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scam and fraud against Afremov

Dear Friend Hello,

I’m the artist Leonid Afremov, I would like to share with you a little story that keeps happening to me almost every month. As you all know, I make 99% of my sales online. In most cases I receive credit cards as the form of payment. Every month I have at least 2 or 3 customers that scam me by abusing the online sales protection system that card companies offers. In my opinion, such abuses are straight examples of online fraud and scam committed against the seller.

Customers purchase art from me and pay by credit card. Then after they receive the paintings, they call their credit card company and ask for a charge back saying they never received the paintings. The credit card company immediately gives them the money back. My ecommerce takes the money from my account as soon as it happens and forwards it to the credit card company. Although, I have a UPS tracking number proving delivery, the customer claims that he/she never received the merchandise paid for. With the online sale protection system, there is barley any chance to win such a dispute. I can only say that I repeatedly become a victim of scam and fraud by customers online. In a few cases, I tried to report this fraud and scam to the police and the FBI, but the law is on the customer’s side always.

Especially with American Express that allows charge back up to 11 months from the transaction. I had a couple customers scam me and cancel 8 months after the delivery. I would be fine with the cancelation if the customer returned the paintings, but they claim they never got anything and decide to scam me and the online trading system. When I send them delivery confirmation from UPS , they deny the delivery and say nothing ever arrived and say it’s not their signature on the confirmation. They basically steal my paintings that I invested my soul into. This is unacceptable online fraud and scam against me, artist Leonid Afremov. Sometimes customers are being jerks and write on compliant sites about me saying they never got their paintings, when the actually have the paintings and the money refunded. I feel completely vulnerable and unprotected from this type of fraud and scam, especially when such scam also affects my reputation.

Please advice, How can I protect myself from such fraud and scam. What can I do? Maybe someone has experience with this and can give me advice.

Best Regards,
Leonid Afremov

Comments

  • Danica Radman
    Danica Radmanover 3 years ago

    terrible
    horrible
    but so now day “thing”
    moral, ethics and that kinda stuff
    i do not have an advise for how to deal with the problem, i am afraid that you’ve just gave a tip to less talented stealers
    i think you should edit their procedure

    gives an idea to scums

    my best to you

    Danica Radman

  • Paul Quixote Alleyne
    Paul Quixote A...over 3 years ago

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I would suggest that you file official complaints with th district attorneys for those areas. and sue these people.

  • Evelina Kremsdorf
    Evelina Kremsdorfover 3 years ago

    Use trackable methods of shipping. This way you’ll have a record of what was received and present it as a proof. Require signature on delivery even.

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelover 3 years ago

    Sounds like he already did use a trackable shipping method requiring a signature, Evelina, and the proof is not being accepted.

    So sorry this happened to you Leonid!

    That is outrageous that people can pull this scam on packages they signed for. I can see a rare incident when a package might be delivered wrong and someone fakes the signature, but this sounds like a frequent occurrence and is likely pure scam, probably a common one.

    I have a friend who sells on EBay and has run into this type of scam. She has, however, been successful in proving delivery of goods, and was able to dispute it and win. I will ask her if she has any tips that I might pass along to you.

    But, I personally do not sell this way, so have not encountered this problem myself. Am considering getting paypal and maybe if this is a scam that can be pulled on paypal I may decide not to! Crooks ruin it for everyone, and too often the reaction from “enforcers” is just “tough luck.”

  • Cindy Schnackel
    Cindy Schnackelover 3 years ago

    Leonid, my friend who sells on EBay replied and gave me permission to post what she wrote. Hope there is something in it that will help.

    Quote:

    “It is similar to some of the issues I have had on eBay but not quite the same.

    “In Leonid’s case he is using a credit card processing company to
    handle the transactions. When a buyer disputes the charge the
    processing company should ask him (Leonid) for tracking numbers, etc.
    to prove that the package was received by the buyer. If he does
    nothing, then he loses, the money gets sucked out of his account and
    that’s that. If he can prove that the buyer got the package they
    should give him his money back. If they refuse to give him his money
    back then he should find a new credit card processing company!

    “I use PayPal. With PayPal if a buyer disputes a charge I then have to
    provide proof that the buyer received the package. PayPal then gives
    me my money back.

    “In Leonid’s case he requests signature confirmation. That’s good
    because he can then compare the signature online at ups.com with any
    signature he has received from the buyer. Examples would be letters,
    notes, etc. He can also request that the package be signed for only
    by an adult. He should keep all correspondence, tracking info, etc.
    for at least a year just to be safe.

    “I can’t imagine why the credit card processing company would not
    refund his money if he had UPS tracking information which proves that
    the package was delivered and signed for. Because of the language
    barrier I would recommend that he handle these things online so that
    there is documentation and he doesn’t end up trusting someone on the
    other end of the phone who doesn’t understand him.

    “I have had customers dispute charges and if I have proper tracking
    information there are no problems. Problems arise when I do not have
    tracking information. For example, when I ship internationally the
    tracking ends once the package leaves the US. This leaves me
    vulnerable to dishonest buyers who claim it never arrived (I am
    dealing with one of those right now in fact). For international
    shipments you have to purchase the most expensive shipping methods in
    order to get tracking. Because it is so outrageously high buyers
    refuse to pay it, so I end up rolling the dice.

    “I used to ship everything without tracking and I had a TON of problems
    with buyers claiming they never got the item, they would threaten
    negative feedback if I didn’t give them their money back. Once I
    switched to tracking for nearly everything I have very few claims -
    other than the international ones which I still have problems with.

    “Fortunately most buyers are honest, both US and international, so I
    really have few problems compared with the number of transactions.

    “One thing I thought of is how his name appears on the buyer’s credit
    card statement. If they only know him as Leonid Afremov but the
    credit card statement says “ABC Inc” they may dispute it because they
    don’t recognize ABC Inc.

    “Unfortunately some losses from scams are just a cost of doing
    business. That’s easy(ish) to accept if you’re just selling stuff but
    if you’re selling art, which taps into a person’s soul, then it’s not
    so easy to just write off the loss.

    “Hope there is something here that you might be able to help him with.”

    (Written by my good friend who is very savvy about online selling…she didn’t want to be named.)