Dec 4, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>We sent parts COD to San Francisco. Got a fake money order for $500. This guy ordered unique parts--something I would remember. A couple weeks later I got another call for the same unique parts. I checked on the internet the address he gave. It was around the corner from the first address.<BR><BR>I thought, "Now's my chance to get this guy." I sent him a box of rocks. I called UPS and told them what I did and that they should send a cop to the scene and check for a fake money order. UPS' fraud guy refused, saying it might endanger someone's life if this guy opens the box and sees he got rocks. UPS sent the box back to us. The guy who ordered the parts kept calling so I sent another box, this time with parts that were basically scrap parts. I figured if he turned out to be legit I'd overnight new ones. So I told UPS to just deliver it and get the money order. They delivered it and had the UPS fraud guy call me. He told me he had the money order in his hand and that it was legit. I told him there is no way, it had to be fake. We got into a heated argument. I told him to hold while I called the bank - IT WAS FAKE. When UPS finally admitted it was fake they claimed this was the best fake they ever received and that these crooks somehow got the paper that the money orders are printed on. UPS claimed they were getting the FBI, local cops, and their fraud guys involved. "We know who these guys are and we're going to get them," they said. I never heard from UPS again.<BR><BR>When UPS accepted cash, if they received counterfeit money they would be out the money because they sent the shipper a UPS check. I think they would take it very seriously if it was their money being lost.<BR><BR>The UPS boards the drivers use to take signatures are very high tech - maybe it's time the receiver put his thumb print somewhere or driver license info. You will never be able to completely stop this but something needs to be done.<BR><BR>Oh yeah--the crook who got the scrap parts called me after he got them and had the nerve to complain that we had bad business practices. All phone numbers he called me from were stolen cell phones.<BR><BR>Matt Griffen<BR>Vortex<BR>Port Richey, Florida<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>Last year we also got hit with fraud for about $1000. Same MO, Hayabusa, overnight, etc. Reported it to our local P.D. as well as the P.D. in the delivery jurisdiction. I was told by both P.D.'s that there is almost no way for them to track the parts or the thief down without considerable manpower and they really didn't consider $1k big enough for that kind of expense.<BR><BR>This was a hard lesson because as the business owner, that money came directly out of my pocket. Now, we do not overnight or take checks or money orders unless you're already in our customer database.<BR><BR>And we got this tip from the guys at Sharkskinz, after getting a couple of orders in South America, and almost taking it in the shorts - do not accept credit cards outside of the U.S. Require an international money order or wire transfer, and wait until it clears before shipping.<BR><BR>The internet has made business easier and more complicated at the same time. Doing a couple basic checks protects the customer as well as the business. Regular customers understand. The bottom line is if it smells fishy, it probably is.<BR><BR>Terry Embury<BR>Hi-Side Racing<BR>The Racer's Source<BR>, Arizona<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>RE: Fraudulent checks: I sold an F4 two years ago to a guy who paid me with a forged cashier's check. He just went to Office Depot and got blank checks for his laser printer and printed checks to look like a bank check. I (foolishly) didn't inspect the check nor did I get any ID from the guy. Indeed, I didn't discover my duping until 10 days later when the check was returned to me by mail from the bank. Apparently, there was a ring of thefts in the Atlanta area with the exact same MO aiming always for nearly new sport bikes.<BR><BR>Luck was on my side and I recovered my F4 a year later in great shape other than a trashed set of tires and 5K more miles that when I first sold it. The bike had been sold a couple of times and the latest owner was convinced he had bought a legitimate bike and was quite shocked to find out otherwise. I certainly sympathized with him having been in his shoes until the bike was found. He ended up with the bike confiscated and having to pay on a 6K personal loan and no bike to show for it.<BR><BR>Seller beware!!<BR><BR>Allen Dollar, MD<BR>Atlanta, Georgia<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>