attaching photographs of Nintendo Wii with a piece of paper below the console with my name on it. He created an invoice for me. He said that all prices included UPS shipping, taxes, etc (guys, UPS shipping is EXPENSIVE).

    If you don't report this snake to the cops, his scams will never stop. Please report him the police especially if you are in Indonesia so we can see him/her face punishment he deserves.

    Receiver Name DEVIANSYAH K. MANOCH
    Address and Location Jalan Kav. Polri Blok G 41 – 42
    Jakarta - Indonesia

    Jalan Kemang Raya Selatan No. 29, Jakarta Selatan – Indonesia
    Tel: +62815 46179075, email: bayubuana@live.com, MSN: cowecare@hotmail.com
    Web site: www.bayubuana.350.com

  9. Stan says:

    By the way,

    you cannot really put him in jail because when you transfer money to them, by laws they have done nothing wrong because you send the money and they receive it.

    The best business comes with
    "Both buyer and seller sign a contract and you must check their signature based on their driver's license or Passport".

    The contract is legal. And if you report it to the cops, he will get jailed.
    Without the contract, you can do nothing. He will never get jailed.

    The question is why this comes from Asia, Africa, East Europe, and immigrants from this country who live western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand? because they are smart and they are living in poverty. So they are thinking how to get money easily without facing legal punishments? of course, by scamming people on the net and MONEY transfered by MONEY ORDER and BANKS TRANSFER. This way, they will never get jailed because by law they have done "nothing wrong". (No signatures, contracts, etc).

    Please be aware that some spammers change names and there are new spammers too whose names are not famous on the net and u can't research them.

  10. Valdazzar says:

    Congratulations on the guy who made this blog. You are the man. You have the GUTS to share this shaming story that happened to you, but you helped us very much. These people would easily fool everyone on the net so I SAY A BIG THANK you for protecting us. God bless you!

  11. Hammilton says:

    I guess i was lucky. I got my order last week from this guy deviansyah. I purchases several psp and ps3, and got the ordered from him last week.

  12. Hammilton says:

    just little advised to you guys. why don't you using COD with ups or dhl? i used this method and got my ordered last week.

  13. Raymond says:

    Hammilton, or whatever your real name is:

    Please explain to me why you are attempting to mislead readers? At the very least you ought to change the email address you post your comments with. It's clear you are up to something...attempting to pose as different people in this blog comment section.

    Note to readers: Commentator identifying himself as "Hammilton" is the same person commenting as "Allan"...I suspect he may be either Mr. Deviansyah Manoch himself or someone affiliated with the scammer. Most likely he Googled his own name and discovered that the first search result led to this warning post.

    Please disregard and ignore his ridiculous comments regarding his alleged successes with COD. He appears to be attempting to spread misinformation in a vane attempt to mislead readers into falling for his scams.

  14. Hammilton says:

    So, quite surprised with your comments Raymond. As i don't up to anything. What would be the benefits for me?

    It's just pretty funny to see all comments here, while i had a different experienced. Since you are the owner of this stupid blog, perhaps all different names comes from your self. You just created different story and a different names.

    Happy blogging Raymond.

  15. Hammilton says:

    To me this is only BLOG. When everything said here cannot be verified. Anyone and everyone could write any comments, any ideas and any mislead information. Who's going to verifying all of this information???? Raymond as a moderator? He might have some bad experienced with that guy deviansyah. But i don't know with the rest of the reader here.

    In some country, blogging is under strictly supervision. So anyone cannot put any mislead information or comments.

  16. Hammilton says:

    Please read what Richard says on his comments. There are too many deviansyah when you googled. So the question is, which deviansyah are we talking about?

    Richard Says:
    June 14th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

  17. Raymond says:

    Hammilton,

    Here in the USA, we have a little thing called the 1st Amendment which provides for freedom of speech and I'm exercising my constitutionally protected right.

    As for the need to verify everything, please keep in mind, this is a personal finance blog....not an authoritative college textbook. I am basing everything that I'm writing about on personal experience. As someone who has fallen for the tricks of online scammers before, I have little tolerance for those criminals out there who try to dupe unsuspecting people out of their hard earned money. I've learned to detect their methods and have become much more savvy of their telltale calling cards.

    Whine all you want, but I plan on continuing to warn others about scammers like Deviansyah and others. I'm sure readers can discern for themselves the truth from fiction among the comments.

  18. Hammilton says:

    Carry on Ray... get those sympathy for people here. What's done, it's done. That's my philosophy. Anything done cannot be brought back to this present time.

    Of course i agreed with the 1st Amendment which provides freedom of speech. But if the FREEDOM cornered someone lives by mislead information, i think it's unresponsible freedom. and it should be stop.

    Whatever happened to you, i feel sorry for that. But if we had different experienced, would it be wrong?? Perhaps you took large order with him, while i only took 2 units psp and ps3. And got the items as he promised. I don't have a clue if i ordering 10 - 20 units. But for this trial, succeed.

    Carry on with your blog Ray....good luck...

  19. Buffort T. Pusser says:

    If i had to guess I'd say that Hammilton might just be the worm himself. I've exchanged more than 50 e-mails with the guy and the writing seems very similiar. Don't be fooled by this Hammilton, what is written on this blog about him is true including the websites, msn name and phone numbers. I've received the exact same info from this snake including pictures and other fake sources of proof. I've been e-mailing him frequently and on later post i'll share some of the funnier and stupid things this guy has done but for the time being I'll hold onto this info so that he doesnt know that I'm messing with him. Deviansyah is very convincing but his attention to detail is lacking and all the warning signs are there if you don't let the greed cloud your judgment. BTW Deviansyah does make a nice website and could that be because your real job is IT, Hmmmm

    Remember when dealing with Scammers Walk Tall and Carry a Big Stick

  20. Hammilton says:

    what the hells wrong with people here? Since i wrote my first blog, all of this silly people keep pointing at me. It's all up to your comments here guys, but if we had different experienced, is it wrong?

    For you Buffort, don't you think he will know your IP address? Even you wrote different email address. Come on, please be smart.

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