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Online Fraud: Drop Shipped LEGO, etc. (eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Bricklink, etc.)

This discussion was created from comments split from: Ebay Drop Shipping from LEGO.
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Comments

  • edited May 2012
    I made my first and only order from Bricklink back in July from a seller in England who offered great prices for big sets. The funny thing was that everything that was ordered was dropshipped directly from LEGO, and what really got a big hummm from me was that the bonus police motorcyle set was included - a promotion that came with every LEGO purchase, and one I did not order. It gave me pause, but I didn't know if this was usual with bricklink orders (it's not Ebay), so I didn't go further. However, I didn't order anymore from the selller, didn't feel comfortable to leave any feedback, and he continued to get good reviews. Until today, when I checked and his store was suspended due to an investigation on him using identity theft to make purchases.

    Just my luck that my first bricklink order might turn out to be a scam. I'm going to call LEGO tomorrow and see if I'm affected in any way.

    Can you tell this bricklink newbie, whether or not if an order is dropshipped from LEGO that alarm bells should start ringing?
  • Short Answer - Yes. It's highly suspicious, as for resale sets, S@H is probably the last place sellers would get them from, and you say that they were at 'great prices'. If this was genuine, the seller would probably be loosing money.
  • edited October 2011
    ^There was no indication from his storefront that the set was being shipped directly from LEGO.com. The first time I knew that it was LEGO was seeing the invoice with the big iconic red and yellow logo and the kicker, the bonus police motorcycle.

    I was under the mistaken impression that Bricklink was a safer place to buy LEGO, community marketplace and all. I should have gone with my instincts and said something. His feedback was all positive, his store had been open for a few months, was he a LEGO employee using his employee discount and making some extra money on the side, would he get in trouble if I piped up - a lot of uneasiness.

    Might now just ask a seller before purchasing from where the item is being shipped. If it's Denmark and the seller ain't Danish.....
  • I think I've heard of this happening before, maybe on eBay: the buyer uses a forged/stolen credit card to place the order at LEGO.com and then gets the sets shipped to you.

  • Yea I've heard of this happening before.. I don't remember the exact details and I don't mean to alarm you, but if I remember correctly what happens is then LEGO gets stuck with a bill and I think it will cause problems when you try to order from LEGO again because they'll flag your address and wont want to ship to you again thinking it was your address that gave them fraudulent billing info.
  • I have had this happen several times on ebay but not Bricklink. The sets that this happened with were priced $5 to $15 below what the low price was with free shipping. They were shipped from Lego S@H, Walmart and Target. I contact the companys and send any info they request.

    The first I heard of this is when Lego S@H cancelled an order and sent an e-mail to contact them. They were very understanding and after I sent them the invoices from ebay they shipped my order.
  • This happened to me one time on ebay - the item shipped from Barnes & Noble! I thought maybe the person was trying to use up a gift card, but these more cynical/realistic explanations are more convincing. :(
  • Just did this on some eBay items, the prices were really good, but then so was the feedback. One of the sellers had nearly a thousand feedback, including a ton of Lego sold...

    Picked up five 10210 for $150 USD shipped each. That is WAY below what they should cost, they each came in a separate box, directly from Lego, with different "bill to" names.

    I asked the seller why, never got a reply.

    Might just e-mail Lego and ask them what is up.
  • edited October 2011
    Update: Called LEGO, and they confirmed that the order was flagged and they put me on hold while they checked. Said that I could still order from them, but I would need to set up a new customer number. They were very understanding.

    Couple of siren bells: the billing adddress was my address (!), but the seller used a Visa card that wasn't mine. How the order went through, I don't know. The invoice itself doesn't show any billing info.

    I went through my old emails with the seller, and he mentions order ïs "processed with our supplier."'

    I bought the Fire Brigade for 70 pounds, 30% off the MSRP 100 pounds, and an additional 10 pounds for shipping.

    Like others have said, if your order is dropshipped directly from LEGO or other big-box retailer and you bought it from Ebay, Bricklink, Amazon., call LEGO immediately. The seller is not a LEGO employee, is not using unwanted gift cards, or amassing VIP points on your order, etc,. It's a scam, and from the above posts, it's happening more and more.

    @LegoFanTexas, call LEGO ASAP.
  • What is interesting is that the bill to address was on each of the packing slips, and it was different for each order.

    I had figured it was a Lego employee using their discount to place orders for "family" as gifts. Not really my concern if that is the case, that would be between Lego and the employee.

    If it is a scam or theft, that is another matter completely.
  • Why would you knowingly buy something like this. You know it's "HOT". Even if you try and rationalize it by thinking it's some "employee discount", don't you think there would be a restriction on reselling the item? Also, if you further rationalize that you're "safe" because you use your credit card and if you get scammed you'll get refunded, think about people that don't use/have credit cards. That loss is built into the price.
  • This actually happened to me when I got my Cafe Corner. I won an auction on eBay for it right around when it retired. While I was waiting for it in the mail, I ended up getting a notification email from eBay saying that the user I bought the set from has had their account suspended for possibly being hacked. And all I could think was that I just lost out on my $140. But to my luck I got the shipment a couple days later. But then it had been drop shipped from Walmart.com That really pointed out to me that something wasn't right.
    This also caused some problems next time I tried to order from LEGO through S@H and my order was placed on hold and had to call customer service since LEGO put a red flag on my credit card due to my eBay order.
    But all I can say everything is well between LEGO and I, and I'm just glad I was able to get the Cafe Corner before the prices sky rocketed :-)
  • @asherkobin, I disagree. Is 30% off the Fire Brigade ""HOT"? I've gotten the Grand Emporium for 101 euros from Amazon and the Imperial Flagship for 98 euros off avenuedesjeux - both big sets, both discounts about 30%, both from legitimate online retailers. TRU's B2G1 free will net you 33% in savings. What I think is 'HOT' is 200 euros for a MISB USC Millenium Falcon, a discontinued set at 80% off its lowest used price of $1000. Now that is a smoking delusional price.

    Also, I'm not sure where you're quoting the "safe"' comment from regarding credit card refunds. No one said it, and the first mention of rationalizing these purchases cause if "you get scammed you'll get refunded" is from you. Bricklink is not a "safer"place to buy LEGO just because it is mainly made up of fans who share a common love of LEGO, I have learnt. These scams have cost LEGO dearly, but go point your finger at someone else who takes their purchase with less care and thought for their favourite toy company.


  • I did not buy more from that seller, I would not support such theft if I know about it.

    No way to know at the time, $145 for a $180 Lego set is not so cheap as to be unreasonable, such sales do happen, and I didn't know they were coming from Lego directly either.
  • Myself and a couple hundred other people bought some LEGO sets from an Amazon marketplace seller back at the end of August. In my case it was the 7965 Falcon for about $97 shipped. This was a good price, but not so good to make you immediately think scam. Apparently some others paid ~$325 for Death Stars - again, good price, but not so good to make you think it was fraudulent. All items were supposed to ship by Parcel Post, and indicated 2 to 3 weeks for delivery.

    Low and behold the end of September rolls around and all 200 of us haven't received our items, we've all contacted Amazon, gave the user bad feedback,etc. The guy clearly never shipped a thing. He probably withdrew the cash from his (phony) bank account, and high-tailed it out of town. We'll all get our money back of course, but Amazon is going to eat $20,000 to $30,000 on this. Hopefully they catch up to the guy eventually and throw his butt in jail.

    This was one of the "smarter" scams I've seen - prices good enough to generate a high volume of quick sales, but not so good to be an obvious ripoff. Promised slow shipping times (which people are ok with because of the price), which allow the scammer to collect more orders and get clear with the money before people catch on to him.

    Worst part was that I found this guy through a Brickset post! ;-)
  • I bit that one as well, bought two 10188 and two 10195 from him, never did get anything either, but Amazon has already refunded my money.

    If Amazon was smart, they held most of the funds anyway so the scammer should not have gotten away with much. Amazon has done longer holds for newer sellers recently, because of just this sort of thing.
  • Well I am glad that I haven't bought any new or soon to be retired sets off of eBay, Amazon, etc. Sets I am looking for have been retired for a few years now, if not longer. But yeah, gotta be careful now and days with our money.
  • edited April 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to quickly introduce myself on here and will post on a few other forums here to notify you of my contact information for fraud related Lego sales. My name is Thor Magnussen and I now work for Lego; I'm here to help combat the fraudulent sales on sites like ebay, ecrater and this site as well.

    If any of you have information related to fraudulent sellers please contact me via email at Thor.Magnussen@lego.com

    Thank you,

    Thor Magnussen

    UPDATE 19 April 2012: Going forward please send all of your questions/notifications of possible fraud to LossPrevention@LEGO.com
  • HuwHuw
    edited December 2011
    Welcome Thor. I've created a new discussion and annouced it to ensure it gets seen.

    It's good to see LEGO is taking this seriously and I hope you can stamp it out. One obvious solution would be to only ship to the cardholder's address but I presume there are reasons you don't want to do that.

    Huw -- site owner
  • Such an absurdly simply fix that would be... yet, also totally unfair to legitimate buyers. "What do you mean I can't ship this direct to my grandson for his birthday??"
  • Or ship to myself at a different addy, like my place of employment. No way would I ship to my house - no one is there during delivery hours, and there is no protection from thieves or the elements on my porch, and I live in the rainy PNW. I would have to stop ordering from S@H if they implemented that. :(

    I am glad for this site as a new AFOL, to be able to learn about this scam in such detail before I step into a pile of doody ordering something off Ebay, so thank you!

    First post, by the way. Hi!
  • Many companies in the UK insist on the first order you place with them being delivered to the cardholder's address, but after that they allow anywhere.
  • I understand the reasoning for using cardholder address to combat fraud, but I've never used my home address for any of my (many) online Lego purchases. I live alone and when you work Mon-Fri, you're never home when the courier calls - nor is it easy to work out which day the courier might deliver so you can book the day off to be at home.

    If a cardholder address policy was introduced, that would be the end of my online Lego buying days. I can understand it for first orders though, and then it being relaxed when it's a verified legitimate transaction.

    Glad to see that Lego are taking this seriously.
  • @thor860 what kind of information are you looking for? I've only had one problem order through eBay a while back that I had to resolve with Lego customer service to get my account unfrozen
  • I recently purchased a 40 euro train ticket on SNCF's (French railway) website with the credit card issued by my bank. In contrast to the other times I had purchased a ticket, when I clicked to validate my order, I was directed to a Verified by Visa page with a box to enter a number. Whilst looking at this page in some confusion, my phone rang. It was an automated call from my bank issuing me the code to enter in order to validate the order. Once I did, the order went through.

    How did the bank know to call me? Easy, it called the number I registered when I opened my bank account. The Verified by Visa security feature automatically triggered the automated call to that same number. It was an extra step that took less than a minute.

    I think this feature is brilliant: 1) it prevents the finalization of fraudulent purchases, and 2)it acts as a heads-up. The automated call was triggered to your phone number when your credit card was used, but, wait, you made NO such order? You would know right away that your credit card had been used by someone else.
  • I agree with streeker.
    My wife was just had a similar call from our bank. She was doing an online transfer and had to confirm it was her when they called her back by keying in a 4 digit code from the screen. Simple and quick solution.
  • edited December 2011
    Here is a simple solution. As all of the fraudulent drop shippers are from overseas if you receive a credit card order online where the billing address and the delivery address are both in the USA while the IP address the order is placed from is in the UK or some other country you might want to place a courtesy call to the cardholder to verify the order is legitimate. Seems elementary to me.
  • Hello everyone,

    I'd like to quickly introduce myself on here and will post on a few other forums here to notify you of my contact information for fraud related Lego sales. My name is Thor Magnussen and I now work for Lego; I'm here to help combat the fraudulent sales on sites like ebay, ecrater and this site as well.

    If any of you have information related to fraudulent sellers please contact me via email at Thor.Magnussen@lego.com

    Thank you,

    Thor Magnussen
    Good to know that LEGO is taking this issue more seriously.

    It sounds like your focus is on catching fraudster. I wonder how affective such a strategy can be...

    Many of us are just as interested in making transactions at shop.lego.com safer - to protect third party victims as well as ourselves. Do you have any plans along those lines?
  • Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode are the best solution I know about...

    On top of that, I'd require a phone call to the card order for the first order on an account shipped other than to the billing address. It is worth the minute it takes.
  • Verified by Visa and Mastercard Securecode are the best solution I know about...

    On top of that, I'd require a phone call to the card order for the first order on an account shipped other than to the billing address. It is worth the minute it takes.
    I think you are right. But I have a feeling LEGO will not go for that as it will make purchasing (and impulse purchasing in particular) a bit harder. Would they do something that might cut into revenue?
  • @DaddyWhale - TRU.com does MasterCard SecureCode... if TRU does it, I'd imagine anyone will. lol

    Brent
  • Great that this is being taken seriously. Agreed that verified by visa is a simple addition. Even if it's just for the first order or for ones not going to the card holder's address.
  • I hope this is legitimate, but has anyone verified the authenticity of Thor? He hasn't responded to any of the posts since leaving the initial one. And in re-reading the post there are definitely some grammatical mistakes/choppy english which always makes me wonder.

    Not to be skeptical, just wondering.
  • ^I saw that. Wasn't sure if that was the right e-mail for the company or not. Didn't know if it was @tlg.com or something, but I guess you mods would know. Again, hoping it is definitely legitimate, just seemed odd that if this was his job that he wasn't responding. Maybe he's too overwhelmed hunting the fraudsters!
  • Thor is legit, his IP address is in Hartford, CT, not far from Enfield.
  • Thank goodness. I am always searching ebay for good deals - and have been shy on purchasing many of them due to recent fraud. It is nice to see that TLG is proactive on this... The recent wave of fraud on ebay (in regards to LEGO) has steered me away from many purchases. Rarely do I purchase new sets on ebay anymore. This new development may entice me to start purchasing new sets on ebay.
  • I see the ecrator guy is gone...finally. I'm hoping what I posted on this board helped get him.
  • I just was sent an e-mail from one of these fraudsters, I'm posting it here in hopes that it helps stop at least one of them. Of course they have my e-mail because they caught me in their scam a few weeks ago, I'm still out $180 from that and it took me several weeks to clear my name with Lego to be able to order from them again.

    --------------------------------
    Hi,

    I am an eBay seller who have sold Lego Products on eBay. I have your email because you have bought my Lego product before. I have a lot of Lego products to sell but my eBay account was suspended because I am not in US and eBay don't let me sell my products on US market.

    I send you this email because I want to find a partner who help me sell my Lego Products on eBay. I will pay you 20% commission on total sales amount if you help me sell my lego products on ebay.

    How Does It Work?

    I will give you my product information, image, price ...everything you just list on your eBay account.
    You will have orders everyday. Buyers will pay and you receive payments by paypal.
    You will forward all paypal receipts to my email. I will check orders and ship items to buyers. I also provide you tracking numbers.

    You only pay me after I have shipped items and buyers have received their items. This makes sure I ship correct items and no complaint from buyers.

    About commission: I will pay you 20% commission after ebay and paypal fees.

    For example:

    You help sell one lego item with price $100
    Listing fee: $1
    eBay final value fee: $9
    Paypal fee: $3
    Total fees: $13
    Final amount: $100 - $13 = $87
    Your commission 20% of $87 = $17.4
    You will pay me $87 - 17.4 = $69.6

    My Lego products are very hot. You can sell about 10-20 items everyday (worth $1000 - $2000). You can make $200-$400 daily.
    You only spend about 2-3 hours per day to relist items, answer question ( I will help you answer if you can't answer)
    I also need sales report from you every week.

    Please contact me if you are interested.

    Best Regards,
    I will send the e-mail header information privately to Lego, hopefully that helps them stop these criminals.
  • edited December 2011
    ^ I wonder how many staff they have recruited to 'work' for them??
  • this seller has even tried to take the scam a step further!!! This on lists their address as Olive Branch, MS!!!!!! they must be getting wise to the signs so they are changing their MO!
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/LEGO-Star-Wars-Clone-Turbo-Tank-8098-/260921780487?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc0266907#ht_1479wt_1396
  • I have been working for them and I don't understand how this is a scam - please help!
  • edited January 2012
    ^ What do you mean 'I have been working for them'? Do you mean what LegoFanTexas posted above? If so, the way it is a scam, is the seller places an order with an online retailer, using stolen credit card details, and has the retailer ship directly to the buyer.
  • Re the email above, I took them up on it, have been selling Lego on eBay and making 20% commission with no problems. I'm now worried about how this could possibly come back on me as fraud? Help!
  • I see, thanks, so what should I do? Apart from stopping selling for them!
  • First, stop any further selling activity (as you mention). You probably will want to take down any active listings with the condition that the item is no longer available.

    You can contact the LEGO person listed at the start of this thread, and eBay and PayPal. Collect and forward any contact information you have for the scammer.

  • I will contact Lego but I have contacted the "scammer" and they said they have an 'account' with Lego in the UK and everything is legitimate. As I said, I haven't had any problems yet so this all seems very strange but I want to be sure.
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