Found 8th May
On Saturday I am going to Italy to meet a chap who is interested in something I advertised online. I told him that I could meet Him and that he could pay cash, but the deal would be brokered by A famous auction house, he was fine with this and just to meet and chat about the deal, said I could also see proof of funds before the auction house was engaged, also happy to pay funds into bank prior to releasing the goods from the auction house.

I am now thinking is the scam:-

A) a planned robbery

B) laundering money

C) counterfeit currency

Or just plane and simply face to face meeting

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61 Comments

Sounds a bit strange but am I the only one who wants to know what you are selling?

Are you going to Italy specially for this?

Original Poster

two diamond rings, expensive - but not overly expensive, more of a nice to have than a thing of great value. Certainly unique as the one diamond was cut over 100 years ago, and is in a real nice setting.

Original Poster

Yes I am, going to Italy, just for a cup of coffee and a chat

Original Poster

I have spoken to the gent over the phone, and he sounds like a quiet old Italian gent. I am obviously going to lock my wallet and just about everything else including phone info an airport locker, and will meet him with just 20 euros in my pocket. So if it is a scam, he will not have much luck.

To me... Sounds very very fishy! Who is the auction house and did they suggest it? If they suggested it then it's a scam to me!

Original Poster

The other shocker here, is I have spoken to my bank about depositing an amount of cash into my account over the 10k anti money laundering limit. They said it was fine - and did not really have any advice. Many years ago a man bought a car from me and paid 11k in cash, into my bank and all was well. So am really unsure about this.

If he starts talking like James Gandolfini in The Sopranos, I'd get out of there sharpish..

Original Poster

The auction house is christies, I suggested it as they can offer a safe environment for viewing, else it's off to the local pub or cafe.

Any help, comments or suggestions here will help me sleep a little easier tonight.

take a friend

Trust your instincts, it's got you this far. If it doesn't feel right, walk away. Good luck!

Original Poster

Well - he will have no luck in robbing me, as I am only going to have a chat, he cannot hit me with fake notes, as these need to clear in my bank. But money laundering is perhaps what I am expecting, and god knows I will not be happy if it's stolen cash, or drug money.

I really do not know what to think. I had booked flexible tickets just in case I changed my mind, as I can use the flight for work.

So I lose 20 quid if I cancel, so not a big one

Is he paying for your trip...?

Original Poster

Srp111 - my best friend is not the sharpest tool in the box, god love him. He would get us both shot, great idea though. He has also just suffered a heart attack, cannot put the poor sole to any bother. Would love to have a day out with him though, and the moment he's better, I will. Made me smile that has.

Original Poster

I've paid for the trip

Original Poster

My instinct tells me it's a good and safe deal, my instinct has also made me take the most cautious route, money in bank, christies, meet him with absolutely nothing on you, will even be taking my 20 travel mobile phone, a top up credit card, no watch, nothing.

don't go- take them to christies in london

Original Poster

Of course mememrme they will go to christies in London for transportation to milan where the gentleman can arrange a viewing, but I am not engaging christies until I have met the guy, no sale would still cost me 800 quid. It's like 250 to transport them to Milan, then 250 back - 1% insurance costs against actual value and the list goes on, so you have to be certain the buyer is happy.

If its being brokered by christies why the need to meet this guy?
just let them get on with it.

Original Poster

Again the cost involved, if this guy is a scammer, and I have engaged christies, then first of a no sale will cost at least 800 quid, and then the embarrassment of the entire thing. It takes more effort to persuade Christies to do something out of the ordinary than you would think.

Make sure you inform him that you haven't come alone; that a group of MMA fighters are waiting to tour Italy with you later.

Just tell him to come to London/the U.K. Far easier for you.
Of course you could be scammed in numerous ways - deal with a reputable company instead. Definitely not in a foreign country for when problems occur and you are not familiar with local laws/courts.

P.S. I wouldn't say you will be scammed, but there's certainly a possibility. Perhaps he's just wanting you to spend £800 with Christies and is an internet troll. In reality you have no idea what's going through his head.

He's also going to be paying in Euros into your account, so there will be a conversion fee presumably. Unless Christie's are paying the money into your account, and I would expect there is a % fee for this too.

Edited by: "Firefly1" 8th May

Original Poster

And I think I actually spent more on advertising a car, than this flight is costing, it's sometimes better to go talk to someone.

But still - everything has a risk, so I wanted to run it past a group of people who
Would be able to give me guidance.

So you're going to Italy to chat with a man about some rings. If you're not taking the rings, why can't you Skype or Facetime him? Or have I missed something?
Edited by: "minimadtrix" 8th May

Maybe don't go alone or hire someone for the day to escort you.

Original Poster

Firefly - again great idea but that would mean he would need to bring his cash into the uk, it's more than 10k.

again, i do not know what it is about the cash deal, I sold my dads car recently, and the gentleman paid 6k cash and it was fine.

Something has me spooked, and yet this must be the safest deal ever - what am
I missing?

Is it just reading garbage on the internet, or is it my instincts working properly.

PKRichie

Maybe don't go alone or hire someone for the day to escort you.



Far more likely would be a stolen bank account that will be reported stolen after the funds clear your account. He'll have the ring and your funds will be reclaimed by the bank with a potential fraud marker and you can't go through UK Civil Courts. And this guy will disappear anywhere in Europe. You have no certainty that he won't turn around and say "I can pay via bank account after all!!!" And you'll have to say yes, as you'll otherwise be £800 down.

Daddoo - You'll have the exact same problem with the potential fraud transaction with your bank; regardless of what they say. It'll be equally as problematic as at an airport with over 10k in cash. You'll still need to prove where the money came from. He can always withdraw £10,000 from within the United Kingdom if he so wishes.

Anyway - OP: Have you looked at the fees you'll lose from all of this, due to the Euro deposit? And Christie's. You'll have no more money than if you were to sell in the UK in the 1st place.
Edited by: "Firefly1" 8th May

Original Poster

Minimadtrix - it's a little easier face to face. FaceTime can give me little more than the telephone conversation we had

People are seriously engaging in this nonsense?

Daddoo

Minimadtrix - it's a little easier face to face. FaceTime can give me … Minimadtrix - it's a little easier face to face. FaceTime can give me little more than the telephone conversation we had


Sorry, I'm not trying to be thick, and probably should be in bed, but why are you going to Italy to meet him? What does it add to the phone call?

mtc1

People are seriously engaging in this nonsense?



Yep, I'm hooked!

Daddoo

Minimadtrix - it's a little easier face to face. FaceTime can give me … Minimadtrix - it's a little easier face to face. FaceTime can give me little more than the telephone conversation we had



You don't need anything more. You need a bank transfer, he needs rings. You're paying Christie's.

I repeat - you will have bank fees from all of this. And I believe a fraud investigation. Make sure you keep a receipt of transaction for your bank.
Edited by: "Firefly1" 8th May

The fact that the guy is in Italy makes it all complicated. unless hes offering a high price.

Why not get a high profile jewellers to sell it for you in the uk, once sold the jeweller takes his commission sends you a cheque. no hassle, no worries.




hmmm, so you pay for a trip and waste time just meeting him. how does that make sense ? you have all the expenditure. if you don't trust him for whatever reason its a waste of your time/money. if you think he's OK it could still be a waste if he drops out.

what do you gain ? why not just auction them with Christies ? no risk then and anyone can see them over the internet.

in my mind there has to be a really good reason for you to do this otherwise why ?

jonnithomas

hmmm, so you pay for a trip and waste time just meeting him. how does … hmmm, so you pay for a trip and waste time just meeting him. how does that make sense ? you have all the expenditure. if you don't trust him for whatever reason its a waste of your time/money. if you think he's OK it could still be a waste if he drops out.what do you gain ? why not just auction them with Christies ? no risk then and anyone can see them over the internet.in my mind there has to be a really good reason for you to do this otherwise why ?



This is all the OP needs to do.
Auction with Christie's. Or any other jewellery specialist auction. Tell the man in Italy to keep bidding if he wants them.

Edited by: "Firefly1" 8th May

Original Poster

Firefly1 - I bet that's it.

So the area of caution needs to be around the time between paying for the item and collecting.

I bet you one way or the other, the money is. It his.

I do not think he can collect from christies without valid passport or i.d.

And with the bank being so coy about money laundering, I bet there is a kink in their armour. And it will be me left with the loss.

Scammers eh?

Daddoo

Firefly1 - I bet that's it.So the area of caution needs to be around the … Firefly1 - I bet that's it.So the area of caution needs to be around the time between paying for the item and collecting.I bet you one way or the other, the money is. It his.I do not think he can collect from christies without valid passport or i.d.And with the bank being so coy about money laundering, I bet there is a kink in their armour. And it will be me left with the loss.Scammers eh?



The answer is what jonnithomas said. There's not much left to add in this thread. Cut your losses at £20 and put them into an auction. Do make sure you give him another telephone call explaining he can bid online for the item - or come to the UK and bid in person - or they may be able to accommodate telephone bids as well.

Original Poster

Jonnithomas,

I suppose the honest answer is because I advertised them at a higher value than christies gave me.

The value given was good, but the advertised value also meant, no sellers fee and I could pay off my wife's car loan.

Greed could be my downfall. Along with pride.

Original Poster

You're right, I have my answer - thank you all so much

It's good to talk

Original Poster

MTc - sometime you cannot see the wood for the trees, I am glad the people here have made me see sense.
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