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Make Your Own Mind Up On This One.

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#1 shambles1980


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Posted 12 October 2012 - 04:10 AM

This was posted on one of my forums, and as it seems quite self evident i thought id post it..

its a make your own mind up thing.
and this was not something i wrote

from byuu's homepage

ASSEMbler is a scammer2011-05-12

ASSEMbler, the owner of ASSEMbler Games [assemblergames.com], is an eBay scam artist. This man is popular in the community, and I have nothing to gain from posting this article; but I have absolute proof of this, and I feel it is important to let everyone know the truth, so they can be careful when doing business with him.
Executive Summary

ASSEMbler is from Kearny, New Jersey, USA. His eBay ID is confidential_semiconductors (recently changed from delinquent_dreams after initially posting this article), although he may have others. He teams up with his friend, AnalogWinter, also known as macross7 on eBay, who is from North New Jersey, USA. They help each other out by buying cheap items to inflate their feedback scores, and they shill and retract bids on auctions, and use the second chance offer system to milk more money out of legitimate bidders.

Note: eBay allows users to change their IDs every 30 days. There is no failsafe way to name a user's permanent ID, nor do I have any intention of keeping on top of the matter anyway. I leave this to your own due dilligence.

Recently, ASSEMbler posted an auction for an official Nintendo SNES kiosk monitor. This would have been invaluable to my research, and so I bid on the item and lost.

But that wasn't the end of it. ASSEMbler then attempted to use the second chance scam on me.
The scam: how it works

This scam is ideal for obscure items that will not attract many interested buyers, and thus, will have low bid counts.

First, imagine an auction with two people bidding. Person A will bid $50 for the item. Person B will bid $100 for the item. Person B has outbid person A, and will win the auction for $51.

Now imagine that the seller either has a second account, or more likely, has a friend (the more positive feedback, the more credible the scam.) We will call him person C. A few minutes before the auction ends, person C will bid $500. Bidding last minute is a small tell: if the high bid came in too soon, it could discourage other legitimate bidders from even bothering.

Seem ridiculous? Person C has no intention of paying that much. An even more basic scam involves person C seeing the max bid, immediately retracting his bid, and then bidding just under person B, but that one is too easy to catch, and won't capture last-second bids. So instead, person C actually wins the auction!

Here is where the scam comes in: the seller can see the max bids of person A and person B. The seller will then proceed to send a second chance offer to person B, but not for the $51 he would have paid, but rather the $100 that was his absolute maximum. The seller will claim that person C backed out.

It's a very safe scam: even if person B does not fall for it, he can still move on to person C, whose max bid of $50 will be what he would have gotten had he not tried the scam at all.
The proof

Of course, such accusations warrant strict proof, and I have it.
IPB Image

At first, it looks like I had lost the auction. Fair enough, it happens. But let's look at the bids.
The bid history
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Now things look more interesting. eBay masks bidder IDs, so I will break down the true identities for you. macross7 is c***m, and my eBay ID is a***a. The only other legitimate bidder's ID (which I won't reveal since he did nothing wrong), is i***g, who bid $80.01. I am unable to determine macross7's maximum bid, only his minimum bid.
The second chance offer
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This is where things start to get suspicious. I immediately received a second chance offer, within an hour of losing the auction. Even in the rare event that the buyer does not end up paying for the item, the process of the seller waiting on payment, and the buyer and seller discussing the matter, takes at the very least a few hours. The only way this could happen would be if the seller knows the buyer has no intention of ever paying.

IPB Image

Rather than ASSEMbler offering the monitor for $81, which exceeds the maximum bid of the next legitimate bidder, he offers it to me for my maximum bid, of $161.01. This would literally double his money if I were to fall for it, or be desperate enough to pay anyway.
The e-mail

I already knew I was being scammed, but the insidious part of this scam is that the offer is always for a legitimate amount that the buyer was willing to spend: I would not have bid $161 if I was not prepared to pay that much under legitimate circumstances.

So I attemted to contact ASSEMbler, and explain the situation. At no time did I ever accuse him of attempting to pull a scam. I simply asked what happened with the high bidder. This was his response:
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Liars tend to be terse in their wording, because everything they make up has the chance to be exposed. This was no exception: this was the only correspondence I ever received from him. But even with it, he made some major mistakes.

The first was lying about macross7's location: the high bidder was from North New Jersey, not Canada. The second: why would an eBay buyer tell the seller to use second-chance shipping? The third: how could someone so knowledgeable not know that shipping heavy items to Canada would be expensive?

I really wanted the monitor, so I offered to split the difference with ASSEMbler: I offered $120 for the monitor, or even the full $160 anyway if he could prove that the monitor worked or provide an adapter cable that this monitor would have come with.

He immediately retracted the second chance offer, and ceased all communications. This is yet another tell: a legitimate seller would know how suspicious things looked, and would have at least explained that he couldn't accept less for the item. Whereas a scammer would start to think the buyer was onto him and he'd retreat quickly.
Link to eBay

I have not yet demonstrated that delinquent_dreams was ASSEMbler. But I have proof of that as well. Here is a post from his own forum advertising the sale of this monitor:

Continues post 2


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An exact match on the item number.
The shill bidder

And now to prove the identity of the shill bidder.

IPB Image

Surprise, eBay's identity hiding isn't fool-proof. Now how do we know macross7 isn't from Canada? Simple, let's look at one of his for sale auctions.
The shill auction
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So he's from North New Jersey, not Canada. Now let's take a look at macross7's feedback history.

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Oh, look. ASSEMbler won that $6 book. In fact it looks like these two buy and sell from each other, all the time! Somehow I doubt the rare gaming collector is a Godzilla fan: more likely, they simply pay the $1 eBay auction fees and collect positive feedback from one another.
macross7's identity

To find out who macross7 is, we only need to look at ASSEMbler's own forum.

IPB Image

How convenient that the high bidder from 'Canada' is a member of ASSEMbler's forum, and one of his known friends.
All things considered

To put it all together, my proof:

I was outbid at the last minute
I was sent a second-chance offer within the hour of losing the auction
The offer was for my max bid, twice that of my winning bid
The high bidder was ASSEMbler's friend, AnalogWinter
ASSEMbler lied and told me the bidder was from Canada, not North New Jersey
ASSEMbler and AnalogWinter have a history of giving each other false feedback
ASSEMbler immediately ceased communication when he knew I wouldn't pay my max bid

In closing

I know when someone is attempting to scam me out of money. In all likelihood, the monitor probably doesn't even work, which is why he is selling it as-is without the required video cable. I was willing to take a chance, as I know a guy who can repair CRTs. I was even willing to pay the $161 legitimately if he could show that it worked. But I refuse to be taken advantage of, no matter how much I want something.

Again, please understand that I have nothing to gain by posting this article. I've already lost any chance of obtaining this monitor, and ASSEMbler is a well-known individual. But I suppose that's the point: it doesn't matter how popular a guy is, anyone out there can turn out to be a scammer.

It's really too bad: that monitor, had it worked, would have greatly helped with SNES emulation research. And that's all wasted, because ASSEMbler was greedy and wanted an extra $40. Such a shame.

Copyright 20042012 byuu

What do you all think?

and then..


some posts were edited/deleted from the forum, I will not speculate on contents

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