Sad Story from One Who Trusted without Checking!

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by DMKEDM, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. DMKEDM

    DMKEDM DIS Veteran

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    First, I must concede that I acted monumentally stupidly in this sad (expensive) story...arguably it's entirely my fault for being so unqualifiedly trusting. Since trust is a huge element in rent/transfer transactions, I thought it might help others to hear my painful experience...

    Just yesterday, I impulsively jumped on an R/T board offer to rent 160 BCW points (I've talked to our mods, who are WONDERFUL...very sympathetic!--and they remind me I must not "name names")...I PM'ed the poster who offered the points, providing my phone number and email address.

    The poster (a "she") called me almost immediately (within 10 minutes); I explained what I wanted and we agreed a rental of points would be hard to work out (I wanted them for 13 months from now, and ressies can't be made til the 11-month-out mark)...so we discussed doing a points transfer instead.

    We agreed to that, and we agreed to a price. We discussed "trust" and how best to protect both of us. The poster wanted me to wire half the money ($800) via Western Union...I suggested alternatives, mostly because I've never used Western Union before and didn't know how to do it (turns out it's remarkably easy, but I didn't know that then.) First (of many) mistakes...someone insisting on the use of Western Union is a red flag, I now know...

    I spent the next hour running around...first I found the closest Western Union spot, went there to learn how to use the system...they require cash, so I had to run to the bank to get the money...at each step I called (by prearrangement) the seller/poster, to let her know my progress...due to my work schedule, we had to finish up within 90 minutes, or defer further activity til after 3 yesterday afternoon...we both wanted (I thought) to complete the transaction (first half the money from me to her, then a joint call to MS to transfer the points, then a transfer of the other half of the money from me to her).

    (Pause for one small brief moment of sanity: I almost wired the whole amount--to save myself a trip later on to wire the rest...fortunately, I stopped myself from that "convenient" course of action!)...

    I called after I had successfully wired the $800 to tell her the money was on its way...she told me she'd just discovered she'd lost her wallet, which contained her ID, and needed more info from me to claim the money w/out an ID...Second mistake. I should have stopped things right then (if I had, I'd have been out only the cost of the wire transfer--which was significant--almost $70, and a "refund fee"--much less than the $870 I actually lost)...anyway, I didn't give her any of my transaction or personal info (which is another small consolation), but I did agree to call Western Union to do a "test question" so she could claim the money w/out an ID...

    I did this via my cell phone, while I was on the phone w/her (and she was at the Western Union station on her end, in NY)...Western Union told me she'd gotten the money before we got off the phone.

    She told me she'd call me back w/in 5 minutes to do the Disney call (at this point, I had about 20 minutes left before I had to leave)...

    She didn't call back. I worried a bit, but not all that much...we'd agreed that we'd do the Disney call at 3 yesterday afternoon if the Western Union/bank business took longer than the amount of time I had yesterday morning. I specifically asked if she'd be available then and she said yes. I called her as I was leaving to tell her I'd call her around 3 to complete our transaction...the first of many "no answers" from her from that point forward...

    I called her again at 2:45, no answer. And again at 3. No answer. And then again at 15-30 minute intervals til MS closed at 5. And then one more time yesterday evening. No response. I sent her a PM. No answer.

    I've checked her post...several people have responded to her offer, saying they've PM'ed her. Several did so after my dealings with her. As far as I can tell (no confirmation of having received my PM), she hasn't checked back on the R/T board since yesterday morning.

    In all fairness, I guess it's possible something happened to her within 5 minutes of picking up the money I wired and that she will call me ... but somehow it doesn't seem likely at this point.

    Another mistake: I want these points for November, 2007...now that I'm taking time to think this through, I can see a problem with this, too...I guess I could bank current year points to use in November 2007, but she told me, when I questioned her about timing, that she'd transfer next-year-points. I accepted that. But now that I think about it, how can someone transfer "next year" points? More evidence of my own stupidity in this. And another red flag.

    And yet another mistake: I never looked at her post count til later...it's very, very low (I'm afraid to say how low for fear I will inadvertently break Disboards rules about not naming names...I don't want to post so much that I ID the person, contrary to the rules, by mistake)...

    So, the lesson (which cost me $870 to learn!): Yes, we must trust each other...but pay attention to "warning signs" and take more than a couple of minutes of friendly conversation before handing over cash.

    I'm certainly not holding this against anyone (other than myself and the person who took my money!)...the Disboards folks have been very sympathetic (and "authorized"/encouraged me to post this story in the hopes it might help someone else who might be teetering on an impulse buy as I did)...

    Fortunately, the loss won't break my personal bank...it hurts and it'll mean some extra tuna fish over steak for a while...but at least I didn't "bet the mortgage!"

    Sure hope this doesn't happen to anyone else!
     
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  3. TravelingJen24

    TravelingJen24 DVC Member

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    I am so sorry that this happened to you. I hope that she contacts you, but if she doesn't is there any recourse that you can take. I don't know much about these type of situations, but it would seem that the board would be able to kick her off so that it doesn't happen to anyone else. Good luck and I wish you luck on this situation.
     
  4. DMKEDM

    DMKEDM DIS Veteran

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    Whether Disboards will take action is up to them...they make it very clear that they provide the R/T board as a service to us, and are not at all able to/interested in refereeing disputes among users...and I don't blame them a mite for that!

    This case seems clear-cut to me...but I'm sure most people who feel wronged feel that way.

    I'm content to let Disboards do (or not do) as they find appropriate. I do understand how stupid I was with this...there were SO many red flags/warning signs!

    Thanks for the sympathy...I really appreciate it...somehow the "sting" of having behaved so stupidly is lessened by how nice first the Disboards mods and now you were/are upon hearing my sad story!

    Pixie dust to all "good" renters...I'm quite certain there are many in whom my trust would have been well placed...and I know a renter can trust me! So I'll try not to let this experience sour me on the process; instead I hope I'll learn from it!
     
  5. zurgswife

    zurgswife WDW is my Shangrala...and I'm going...life is bett

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    Thanks for posting. I'm glad it didn't break you but sad that it happened.

    Great warning for others...
     
  6. ZipaDeeDooDah

    ZipaDeeDooDah <font color=red>What happens on the DIS boards, st

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    :furious: Wow, you are a good person, I would be so angry! I admire your restraint and humbleness. I hope nothing major has happened with the OP and that it was all a big mistake and she will get back to you soon to straighten this out. :hug:
     
  7. DMKEDM

    DMKEDM DIS Veteran

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    Thanks...I'm sure I'll be angry when I get over feeling just plain dumb! Right now I'm angrier at myself than at at anyone else...

    I, too, hope the renter/poster gets back to me w/some kind of explanation of why she "disappeared" yesterday...things DO go wrong (computers crash, phone systems go down--both of those things have happened to me in the last 6 months)...if that happens you can be sure I'll post to "confess" my too-quick assumption that I've been scammed...

    But for now, it just looks to me like I'm better off accepting the fact that I'm highly likely a "mark" who's been scammed ... now, on to getting over it and going back to enjoying the thought that we're going to Disney for T-giving (on my own points!)...

    Happy day and pixie dust to all of us!
     
  8. Olaf

    Olaf DIS Cast Member

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    I am so sorry for you, and thanks for posting your story as a warning to others.

    I hope you're contacting the authorities about this. Probably isn't a thing they can do, but it's worth trying. I really don't know how people like that live with themselves. :sad2:
     
  9. ZipaDeeDooDah

    ZipaDeeDooDah <font color=red>What happens on the DIS boards, st

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    DMKEDM - Wishing you a great Thanksgiving trip!!! :thumbsup2
     
  10. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

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    I am sorry this happened. :grouphug:

    Thank you for the warnings. I don't know if I would have recognized "red flags" if I was living through the experience.

    Bobbi
     
  11. DisneyFreaks

    DisneyFreaks <font color="red">Don't get me started about those

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    I just read your post and I feel absolutely heartbroken for you. I know how sick I would be if this happened to me. I guess it could happen to any of us who trust just a little too much. I will pray that she may possibly contact you soon. And I hope your 2007 trip is the best trip you have ever had. Thank you so much for taking the time to warn the rest of us.
     
  12. DMKEDM

    DMKEDM DIS Veteran

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    You folks are wonderful. Thanks so much for the sympathy. It's really making me feel better...
     
  13. DVCJones

    DVCJones DIS Veteran

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    OMG!!! I was getting sick to my stomach reading your post. How awful!!!! Don't be too hard on yourself. There are a lot of dishonest people in the world and you are a victim of one of them. I am so sorry this has happened to you. I really hope there is something that can be done to fix this!!

    It is a shame that this person has tarnished the R/T experience.

    :wizard: I hope things work out for you! Good luck!
     
  14. jade1

    jade1 If your lucky enough to live on the lake, your luc

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    Do you have the email address?
     
  15. DMKEDM

    DMKEDM DIS Veteran

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    The email address? For the poster? No...I used PM to contact her, and then what turned out to be a cell phone number thereafter. I have a name, her cell phone number (which shows her name on my caller ID and it's the same name she gave me), the city where she picked up the money I wired to her, her screen name here on Disboards, and that's it...
     
  16. Dina

    Dina DIS Veteran

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    Wow!!!! That's terrible!! I am so sorry to hear that you have gone through this!!! I also felt sick for you reading your story. I truly hope that some how you're able to recover your money. That's horrible.

    This may be a really stupid question-- but could you contact the police in the city where the poster used the Western Union??? Won't they handle fraudulence??
     
  17. lizziepooh

    lizziepooh DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for posting. I don't think I would have recognized the red flags either. It all would have sounded logical to me.
     
  18. Tine731

    Tine731 DIS Veteran

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    I am just sick. Its a shame you can't out her on this board. Does she even own a DVC? Thank you for sharing your story. I would have not noticed the red flags and just like you I would have thought about sending all the money. I have learned a lesson here also.
     
  19. simzac

    simzac DIS Veteran

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    I too feel really bad for the OP, what a terrible ordeal to go thru. I feel you should contact the police in the town where the money was picked up and give them the info you have, maybe they will be able to do something for you. Good luck.
     
  20. jkevinmcg

    jkevinmcg Mouseketeer

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    You should report this immediately to Western Union, if you haven't already. You might be able to find someone there who can help. It seems a lot of on line fraud that occurs uses WU as the middle man. I'm sure someone there would want to tout a success story. Also, having a cell phone and a name might be enough for the authorities to actually find this person. DO NOT GIVE UP ON THIS! I wish you luck and perservearance in pursuing this and like everyone else on this board, I applaud your restraint. Try this site, reverserecords org, and do a reverse cell phone lookup. Since I have so few posts, it would not let me put a link in here. There is a dot between them. We will be watching and hoping that you get some satisfaction.

    Kevin
     
  21. jade1

    jade1 If your lucky enough to live on the lake, your luc

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    I think they will contact you and come through. If you have this much information and just maybe you could read the other posts and see if they ever sent thier email address to another member or maybe that other member actually dealt with them in the past and can provide more information-I doubt they would risk a felony over this.
     

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