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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. Raymond says:


    The website you provided is such an obvious fake. Once again.... Stop trying to scam people. Your continuous whining about how everyone is ganging up on you is just quite sad. As a scammer, you are very pathetic. If you've changed as you proclaim in your very whiny tone, then why do I continue to receive countless number of emails and comments asking for help in combating you specifically and your scammer ways? You are a scammer to the end and are pretty much a lost cause. There is truly nothing good inside of you anymore...one day you will get what you deserve.

  2. Deviansyah says:

    Hellooo.... and which specific people sending you countless number of emails??

    As far as i could see, it's only you Raymond. No one else.

  3. John says:


    I dont take advice from someone like you! It is very clear what you do to people. Regardless what you say or what you trying to do here? The way I see it? You just another low level crook. Even you act like you know everything here in the US? I know one thing for sure: You just a low level crook with a very sick mind. You try to play God. You think you know everything. Gosh. You dont know anything. You dont read very careful to what I write before. Yes there are a lot of people like you but you are so infamously unique. What you do is really low level. I used to deal with people like you. You dont have any business. You dont have any office/warehouse. I bet you just work as the admin in a small cybercafe in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya or Medan. You make only 750K rupiah a month. It is equal to $75/month. That is not really enough for you. Because why? because you are a dreamer. You dream to make much more money. You want to get rich quick. You are willing to do anything to scam people.

    I notice you start do scam people on the Craigslist too? lol. What the heck! I bet you are one of the scammer on the craigslist that always send the fake email for offering to pay with paypal and send their item to Indonesia? and you send the fake email from paypal telling the seller that you already paid through paypal? lol.

    You said you already stop frauding people?

    Read this Dev:

    Dec 31, 2009 ... Mac Ibook G4 120GB,1GB RAM - $350 (Dormont:412 727 8220) ... Location: Dormont:412 727 8220;

    Dell Latitude D400 P4 M 1.7ghz M Centrino,Wifi,Xp - $160 (Dormont:412 727 8220)

    You just another scammer and I have to agree with Raymond. Once a scammer? it is always a scammer.

    Thats a kiddo game.

    Ps: Hi Raymond. I think it is a good idea to remove the link and everything related to his business in this blog. lol. He got a free advertising here.

  4. Raymond says:


    No worries about listing Devian's websites here. Because my blog generates very good traffic, by him including his scam websites here, it allows other people to search for those website names and find their way here. He's actually exposing his scam activities by posting his website names. I think readers of this blog should know by now not to trust him. Everything he says is pure filth.

    Be forewarned friends, this Deviansyah person is extremely devious and deceptive. Do not fall for his trickery and succumb to your own personal greed. Tread carefully when dealing with him.

  5. Ferdy says:

    John & Raymond,

    what you guys said is true. This Devian crook must be some kind of admin in a small net cafe with only 500k-750k rupiah salary per month. He made much money by scamming on the internet and nowadays, I think he's getting less and less victims to be scammed because of this wonderful blog made by Raymond. That's why he keeps hanging around on this blog and tried to defend himself.

    Well, I offer him a chance to redeem himself by meeting me one-on-one in person but what do I get? He blamed me and got mad at me... Well, maybe you're right again Raymond, once a scammer always be a scammer. It's very addictive perhaps, cheating people out of their hard earned money and getting money without doing anything at all except to write emails and doing all those sweet talks to lure victims.

    To Devian, my offer still stands. If you want to redeem yourself and see Raymond write his public apology letter, feel free to contact me and we can arrange a meeting. I don't care if you've changed to garments, etc. I just want to see for myself that you've really changed the way you said you have. Take me to your warehouse so that I can prove to all these people that you're no longer a scammer and you can clear your name.

    To all the people reading this blog, please don't judge a country like Indonesia to be bad just because people like Devian exists. I believe there are many scammers around the world too. I'm just glad that I found this blog before I started my online venture last year. This blog have taught me countless and priceless things so that now I'm able to find reliable suppliers from China and I've learned many tricks used by scammers around the world.

  6. DEVIANSYAH says:

    Bravo John, you seems like a pathetic fortune teller. tells everything in a wrong directions. Pretending to be smart, actually you're nothing but a smart ass.

    You're right about something, FREE ADVERTISING!! I got several buyers who sympathy with my story after reading this blog. At first that person just like you all, cursing me. But at the end, it turns into good dealing.

    Cybercafe?? Give me a break!! you gotta kidding me. You don't have any single clue, how much money i got each month. And that's not a dream. It's a real DOLLARS!!

    Once again, keep blogging and say blah blah blah... Cheers Amigo!!

  7. DEVIANSYAH says:

    To "Smart" John,

    Dec 31, 2009 … Mac Ibook G4 120GB,1GB RAM – $350 (Dormont:412 727 8220) … Location: Dormont:412 727 8220;

    Dell Latitude D400 P4 M 1.7ghz M Centrino,Wifi,Xp – $160 (Dormont:412 727 8220)

    Where the hell is Dormont??? Is it dumb mont? LOL.... You're dumb and become dumber John.. I'm in Indonesia. Not dumb mont, or dumber or dormont.

    Is there any MacBook cost $350?????? What a dumb to believe it John. If there is MacBook cost $350, i will buy 100 pcs.

  8. Natalie says:

    Hi guys,

    I couldn't stop reading! I was supposed to be doing homework and instead I've been reading your threads for over 2 hours! I was looking for some gift boxes and spotted some nice ones on Alibaba. However, it just seemed to good to be true and that's how I ended up on this website.

    Question: Do you think the scams are across the board? or mainly on electronics?

    It would be so awesome if you guys started a reputable vendor list. You can do it, you've formed a great community after all these years! Well, is there something like that out there? If so, let me know.

    Anyway, this was just as exciting as watching a movie. I kept waiting for a twist, will Raymond turn out to be Devian? I have learned a lot. Thank you all, especially Raymond!

  9. DEVIANSYAH says:

    just info to all my friends here. Not all people have similar thought like you did. Some of people are still using their logic, instead of listening to this whole jokes. All of those articles above are just based on personal opinion, without having any physical proof or evidenced. I would really love to see all evidenced here. Such as my photos, proof of invoice, my signature, any single details that you might have. or any single proof that indicated you was cheated by me. All of those non sense articles above, are nothing more than just a simple text. Written by someone so called Raymond, Jack, Simpson, Blair, Michael, Pamela Anderson or even Ronald Reagan. No one knows if it's real person, or someone using someone's name.

    Do you have it? or you don't? Let people think !!

  10. cyber crime div says:

    Deviansyah is 100%criminal,

  11. Deviansyah says:

    JOHN atau FERDY atau siapapun. Jelas jelas kayanya lo sendiri yang kegiatannya sehari hari di warnet atau internet cafe. Hari ini pakai John, besok Ferdy, besoknya lagi entah siapa.

    Jadi lo tinggal di Amrik? Kenapa lo? Takut dibakar seperti 98 kemarin? Cina cina kaya lo memang banyak tuch yang jadi penghianat bangsa. Gayanya sich boleh, tapi ujung ujungnya nipu juga. Bukan begitu? Udah rahasia umum, kalau Chinese itu biangnya tipu. Tapi cara mereka tipu lebih canggih. Ada yang buka judi, buka prostitusi, atau massage. Mungkin lo juga punya bokap,usaha begituan. Pantes ajah, bisa kirim anaknya ke Amrik. Mestinya gue yang kasihan sama lo, ngaku tinggal di Amrik, ngaku hidup nyaman atau kerja halal. Tapi kenyataannya? Lo tetap jadi warga negara kelas 2. Kalau dibandingkan setara dengan negro negro disana. Tapi sekali lagi, namanya Cina, seperti benalu. Tinggal di jawa, ngomong jawanya sama dengan jawa asli. Tinggal di Jakarta, ngomongnya pake lo gue juga. Tinggal di amrik gayanya ngikutin gaya orang amrik.

    Mending gini aja dech. Lo ga usah komentarin gue apa apa lagi. Soalnya apa yang lo komentarin itu, sama sekali nol, alias tanpa bukti. Mending lo cari kerja ajah, jadi ga ngurusin orang.

    Orang macam lo, cuma bisa koar koar di blog. tulis macam macam. Typical chinese lah.. Dibakar lagi nanti, bingung mau migrasi kemana. Hayahhh... lo olang bisa bisa nanti oe bakal lagi loohh.. hayaahhh....

  12. cyber crime div says:

    Hi...whos edit my comment for devian?....i say Deviansyah is 100% criminal .....
    Devian is sick

  13. cyber crime div says:

    klo bisa jagan di bakar di mutilasi......berani cuma lewat tulisan......duel aja klo brani

  14. cyber crime div says:

    Come Dev...fight with me.....

  15. Deviansyah says:

    Mulut lo ternyata besar juga yah... he..he.. terus terang gue jadi semakin suka baca semua tulisan lo disini... tapi satu yang gue heran, kok lo ngotot banget mau ketemu gue? lo butuh gue? LOL... Kenapa ga lo cari sendiri nomor telpon gue, alamat gue, atau lainnya. Bukannya di blog ini semua informasi tentang gue ada?? Kok lo masih bingung?? LOL.... or maybe you're not that smart enough... or even dumb... LOL....

    Network consultant?? really?

    Soal Cina, ga usah dibahas bro... dari cara lo ngomong atau attitude lo, udah kelihatan... so, ga usah lo merasa risih kalau gue sebut lo cina... Nama lo John atau bukan, itu cuma lo yang tahu.... lo juga ga kasih identitas jelas lo disini... kalau gue khan jelas identitasnya.... lo baca ajah diatas... I don't have nothing to hide here... Even i wrote my real name here... DEVIANSYAH.... clear?? Not like you or any other people, using fake names.... I'm using my name, because i don't have nothing to hide here...why should i using fake names??

    Bro, kalau lo memang smart, lo cari dong dimana gue.... ngapain juga gue mesti repot repot invite lo.... LOL.... Lo kasih ajah alamat, telpon orang lo di jakarta... nanti gue yang temuin mereka...

  16. Deviansyah says:

    cyber crime div Says:
    February 5th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Deviansyah is 100% good

    (Editor's Note: Based on matching IP addresses, this specific comment was posted by Deviansyah in a lame attempt to pose as another commentator. What a pathetic loser….)

    Ohh yes, it's written by me.... just to let people knows, that everyone here could using someone's name or any names they wanna be.... but me, I'm using my own names... What a dumb editor)...

  17. Deviansyah says:

    Cyber Crime Div.... wuiihhhh ngeri bener namanya....

    Fight? Boleh ajah... kasih aja alamat lo dimana.... nanti kita lihat, mulut lo sebesar kontol lo atau ga....

  18. Deviansyah says:

    Cyber Crime Div..... pake nama asli dong kalau blogging.... kenapa, lo takut???? Taro nama asli lo disini... sekalian alamat lo..... kita lihat mulut lo yang besar itu....

  19. cyber crime div says:

    kkwkwkwkwkwk sekali scammer tetap scammer........tunggu aja deh tanggal mainnya siapa yg mulut besar.....kwkwkwwkwkw tajam mana antara mulut si Dev ama peluru..........

  20. cyber crime div says:

    mau temuan?......hahahahaha la womg di ajak temuan ama customer aja sejuta alasan ga bisa temuan......hahahahahahaha klo berani temuin ama customer yg mau pesen barang.......................masa mintanya cuma lewat transfer bank............klo emang bisnis beneran mau dong di ajak temuan ma calon customer.....la wong alamat kantor aja smua fiktif............alamat gudang org lo kasi...di aku kantor lo......wah perlu di tangani ama densus 88 di 860 kan aja ni org kayak gini

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