Buyer Beware

Audiogon has seen a number of fake accounts trying to rip off members. If you come across an item that seems very low in price and advertised by a brand new member the chances are it is a fake account trying to rip you off. My suggestion is to not attempt to buy from any of these accounts.


They have figured out how to get bogus tracking accounts from USPS, which look like an item was delivered to your house. Until you can prove that nothing was delivered, which can take time, you are out of your money. In some cases, the more that time passes the less likely you can prove this.


I’m not sure why Audiogon can not do a better job of filtering these scammers out but there are a number of ads up now that are most definitely scams.


Please post the ads so all can be aware. Maybe if we keep emailing the scamers saying we will buy but then do nothing they will dissappear

Yup …. The expanding cohort of bottom-feeding scum bucket scammers will continue to walk among us, and creating a collective kryptonite in our various audio forum listing bulletin boards.

But there are a couple of time-honoured very simple homilies to weed them and call them out:

1) New member / no feedback / no forum posts / no experience on the forum = no confidence and NO BUY or NO SELL.

2) In God we trust, everyone else pays cash!

3) if it sounds too good to be true, it is!

And there’s an easy step that AGON can elect to implement to effectively weed out the scammer UPFRONT: charge them say, a $250 upfront refundable deposit to their credit card for a notional period until the transaction satisfactorily clears with positive feedback On both sides.Scammers won’t be able to hide behind forum aliases nor BS identities or BS addresses,


Watching/Warning a friend to be careful on a sell situation. There is a recently new member trying to buy a pair of speakers from a colleague. The buyer has a new account, no feedback, no posts, no purchases, no history. Instructions are to "drop off the speakers at their local UPS with a UPS account that will pay for it all" and instead of using PayPal or Zelle instant payment, buyer is sending a check. Name/Address on the check, over $500 is federal offense if fraudulent, right? My buddy said he will wait for the check to clear before sending the speakers. Buddy feels its legit, yet still cautious for him. Trying to figure out if it can still come back on him after the check supposedly clears. i.e. like initial clear, but not fully clear through (all) bank back end clearing-houses. Perhaps I’m overthinking it for him. Scammers are getting to be more sophisticated to scam you.

Yes, your bank can reverse charges on a check many weeks after you think it has cleared.  I’m not aware of any time limit.

Beware that several weeks after a bank initially clears a check it still can bounce. A friend had this happen last year and lost $2500. Get a phone number and speak to buyer. Wait 3 weeks after bank clears check.

I got scammed by one of these here on Audiogon. Right after I made the purchase and paid they RE-LISTED the same item and BLOCKED me. I immediately called up my Credit Card Company and they took care of it. Not sure how the OP paid but thats all you need to do. Forget about contacting Paypal cause that will take forever. Even after I made the claim with my CC company the "seller" went into Paypal and put a Tracking # from FEDEX. Little did he know but I have a FEDEX account that notifies me about all incoming packages days ahead of time. So I got an Email from PAYPAL saying the package was delivered to my house. Called up FEDEX and they said a package was sent EXPRESS MAIL to another address in my town with THAT tracking number the scammer supplied to Paypal. So they arent entirely stupid scammers cause they found a way to work the system. Just pay with your Credit Card and NEVER file a claim with Paypal unless you want to wait forever and your money will be locked up.

I have tracked down a couple of scammers on other audio sites.  One I tracked all the way to her facebook account in kenya.  

One way to identify a fake is to use google lens to search the photos.  Often you can find where the scammer found the photos.  Since they don't own the item, they have to get photos off the web.


Before returning to Audio, I was buying and selling watches. That hobby is even worse than audio.

Though wire transfer is considered safe, crooks know how to evade the system and screw you even when you use that.



The best advice is to use common sense and if you are suspicious, to ask the seller to send a photo of the item with something identifying-like your name, date or the front page of a national newspaper.

Pay with a credit card or paypal (not Friends and Family). References are good, too.-But, someone starting out won't have ref's, and that doesn't necessarily mean that they are scammers. Face it, we all had to start somewhere.

If the seller has no feedback, ask to call them. A short conversation should give you a sense of who they are. In my many buys/sells, I have found 99% of the people to be honest.

And, buying here on Audiogon offers some very good protection against getting ripped off, as Tammy usually sorts things out.


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@raymonda  We responded to your Email on April 28th. You may want to check your junk/spam folder.




For consumers, you have 60 days to dispute a charge with your bank.  Basically, two statement cycles for consumers but 24 hours for a business.



I've seen many of "these" for sale ads in the early morning hours.

Only members with half a brain would take them seriously as they are so obvious.

Next we will see the same ads (zero feedback/zero post sellers) asking prices slightly more a-tune to the market, but still low enough to bait resident mouth breathers.

Anyone else notice the recent "pick up in person ads of this genre", which I assume require PIF beforehand?



If it is local pickup only then I pay when I pick it up. It’s not rocket surgery. Oh I also go strapped just in case. 

You’re not overthinking it for him. This has been a tactic for decades. The account and routing numbers will be correct, but the name won’t be, and it will not be caught right away. By the time it does, your friend will think it has cleared. These things are never legit. Next thing you know the amount of the check will be for more than the purchase price and the buyer will be asking for the difference to be wired to him for a small fee that will be something the buyer will try to make look legit (the over amount and the fee). 

.If it's paid by check when you go to your bank you can aske the teller

to put a hold on their account and check that there is money in that account to cover the check


What they are doing, is sending a postcard general delivery and PayPal will see the tracking number delivered to the city of record. They will not notice that your name is not on it and side with the seller simply because they provided tracking info to your city. I got hit hard. Audiogon was NO HELP. 

I sold a set Of B&W 803s & used Paypal.  He paid. I shipped. The day they arrived he filed a complaint.  He said one had a blown tweeter. It didn't. I had to refund the tweeter price. Around v$300 I think. Scam deal.


As I said before, it's so hard to pin these bastards.  The only answer is to increase sentences for those that are caught, to create risk.

In general I advocate much higher sentences for crimes that are difficult to police.

So for these scums I advocate 5 years first offence, 20 years subsequent.  The US is good at long sentencing.  There needs to be a lower grade facility to make prison life more unpleasant.  Bring back shackles.

Also keep away from those who are using Photos of products taken from other websites as they dont own the products.


Always ask for more photos or video call them on whatsapp or other chat services.


Even paypal can be risky, Scammers find a way to lodge complaints to get funds back.

If using a Credit Card THRU Paypal it isnt risky at all Provided if something goes wrong you contact your CC company and NOT Paypal.  Your CC Company has your back completely. Paypal is trying to please 2 people at the same time and doesnt have your best interest at heart. They also "Investigate" everything which takes a LONG time whereas your CC Company will (Should) Credit your account IMMEDIATELY once the claim is made.

Your CC Company has legal precedence over any transaction using a Credit Card.    Once you open up a dispute with your CC Company PAYPAL can do NOTHING.  Paypal will send you an email stating something to the effect that a dispute was opened with the CC Company and they cant do anything further.   So the lesson to be learned is when using Paypal ALWAYS use a Credit Card and always contact your CC company if something goes wrong.

I feel PayPal is best. If possible have the seller set up a private auction on ebay. The auction link is sent to you. You get both eBay and PayPal buyer protection. You also get eBay guaranteed delivery. Also use insurance. Have the seller send via USPS with signed delivery confirmation AT the local post office. The extra expense is well worth the security. Also when you package arrives at the local post office, you get a notification in your mail box. Then you pick up at your convenience. No having to take vacation to wait for delivery. No chasing trucks. And no fear of porch pirates. Security and peace of mind for all.

As somebody who retired from USPS your dead wrong. First of all the Post Office Insurance is a Joke. The individual post offices no longer handle claims. You have to call a 1-800 number which will take MANY MONTHS to resolve.  There are also very strict SIZE and WEIGHT restrictions at the post office so you can forget about sending larger speakers or Amps. There are also Insurance limits at the Post Office. Have you done any homework???

EBAY and Paypal now report to the IRS so the Seller of an expensive piece of gear is going to get a 1099 Form the following year.  Why would the seller want to lose 10-15% to EBAY Fees anyway???

The Post Office has also closed more than 100 Distribution Centers since I retired. Priority Mail packages can still take 1-2 weeks to arrive as Opposed to FEDEX or UPS whose Ground service only takes 5-7 days to go from the East Coast to the West Coast.  So it gets to its destination FASTER and CHEAPER using those alternatives.   Everything about your scenario is wrong from a practical business standpoint (and safety)

Not an issue for me.

NEVER buy from any seller on any site with less than a handful of feedbacks. I have turned down no feedbacks buyers left and right and sold a dozen items to multiple positive feedbacks only customers and never had a single problem.

I report these ads constantly.  There's a "button" at the bottom of each ad to report it. Do it when you see a fake ad. It usually takes a few hours to see it taken down but at least they're aware it's there and can see the zero feedback seller's other ads.

I buy local on Audiogon it may limit choices but no hassle. Both were big purchases for me both sellers were top-shelf people and a pleasure to do business with. I might add everyone on here that I've interacted with have been great.

 Another good form of payment is using United States Postal Service money orders. This requires the buyer to go to the post office to purchase and when you deal with the USPS your you are dealing with the government. When you receive a USPS money order you take it to your local post office, and they can verify it before you cash it. I have never had a problem and it's nice to know the Feds have got your back.     And no PayPal fee!

USPS Postal Money order is NOT a safe option.  Somebody can buy a Post Office Money Order and then much like a Check CANCEL it before it ever reaches the person its going to. The Post office also reports to the IRS if somebody buys around 3K worth of money orders.  Because the Post Office doesnt carry hardly any cash (The Clerks only have $100 in their drawer at the start of each day) its HIGHLY unlikely you can cash the Money Order at the Post office because almost everybody uses a Credit Card these days to pay for their NON Money Order purchases.  So you have to deposit the USPS Money Orders at your banks if they are for large amounts.  The Post Office is Overseen by the US Government in terms of the raising of prices on stamps etc BUT they dont have much else to do with it.  Your Tax Dollars arent Funding the Employees at USPS.  If you think "The Fed" has your back in terms of USPS Postal Money Orders your delusional.   I retired from USPS in 2009

I've noticed many fake ads and most seem to be McIntosh amps. I've actually called them out in the ask the seller a public question section and reported to Audiogon.  Usually it's very obvious however,  once they used previously posted pictures of my ad lol. But as mentioned by a previous post, the prices are too good to be true. 

My original post was specific to purchase not sales. Although, I recognize that sale are a problem.


Too many scammers out there. I keep notifying Audiogon when I see one and they act fast to remove them. I've been told by Audiogon that they're working on improving the security of selling on the site.

Yep and lots of good advice.  I had it happen to me. PayPal ultimately did right, but they sucked to deal with.  Tried to notify them immediately but there is NO One to talk to and they slow walk the whole process.  Agon was very responsive, But they do NOTHING to vet a seller.  Information provided by the seller to Agon - email, phone number, is not confirmed.  Agon has said they are rolling out improvements.  I was advised to contact Agon directly before buying if i had any concerns?  Good to know, but I'd rather they just do more before allowing anyone to sell the first time on their platform.  

If its a check.. only cashiers check There is no recourse once a buyer pays for a cashiers check that is it. Its the banks money that covers the check so when cashed its already a done thing. , Somewhere it was noted that PayPal is not in the business these days to recover funds. Often a buyer gets more attention than a seller.  USPS money order is a good way to go as well.   Ive done both over the years and the rest using PP.. and have been lucky.    Many stop using PP and I often consider doing the same. 

Technically a check never "clears". Banks settle with each other, but checks can be returned any time if they don't get the funds from the payers account. A certified or cashiers check has funds already removed from someone's account. so they are OK, unless they are counterfeit!

Cash or PayPal is the best bet unless you know the person or trust them.


I bought a pair of Odeon No. 28 speakers for $699 and a Boulder 2060 amp for $735 earlier this week just to take their listing down.  

PayPal sides mostly with buyers who are scammers or not.

This happened to me several times.

If you are a seller, and, forced to do PayPal, never do the F&F route.


I would imagine Audiogon is aware of this.  With news, members may not use Audiogon fearing they will be scammed.  If this continues, there will be no reason for Audiogon to exist.

Actually problem maybe with USPS stilling packages. I just got another expensive package stolen by my mailman who claims it was delivered to my house but I have video from my security camera that he only brings letters to my mailbox no package. Before he stole laptop and another piece of electronics. I did report it to USPS inspection and local post office manager, they just don’t care and let them rob us . I’m filling claim with PayPal that was used to pay for transaction and hopefully will get my refund. Now every time I arrange with seller not to use USPS , couldn’t do it last time now my Beyerdynamic Amiron wireless is probably being sold by my mailman....

Actually if you are a seller you should ALWAYS ask for a Friend/Family payment so that you dont have to worry about the IRS sending you a 1099 Form the following year.  Lots of Rookies around here that are clueless.

Kordzik71......Thats what happens when you dont give your mailman a tip at Christmas every year  :)