Yes, as confidence tricksters go that was pretty quick.
I remember the worst case i've seen of this kind of thing back at greatdomains chat when someone spent months pretending to be a lawyer and gaining confidences which he used to gain usage as an escrow in their transactions and then ripped those people off who considered him a friend.
His scam was discovered and outed in the chat thanks to the efforts of one lady who he tried to dupe - which was very lucky as others were already lined up to be fleeced.
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Unfortunately the effort involved to prosecute a $500 transaction is tough to justfy.
For what it's worth I was involved with a site that eventually resulted in my calling the FBI about it. Bottom line is that *IF* you can provide the FBI with the persons identity and *IF* the transaction / scam crossed state / country lines (pretty easy with the internet) then calling your local FBI office is a cheap easy and effective way to deal with such folks.
If you do not know the persons identity then the FBI may take a report but not act on it, until perhaps that act gets repeated and thus the FBI is motivated to track the person down.
The FBI agent I spoke to basically said the easier you make it for us to get face to face with the actual person the more likely we are to persue the matter. So the basics are what matter here; Name, Physical Address (no POB's), Phone Number.
I found this post very interesting indeed - as I was 'duped' by the conman safe was referring to (unless there was another that I haven't heard about - the situation sounds very similar though).
If anyone wants to know the name the person was using at the time of this scam, PM me and I will be only too happy to tell you. I don't feel right to post it here as that could cause probs for someone who really has that name.
The scam went - the guy posed as a Lawyer, I spoke to a number of people whom I trusted in GD chat and they felt quite confident in recommending this guy. He had certainly done his work well.
I sold a domain name to a buyer in England. I then recommended this 'lawyer' to the buyer as an escrow agent. The UK buyer sent the money to this person and the person disappeared.
I was VERY lucky in this instance. I was not out of pocket at all for this transaction, however, there was the possibility that the buyer would not continue with the purchase because he would need to pay a second time.
To cut a long story short - the buyer did pay a second time, I got the money, the domain name t/ferred - all was well. However, the person who bought it, ended up paying double the price. I believe he was looking at finding this person through legal channels but I don't know if he ever did.
Perhaps some things are meant to be ... I had a phone call from the buyer a few months ago (he left a message on my answerphone) to say that British Aerospace ended up buying the domain name from him! I can't imagine what they paid for it, but by the tone of the guy's voice on my answerphone, I think it was much more than what he'd originally paid.
While part of me is disappointed that my sale could have been to British Aerospace for a large amount - a BIG part of me is very happy that the purchaser got his money back + more.
I hope one day that the person is found and justice is served - somehow I doubt it though.
My 2 cents worth to all my domain friends:
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! Find out more than you need to know about the person before you have any financial dealings with them.
The fact that many domain transactions not only cross interstate borders within countries, but as well as between countries makes it all that much more difficult for law enforcement to stand a chance tracking these people down...
Imagine how many agencies would have their hands in the pot!