Another eBay Attempted Fraud sorrentonika
We noticed this dodgy eBay seller because he was using some of our gold bar photographs, we guess he is a crook.
Many eBay sellers, including dealers steal our copyright images, we suspect some of them may also be fraudsters. Does eBay care?
Is eBay Really a Lottery? - Is This Seller a Crook?
Whenever we send copyright infringement notices to eBay, which is a daily occurrence, we include a paragraph warning or alerting them that in our experience, may people who steal our images also steal other things, and that if a vendor uses stolen images, it is likely that he does not own the items he is offering for sale. eBay appear to take no notice of our "good neighbour" advice, and usually allow the seller to relist the same or similar items, sometimes they steal other people's images as well.
In a significant number of cases, although we don't keep count, we notice that a few weeks later, the seller is "no longer a registered user". We never get any feedback or thanks from eBay, but our guess is that the seller has failed to deliver the goods after being paid, buyers have complained to eBay or the police, and his membership has been revoked. Because we don't receive any feedback, we can only guess, and it does seem that eBay goes to great lengths to avoid bad publicity.
Sorrentonika's Dubious eBay Listings
Seller ID||Item Number||Date||Description||Value
sorrentonika||180260583172||8th July 2008||ORO LINGOTTO DA UN ONCIA 31,10 GRAMMI 999,99||€581
sorrentonika||180262757753||10th July 2008||50 grams gold bar||$2,000
sorrentonika||180262758406||10th July 2008||50 grams gold bar||$2,000
sorrentonika||180262755230||10th July 2008||GOLD BAR ONE KILO||$35,000
sorrentonika||180262753861||10th July 2008||GOLD BAR ONE KILO||$35,000
sorrentonika||180262757633||10th July 2008||50 grams gold bar||$2,000
sorrentonika||180262757428||10th July 2008||50 grams gold bar||$2,000
Seller ID. There is nothing to stop eBay members changing their "Seller ID", or opening a new account.
Item Number. We may have shown only one out of many similar items.
Date = End date or date added to this page if item still current.
Description = Description as used by the seller as his item title.
Price = Final selling price if known, otherwise "Current Price", or "Starting bid".
Buyer ID||Item Number||Date||Description||Value
sorrentonika||180252334722||25th June 2008||poste kapua olimpiadi||€2.05
sorrentonika||180253922797||25th June 2008||carolvs imperator||€1
sorrentonika||180252335029||15th June 2008||mini lotto korea||€1
sorrentonika||180252334249||15th June 2008||castelli d'europa||€1
Sorrentonika was using three of our copyright high quality photographs of gold bars, in a total of seven auction listings. This in itself is dishonest.
His previous feedback history states that he has been a member since 09-Jun-08 in Italy. It also shows him as having a positive feedback score of 10, although eBay only details 5 transaction, 2 from the same seller, so theoretically his feedback score should be 4, but we have noticed similar discrepancies many times before on eBay, perhaps it is simply that their systems are corrupt and unreliable.
His 4 purchases were for a total of €5.05!
It looks to us as though he has completed a few cheap transactions simply to get some positive feedback before attempting a fraud.
His one single transaction of any value is for a 1 ounce gold bar, also using our image.
His wording on his 4 Credit Suisse bar listing includes "One of the most frequent requests we get is for Credit Suisse gold bars. While we cannot always obtain these on demand, we try to buy them whenever we can, in which case we can supply them as shown in the table below.", Strangely enough, there is no table shown, and this wording is identical to ours on our Credit Suisse bars page.
We do not now know when this auction finished because it is shown as an invalid item, but curiously the buyer is also Italian, with a eBay ID lilit18, and he left Sorrentonika feedback at 08-Jul-08 11:02 according to Sorrentonika's feedback profile.
Sorrentonika then left lilit18 feedback at 08-Jul-08 11:07 according to lilit18's feedback profile.
So one left the other feedback 5 minutes after the other.
There are a few ways for this to happen:
Actually it is possible to construct a few more possible, but somewhat improbable scenarios, but we will leave leave these for others to ponder for themselves.
- The buyer called round to the seller and paid cash, then rushed home and left his own feedback.
- The buyer called round to the seller and paid cash, then used the seller's computer, and left his own feedback.
- The two met in some internet cafe, and both left feedback immediately.
- The buyer paid the seller cash, then both left his own feedback within minutes of the other by coincidence.
One reason we can be suspicious of any of them is that the listing was cancelled by eBay fairly promptly, because we reported it, and any transaction must have been completed, and both feedback left, before the cancellation.
Our very strong suspicion is that these were two people working in collusion, to try to create the impression that the seller was genuine and reliable. If so, they were guilty of a conspiracy to defraud. It might have worked if the greedy pair had not been so lazy as to use stolen images, and been unlucky enough to be spotted.
If any of their first 6 listings had been successful, it seems certain that they would have kept repeating the scam until somebody got suspicious, and perhaps until they got caught.
Feedback Partner - lilit18
According to his feedback profile, he only joined on 17-May-08 in Italy, and his previous 3 feedbacks are for items with a total value of €20.52!
- Sorrentonika is probably a crook. How much of one remains to be seen.
- Lilit18 is probably an accomplice, or possibly the same person.
- You should not rely on the eBay feedback rating.
- Don't buy expensive stuff like this on eBay, it's too big a gamble.
- The corollary of this last point is that if you anything expensive or valuable to sell, then don't use eBay. Most intelligent buyers will factor a big discount into their buying price to pay for the high risk they are taking. You would probably be better off selling it to a dealer, or through a conventional auction.
Due Care & Attention
We try to exercise caution when reporting anything like this because of:
- A libel action against us from sorrentonika if we are wrong,
- Retaliatory action from eBay, as we believe they don't like members taking vigilante action, probably because it may eBay look as bad as it is.
Latest Update - 12th July 2008
Last night we noticed Sorrentonika had voluntarily removed all 6 of his listings, presumably because he had the intelligence to foresee that we would be reporting the copyright abuse once they finished. In their place, he had substituted 2 listings, each for a 100 gram Degussa gold bar. We wonder what happened to the 50 gram Credit Suisse bars and the 2 x 1 kilo Argor Chiasso bars?
Despite the fact that the vendor had removed his own listings (ended early), we had reported them to eBay. When we looked this morning, Sorrentonika was shown as "Not a registered user", so he had either terminated his eBay "membership", or eBay had done it for him.
We wonder how long it will be before he opens another account in a different name, and tries again?
Please see our "Copyright" page for further information.
Copyright Infringements Remedies
Our suggested draft remedies for copyright abusers dependent on category - competitors, bloggers, pseudo-expert & advice sites acting as eBay & Google portals, eBay & other auction site sellers.
Other Copyright Abuse
Other Copyright Abuse
Buying Gold Coins & Bars on eBay
Selling Gold Coins & Bars on eBay
Copyright Thieves on eBay
We already have a page naming and shaming dealers using our images without permission. It's time we did the same for eBay, although if we include them all, this could be a very long page.
Alphabetical Listing of Other Copyright Theft Sites
Other Web Sites
All comments about copyright also cover content of all our other websites including, but not limited to:-
Sorrentonika eBay Item 180262757428 Credit Suisse 50 Gram Gold Bar
Our 50 Gram Credit Suisse Bar Image
Our Watched List Including 6 More Items by Sorrentonika