Scam alert!

I posted this to a couple of mods a few days ago, but since I haven’t heard back from them I’ve decided to go public with this to avoid someone here being robbed of their precious money.

A scammer is operating on this forum. His user name is ben-hart. Beware!!

ben-hart currently has an Octatrack for sale in the Marketplace.
Here is the ad:

Ok, so here’s what happened to me:

A couple of weeks ago I listed a WTB ad for a Roland SH-7 on this forum and a few other sites. I ended up closing a deal with a reputed manufacturer of Euro modules who was selling from his private collection. A couple of days later I was contacted by EN user ben-hart via PM, who said he had an SH-7 for sale. A few days later he sent me images of the unit, and to my surprise he sent pictures of the exact same unit that I had bought from the Euro manufacturer. Not the same pictures, but on closer inspection definitely the same instrument.

Wondering what had happened I asked both sellers for a serial number. Ben-Hart sent an image of a serial number, and when researching this photo I found that it was copied from a current ebay auction for a Roland SH-7. This auction seemed legit, and I had already been in contact with the ebay user listing the auction. A closer look at the ebay unit showed that it was definitely a different unit.

I then sent the images I got from the scammer to the manufacturer I had closed a deal with. He got back to me saying “those are my images!”. Apparently he had them on his website when listing the instrument.

When confronted with this, I got no answer from ben-hart. Huge surprise…

BEWARE when dealing with low post count users! Make sure what they’re selling is legit. Ask the seller to take a picture on your request, for example with a written note together with the instrument (eg “for Nils”).

CHECK any images you receive by running them through Google image search or similar. That way you can check if the item has been listed before, and where.

Well worked out and well done advising us ! Seems to be happening more often…

Thanks for the heads up! Asking for a specific picture of the unit with a written note is a very good advice indeed. And glad you got your SH-7 in the end. :slight_smile:

Nice one Nils - great heads up & well done for being so alert!

Congrats on the SH-7 too - look forward to hearing it … :+1:

Thanks for pointing this out. There is another discussing best practices and possible ideas for avoiding this stuff.

This is the first ive heard of your specific situation as nothing has been mentioned in the mod forum. I think your execution of getting this in out in the open was well done.

Thanks for sharing and glad it worked out for you.

After someone mentioned in another thread, it is always a good idea to check a sellers past posts on this forum, a few questionable posts popped up that appeared to be trying to create a post history. Seems scammer crisscrossed their fake stories and users names. After being called out they posted no reply.
I would be Leary of:

Yup, good looking out peeps, and considering none of the suspects have come back to “defend” their names and honor, we should mentally file all of these guys under the heading of: p.o.s. scamming slimeball rat bastages…at least, that’s what I’ve done.

how did you figure they were the same person out of interest ?

edit: ^ last post bar one !

glad you caught the fargin bastidge, nils!

People, be aware. I do believe xplore is a scammer. Here is my story:

I’m new to Elektronauts and joined in to buy an Octatrack (and then become a Elektronaut!).

I contacted xplore thought email about his OT and got pretty far in the conversation. He told me he was going to ship it from England, so I assumed he was british. But in the post StinkyBeat linked here he said he is Swedish. And, in the email conversation, he said he was a Polish living in England and gave me the information for a bank account in Poland. British, Polish or Swedish? Scam alert.

I told him that NRain commented that his post was suspicious and that I have done a quick Google Search about him (with his name and email) and found absolutely no information whatsoever. I asked for some references and he never answered.

The selling post for the OT was deleted. And now he created another one trying to buy an TR-808: Deleted

As you guys said, he never showed up to justify himself. And even worst, it seems he is trying to forge some posts.

Be careful, guys. I almost got scammed.

wow - if you’re the real* matheus leston, can’t wait to hear what you do with the OT, just checked your site :wink: - your post here reads through almost like a double-bluff ! no offence meant

*ain’t trusting nobody’s identity no more

You SAY you’re avantronica, but that waveform is totally photoshopped hahaha :wink:

It wasn’t done in photoshop (or similar) !

But it’s a fair cop, i’m busted, i’ve been slowly grooming you lot so i could sell some Chinese Elektron clones in about 6 months time :wink:

Avantronica, you are right. No offence taken! Those “who did who” things might get really confusing. I know that I have no credibility in this forum, I’m a new member, just as xplore is. But I decided to post it here because I was naive and maybe other people can get scammed. I was literally “saved” by NRain’s post. I almost made a wire transfer to this guy!

I’m just a honest brazilian musician trying to buy an used OT (because it is out of stock). I can prove everything I wrote here. No need to delete posts and leave questions unanswered. That’s why I wrote as complete as I could.

And hey, I’m the real Matheus Leston and got really flattered by your comment! I’m updating my website, it is lacking a bunch of things. But I’m really glad you liked my stuff! :wink: And I’m hoping I can get my OT soon!

that’s good to hear, we can share tips on doing with the OT, excellent content on that site. kudos :+1:

edit: both peeps above, bold formatting can mask links (mine’s a link), elektronaut hq should colour links in orange to help differentiate

Also be cautious of user Hublot recently selling an Analog keys
Pretty sure he is the same person as xplore

^ Nice!!

@ everyone els esp nils great detective work!! Shame you guys haven’t got time to moderate.

as any of you cats from the old EU-forums will know I’m not actually me, I’m someone else. :joy:

But seriously, be careful out there on the internetz. And well done again Sherlock Nils. :+1:

Ben-Hart is a known scam alias on some 2nd Hand sites.
I hope my lucky monomachine bargain doesn’t turn out to be scam. I’ve got a good feeling and some security…

Sometimes life is a b**ch,
Avoid scam but keep spreading the love to fellow musicians!.

Now back to my smoke :wink:

Playing a little devil’s advocate here, be careful not to get to invested in your internet sleuthdom.

I popped into a forum once to comment that a ‘wary’ buyer was being a little uninformed and nitpicky. Fast forward a week later, the internet ‘detectives’ had determined that I was actually the ‘scam seller’…which was only fueled by a troll post who started posting fake communication that he had with me (all fabricated).

I had NEVER talked to any of these people before and was new to the site. It was no way my auction, but once the witch hunt began, and that jerkoff added fuel to the fire (including personal, family information), the guys on that site went crazy with how awesome they thought they had done.

So just play it cool…be smart, and dont believe everything you read on the internet.