Questions about fraud - need opinions!!

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm in such a bind, and I know you can help me on this one.

(keep reading - this one has a twist...)

I'm in the typical situation, buying a Powerbook 12" G4, and the seller wants me to send a wire transfer to Latvia. I'm hesitant for two reason:

1. This is to a third person.

2. I won't have a receipt of payment.

I'm worried that my original seller will come after me, claiming I never made the payment.

Here's the twist: I already have the machine!! (it's gorgeous!).

I contacted this individual after a ebay auction didn't make reserve, and he offered to send me the computer first, for a ridiculous price. I thought, "Sure!!" I believe it when I see it. Then, this hot little Powerbook G4 shows up UPS.

What should I do? I think I should just send it back. I know there's a scam in here somewhere, but I don't know exactly what. Thanks!


  • Reply 1 of 11
    Could it be a stolen Powerbook, he wanted to get rid of?
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    Hmmmm. That's a rough one.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Why wouldn't he want you to send the money to him?

    Tell him you'll send him the money via a money order in registered mail to HIS address. Contact eBay and tell them the same. If he doen't want it, it's likely stolen, and he won't come after you anyway, so free PB for you!
  • Reply 5 of 11
    I would take it and run.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    you got a PB. i'd call up Apple and ask if the machine has been reported stolen. they should have a list of SN of stolen machines. better to find out before you send the money than after.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    francisg3francisg3 Posts: 168member
    Good idea, Alcimedes. I'll call them this afternoon.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    gargoylegargoyle Posts: 660member
    I second the idea of ONLY sending the money to his address via recorded mail.

    I would drop him a line, telling him you are just doing some background checks to see if it is stolen, if its clean then you are prepared to send the money to him direct.

    If it is stolen, you will probably never hear from the guy again, and Apple might even reward you for your honesty... They might let you keep the PB, some insurance company has prolly already paid out on it.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    francisg3francisg3 Posts: 168member
    I already called Apple - they only keep serial numbers for police usage - individuals can't access this info - only if I register. And I don't want to register it.

    Good idea about notifying the seller it might be stolen. Thanks. I'll try that..
  • Reply 10 of 11
    gargoylegargoyle Posts: 660member
    you could look to see if the local police can do some sort of check. Might sound a bit overkill now, but its better to waste a few hours today than to get gripped for receiving stolen goods in 6 months time.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    Go to and scroll down the page a bit. They list a couple pages were independent dealers and buyers can check to see if hardware has been reported stolen. If it is, this guy won't chase you powerbook!

    Edit: I'll be a bit less lazy, here is the address for second hand buyers to check the serial number to see if it's stolen.
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