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Scams on the internet
Old 01-03-2008, 10:01 AM   #1
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Scams on the internet

Anybody out there been scammed on the internet? I tried to order a camera from 86th Street Video and Audio in NYC at the lowest price anywhere on the internet. They then sent me an email telling me to confirm my order by calling them and they then tried to sell me a bunch of overpriced accessories. Within minutes of telling them I didn't want any of the accessories and hanging up the phone, I received an email saying the camera I ordered was out of stock. Definately bait and switch. I'm amazed that companies can get away with this on the internet these day. I guess it's buyer beware when ordering off of the internet from unknown companies. I later did a search on this company and found close to 100 complaints about them. I should have done the search before I ordered the camera. To make a long story short, I was able to cancel my order and wasn't charged...but it did waste my time.

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Old 01-03-2008, 10:11 AM   #2
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Camera places are notorious for these kind of bait-and-switch things with accessories. They advertise the lowest prices, a good bit lower from reputable dealers, and then pull this. If a price looks too good to be true, check closely for online reviews. They will also change their names after too many bad reviews. I found one place with a good price, and one reviewer warned that it was so-and-so who always called by to sell accessories.

The same advice applies for anything you buy over the internet, but cameras seem to be really bad about it right now.

Not all camera shops with good prices are bad. I've ordered from B&H and Abes of Maine with no problems, though only slightly lower prices. Supposedly Abes would often call to sell accessories but you could say no and they'd still sell the camera alone. I guess Christmastime was too busy as they never called me.

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Old 01-03-2008, 02:52 PM   #3
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Yes - definite Bait&Switch. I got this scam attempt once - I actually followed up with the NY State AG office. But they send a form that requires you to state how much money you lost. Well, since I didn't actually fall for the scam, I didn't lose anything. And you have to give them a bunch of personal info and a copy goes to the thugs - no thanks.

Best bet is to go to some of the photo hobby forums - they will direct you to the reputable dealers.

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Old 01-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #4
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Ah, a subject dear to my heart. Before retiring I did online fraud investigations among other things. In the criminal investigations it was hard to find someone willing to come for a trial - without that commitment we wouldn't/couldn't invest the time since there are so many of them. There must be a warm body on the witness stand to go forward. One in Germany astonished me by saying he'd come. Turned out he was U.S. Air Force and could be stateside with 48 hours notice.
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