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General And Slightly Off Topic Talk Forum for exchanging ideas and talking about general issues without straying too far off topic.

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Old 08-29-2016, 01:50 AM   #151
Shocktrooper
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Hello everybody,

I just want to thank you very much for your assistance concerning this case - as we all know, there are many black sheep out there we have to care about. And I also think that it is important to anybody of us to speak out clearly, what may prevent any collector from making major mistakes and losing a lot of money. There is this Swedish guy, this Australian guy and now another Russian guy, who all try to severely damage our hobby to make some quick cash...

during the last time, I opened several cases for non-received items at Ebay; during their investigation they found out that there is something big going on concerning the cheating of collectors of Soviet militaria. There is a mafia - like structure of "sellers" who do open accounts, providing each other positive feedbacks for cheap items only to be able to sell and then they run the big business in offering "big ticket" items for thousands of dollars ... they do not own! Also they try to persuade to pay to non-verified Paypal accounts or foreign bank accounts and refuse to meet personally for their "own safety". They robbed tens of thousands of dollars from the collector`s family during the last months using this method. Here come some names: "antikvar2016ussr", "awards2016ussr", "nagradaussr" - but there are far, far more. Their accounts usually are located in Germany, Russia and Australia. Shipping always is mentioned to be done from "China / Hong Kong / Taiwan" - buyers beware! If something smells fishy, don`t think, just run!

Best regards!
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Old 12-06-2016, 12:24 PM   #152
desantnik
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Re: FRAUD Alert!

Thanks for your vigilance and the tip!
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:31 AM   #153
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Re: FRAUD Alert!

A "new" fraud.....

The fraudsters are always thinking of new ways to deprive us of our money...... I came across the practice I am about to describe a good while back but it has just started to get rife and people need to be very aware of it.

A dealer will offer a selection of authentic awards, seeming all above board, it'll even check out against the info on "the site" - but all will not be as it seems.

What they do, is acquire some low end documents for unnumbered awards. Let's use in this example a document for the Medal "For The Defence Of Leningrad" and a document for a Medal "For Victory Over Germany" - both awarded to the same person, completely original and legitimate (usually on the market for $20-$25 for the pair, then you look them up on "the site" if you're a research nut, like many of us are, when you have them in hand).

The fraudsters will search on "the site" from their inventory, for documents from a set (incomplete or not) to someone who received a larger group, maybe some of the higher end awards, such as a pair of Red Banners or so. So they have the Leningrad and VOG Documents, easy to pick up any day of the week, just have to add the metal pieces to make the group.

Put the name on these two documents in yourself, you'll find the serial numbers of these two documents match exactly to the acts presented on "the site", all good. Search further and you will find that Comrade X was also awarded two Red Banners for combat, a tank commander in this scenario, two outstanding citations for heroism on the battlefield. Guess what? The dealer also has two Red Banners in the lot - "Oh wow! - I'll pay anything for that!" The only problem is, "the site" doesn't tell you what the serial numbers are for these Red Banners, but if you don't buy this group now! now! now! it'll be gone, so why wait a few weeks for research?

Because the Red Banners are completely unrelated, most likely long service awards to totally different people, worth a fraction of the ones you thought you were getting.

Fake bars get built, even fake Order booklets get made.... so caution is needed at all times.

It is always the best practice to buy what is authentic and then research it, rather than buy the research and then hope the pieces fit together.

The fake Order booklets I've seen recently all come from the same source (in the western world), written in the same dodgy handwriting, but if you're not familiar, you can be taken for a ride.

I know this is not a new practice at all, but using the resources of "the site" to make the put together groups seem more authentic than ever is. Gone are the days where the fraudsters would just invent a fictitious character, with a washed Order booklet full of high end awards (which were usually fake) and slap in a picture of anyone (because all Order booklets had a photograph in right?). Now it's real awards, real recipients - though not connected in any way, other than the lot they are in. Long service Combat Merits, Red Stars and Red Banners all had ranges parallel to combat awards, but are worth far less as researched awards (in fact many dealers often "lose" research on long service awards before they sell them - as they are worth more as unresearched possible combat awards than definite long service awards).

If you keep yourself informed, hopefully you can keep one step ahead of the scam artists. There are millions of real awards out there, but there are probably 100-1 more crooks prepared to take your money than legitimate dealers in authentic award groups.

Fakes and inauthentic groups come from anywhere in the world, so don't use geographical location as too much of a guide, obviously the more frequently the pieces have changed hands, the more the chance of pieces being added, removed or altered.

All this being said, never be scared to take an informed chance - but never take a risk you can't afford.
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