(I promise this will be the last post on scams - at least for a while!)
The hypothetical seller in yesterday's post about scams targetting sellers was me of course. Not that hard to guess :) . Yeah, I've been thinking of upgrading my D300 to a D700. (I debated this with my colleague and fellow blog contributor mshafik -- I'll post that full frame vs. small sensor discussion soon).
Interestingly, I found a D700 on sale on Amazon's used marketplace for a little more than $1300 (current final eBay prices are at least $1800+ and usually over $2000). Unlike the last time I tried to buy a D700, this seller had more than 760 ratings, averaging around 4.5 stars. The seller was based in Illinois and looked legit. No strange fine print either. All it said was, "Used - Like New" and "In Stock."
So I ordered the item, using the exact same process as other Amazon purchases, and even got an email confirmation from Amazon. However, the order didn't show up in my history. I inquired with the seller but got no response. Later I inquired with Amazon directly and they confirmed that the seller unilaterally canceled the order. This morning I finally got a reply from the seller. Apparently, their Amazon account was hacked and someone posted that amazing deal with the intent to pull a scam. One indicator was the seller's name: conoverbooks. As they explained in their email to me, they don't sell camera equipment, and their name was another hint that the sale was not kosher. I guess I should be thankful that I didn't lose my $1300.
Of course, Amazon accounts aren't the only accounts that can be hacked. Some eBay accounts have been hacked as well for example. This episode was a reminder to exercise caution especially when a deal sounds too good to be true, and that seller ratings are helpful but not an iron-clad assurance of legitimacy.