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Topic: How do I report a suspicious member soliciting and selling credits?

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Subject: How do I report a suspicious member soliciting and selling credits?
Date Posted: 4/17/2009 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2007
Posts: 85
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Basically the title says it all. I was solicited by someone offering "the best deal on credits" and it seems that I am not the only one. They are VERY fishy, possibly paypal scam fishy. How do I report them?

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2009
Posts: 158
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I would ask a TG using Live Help or email PBS directly.  If it sounds wrong, it probably is.  Go with your gut.

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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http://www.paperbackswap.com/contact_us/index.php

That's the link to contact TPTB

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
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Ugh. I wondered if that would start happening.   That's annoying.

Date Posted: 4/17/2009 11:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2008
Posts: 687
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sometimes i buy credits here- and i am always a little scared i will get nada for my $$$ but so far so good

sometimes i have to sell a few credits to cover my postage and i am always nervous- i want to get them their credits the second i verify i have payment so THEY dont feel like they are about to be burned

it is sort of scary that it is like an honor system deal- sort of like a 4 way stop.... and we all know how well those work............

 also- when i look to buy credits from someone i check their profile.. their shelf... how long have they been here? do they have a nice shelf? if thier profile is private chances are i will pass... if anything looks iffy i will pass..

and do let tptb know- always trust your gut!



Last Edited on: 4/17/09 11:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: tptb
Date Posted: 4/19/2009 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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I keep seeing these initials and know it must be the top dog on the site.  When I went to the link given by Janelle, the name that comes up doesn't fit with these 4 initials.   So ?????   Sorry, but I hate to be in the dark (it's hard to read that way)     :)        D. 

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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TPTB= The Powers That Be, aka the PBS team or the site owners.

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 2:31 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2009
Posts: 262
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Of course!!  I knew it had to be something logical....and that I wouldn't find it in the Help docs.   :)    Thanks, Lesley!      D. 

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 8:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/19/2009 9:05 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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I've bought credits from several different members and have never been burned thus far (knock on wood).  I always use PayPal though so if something did happen, I could file a dispute and get my $ back.

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/10/2008
Posts: 1,080
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I have been selling credits to cover the postage. I prefer to have buyer and seller online at the same time and do the money transfer and the credits back within a few minutes. I am paid and the person has the credits to use right away. I pm my planned schedule if I answer an ad wanting credits so the person has an idea of when to expect a response from me if they choose to do business.

Note.... Yes, I have credits for sale but I am just trying to add ideas to the thread. This turned more into an ad than I intended.

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I've been selling credits to for postage money and for my new Sony e-reader...with a TBR shelf of nearly 400 (and not as bad as others), I just can't request books in good conscience!  Anyway, (there was a point to this post) I agree with check out how they have been a member and if they have a public profile.  For ME, if they don't have a public profile I wouldn't buy from them. 



Last Edited on: 4/19/09 9:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/19/2009 1:00 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2007
Posts: 765
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Dawn M.: >>I always use PayPal though so if something did happen, I could file a dispute and get my $ back.<<

Dawn, you shouldn't rely on PayPal to get your $ back.  I learned the hard way that if the money you sent via PayPal came from your PayPal balance or it came out of your banking account then you "DO NOT" have any charge back rights!

You should rely instead on your credit-card-chargeback-rights.  These rights are created by law!  Here's a link to explain those rights: http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/credit_card_chargeback_rights.php

In other words, always insure that PayPal pays using your credit card as the sole funding source.  Never pay from your PayPal balance and never from your checking account.  That may not be so easy for you to accomplish.  Don't get me started about PayPal.  Google "PayPal Sucks" if you want to read some horror stories.

 

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 7:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2007
Posts: 85
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Thank you, I did report them.

Basically, I posted somewhere else that I was PM'ing a user for her credits on sale. So I get this unsolicted PM from another member telling me not to buy from the lady I pm'ed and that I should buy from him isntead as he hs 75 credits available and he could give me better bulk discounts than anyone else. The fishy part - he had 4 books on his shelf, 5 wishlist books, a member since March 26 2009, no books sent, no books received, 11 forum posts (9 which were advertising that he could match anyone's sales) and no reviews. VERY VERY FISHY. I mean, who has 75 credits to sell that hasn't sent or received books? If he bought the credits from PBS and is selling them at such discounts he's being a fool and loosing money. I highly doubt it. I think he was waiting for money then running.



Last Edited on: 4/19/09 7:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/19/2009 7:45 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 11,985
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I mean, who has 75 credits to sell that hasn't sent or received books?

While it does seem a little weird that he's only been a member since the end of March, it's not impossible for him to have that many. When I first joined I sent out 50 books in the first two weeks I was a member. Another possibility is that he's posting DVD's and CD's and transferring the credits here to PBS. Which I also did.  Also, if you're seeing dashes on his profile in the books sent/received column, that does not mean he hasn't sent or received any books - it just means he has that set to private. I've been a member for almost three years now, but if you were to look at my profile I have one book listed and it doesn't appear that I've sent or recieved anything. When I've actually mailed out over 1,000 books.

 

Date Posted: 4/19/2009 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I have no idea what's going on w/ the guy selling credits, but just to add to Lori's point here is a link to the top 50 senders in the past 7 days (Completed transactions):  http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/top_50.php?t=7

The top person has 87.....75 in 3 weeks would be a lot, but definitely doable. 

Subject: paypal
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 2
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marilyn is wrong. I use paypal as my way of paying for everything, and i use only my banking account. And i have had things go sour all the time (ebay) And each and every time i have made a complaint they have ALWAYS refunded my money. Sometimes you have to wait a week or so that they can collect evidence, but I have never lost money.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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You should rely instead on your credit-card-chargeback-rights.  These rights are created by law!  Here's a link to explain those rights: http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general/credit_card_chargeback_rights.php

When I opened my PayPal account, I opened a second checking account just for PayPal transactions (when I trust the person I'm doing business with like Amazon.com or the USPS).  My second account is linked to my main account so I just go on-line and move money from my main checking account to the other account when I purchase something and pay through PayPal.

If I have money in my PayPal acocunt I immediately move it into that checking account so I won't forget and pay for an item not realizing that some of the money was coming from my PayPal account.  Finally, if I don't know or trust the person I'm doing business with, I always change the payment method to my charge card.  That leaves my credit card holder (my Credit Union) as my last line of defense.  I have had my bank come to my rescue more than a couple of times in the last year.  It seems that credit card fraud is on the rise and because of that, you need a good bank behind your credit card (preferably your local credit union).

When I buy credits, I always check to make sure that the person I am buying credits from have been a member for a while and look like they are really doing business on PBS.



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 9:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2009
Posts: 1,083
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marilyn is wrong. I use paypal as my way of paying for everything, and i use only my banking account. And i have had things go sour all the time (ebay)

I think Marilyn was talking about taking the money from your PayPal accunt, not from a back-up bank account.  And if you have always had PayPal refund your money, you are EXTREMELY lucky.  I have had to fight them on several items I bought on E-bay where, in the end, my credit card company refunded my money.  The last one was where I bought a piece of software that turned out to be bootlegged software.  I had evidence from the manufacturer of the software that it was a bootleg copy, but PayPal still refused to refund my money because "I received the item".  They don't seem to care if you receive something that is illegal!  For this reason I always pay for things I buy on E-bay through my credit card on PayPal.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2009
Posts: 2,524
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I thought you were talking about a certain person who sells credits often in book bazaar. His story is that he sells in the sister site and gets his credits that way.  I've wondered about it because he sells tons of credits really cheap. Interestingly the date they joined PBS is exactly the same for both of them. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2008
Posts: 16,558
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There are several people in the Bazaar that post when they are selling credits. I have a buddy that I usually buy from, but when I want a better deal I go there and look for someone that has people recommending them. When I have a deal go through with great results (i.e. I receive my credits), I post in their thread to let people know that I had a good experience.

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 770
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I have never bought credits on the bazaar because I am afraid of getting burned.  I have never needed to buy them, but I think if I did I would just buy them in the PBS kiosk.  I know they aren't as cheap as I can get them in the bazaar, but I feel like I'm doing my part to support PBS.  Just my 2 cents :)

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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It's probably someone with access to a lot of cheap DVDS or CDS (which are cheaper to mail than books) who transfers the credits here because 2 CD/DVD credits are worth 3 PBS credits.  I kind of wish they'd put a cap on how many credits people can sell a month because it seems like a few people are using the sites together to make money.  Before people started doing this you could resell credits in the BB for $3.00-$3.25.  Now they go for as low as $2.30 sometimes which doesn't even cover media mail posted. 

I've sold credits before and know first hadn that it's possible to earn a lot of credits in a short amount of time. I earned around 100 the first month I was on PBS. Probably around 300 the first year.  I had a stockpile of WL audiobooks that I had been saving for a run up to Half-price books (it was a 90min drive at the time) and a lot of WL print books to post. 

I probably wouldn't ever buy credits because I always have WL books on hand I can read and post. But if I did I would probably a little more and buy from someone who is active in PBS beyond just selling credits.  Someone who posts regularly, has their PBS stats desplayed and a profile.  I'd also just buy a few to begin with and then buy more from the person if they gave me my credits quickly. 

Date Posted: 2/19/2010 10:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Nevermind. The OP is super old.



Last Edited on: 2/19/10 10:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/20/2010 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Mary has the right answer. I've seen several members that have gotten tons of credits off the sister sites, then come over here to sell them. Nothing illegal or fishy about it, really, just seems that way if you didn't think about someone having access to lots of overrun DVDs & CDs.  I know of at least two people that sell them really cheap and look like new, limited active members over here, but if you were to go look at their sister site accounts, they've done some major business.

i agree there should be some kind of cap put on this doings, but I don't really know how PBS could legally do it. I mean, they earned the credits fair and square, and they are selling them above board, albeit sometimes unsolicited, but not illegally or sneakily even. I just wonder what kind of cap theory/feature/action they could possibly use. The biggest problem with it is that it totally deflates the value of the credits over here, and the general PBS member can't get a decent price for them because those from the sister sites are degrading the credits over here.

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