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To ask what to do since I've been a fool...

(170 Posts)
cantbelieveivebeensostupid Thu 15-Oct-15 19:54:43

I've name changed because frankly I'm sitting here wondering why I've been so fucking stupid!

Our combi boiler broke two weeks ago... we couldn't afford a new one (oil combi so around £3500) so looked on Ebay, found a couple that where being sold by a business seller. Rang him and he spent an hour chatting to me about my boiler helping me to try and fix it, really went above and beyond and sounded like an old school genuine guy. I got outbid on the boiler but rang him and he said he was having another coming in the next couple of days.

We were desperate since we have no hot water or heating and I agreed to buy the boiler from him. I sent the money (£900) to his bank and we agreed he would send the boiler this week. I've been calling him since Monday and his phone is going straight to voicemail and despite leaving tons of messages he's not returning my calls.

Now If I were reading this I would be screaming at the poster telling them how stupid they were to send the money. I've been had haven't I. I don't have money to buy another one and don't know what the hell I'm going to do.

Any advise very welcome but please avoid telling me how much of an idiot I am. If you knew me you would never believe I could have been so bloody stupid. I am sat here sobbing because I genuinely don't know what I'm going to do.

Fugghetaboutit Thu 15-Oct-15 19:57:01

So you paid him directly - BACs? Or through PayPal? With a credit card?

You poor thing, I hope he sends it or you get your money back.

Fugghetaboutit Thu 15-Oct-15 19:57:37

Have you tried to call your bank and see If you can stop it?

99percentchocolate Thu 15-Oct-15 19:58:05

I would leave him one last voicemail telling him that if he doesn't get back to you within an hour then you'll be reporting to the police.
Report to the police and notify your bank too.
I'm sorry this has happened to you flowers

Haggisfish Thu 15-Oct-15 19:58:34

Have you looked up his business in terms of contact details?

patterkiller Thu 15-Oct-15 20:01:22

Is he still active on eBay? I would try one last time then ring the police, then your bank.

VimFuego101 Thu 15-Oct-15 20:05:44

What's his ebay feedback like?

MagicMojito Thu 15-Oct-15 20:05:45

Agree try and get the money back through bank/PayPal if you can.

Although its not a certainty that you have been scammed. He could have lost his phone/charger, he might be at a hospital, there really could be a reasonable explanation for the silence from his end. My fingers are crossed for you flowers

Horrible situation to be in, I'd feel exactly the same as you.

cantbelieveivebeensostupid Thu 15-Oct-15 20:10:09

I did a bank transfer last Friday so too late to stop it now. I would tell anyone to never do this. I was desperate to get a boiler so this probably clouded my thinking.

I have the business address from Ebay and I've sent messages to both contact numbers.

cantbelieveivebeensostupid Thu 15-Oct-15 20:13:46

His ebay feedback was good... although only a member since May15.

However I've checked his Ebay account tonight and on the 13/10 a buyer has left negative feedback saying they've been waiting 6 weeks for their boiler and still haven't got their money back.

I'm not going to get my money back am I?

Fugghetaboutit Thu 15-Oct-15 20:14:40

Still work reporting to police and eBay to say he's a thief

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 15-Oct-15 20:15:15

Bank transfers aren't protected, so you could never have called it back. As soon as you've sent it, it's gone. I'm not sure if that will make you feel better, but at least it means you didn't miss your chance.

Small claims would be the way forward now.

First, send him a letter giving him 14 days to refund you in full or you'll be starting small claims action against him. You need to give him 14 full days. Send it recorded delivery and take a copy of the signature.

When the 14 days is up, if he's not replied or refunded you, start a small claims court claim at moneyclaim online. You'll need his address again, and any proof that you have that the £900 was for a boiler. Submit a copy of the letter you sent, too, and the proof that it was signed for. This shows the judge that you did try to resolve this out of court, which is essential.

morecoffeethanhuman Thu 15-Oct-15 20:16:08

All you can do is as pp say. Report to police - it wasn't the best move, but you do have a verbal contract with a small business. Call the police & hope for the best

RosalitaJumpALittleHigher Thu 15-Oct-15 20:18:25

Phone ebay for advice if you haven't already done so - their customer service is really helpful in my experience and good luck.

StarTravels Thu 15-Oct-15 20:23:33

Call your bank, they can sometimes pull the money back.

BigOCupOfTea Thu 15-Oct-15 20:26:03

I'm not sure the police can do anything as it seems to be more of a civil matter?

ToTheGups Thu 15-Oct-15 20:27:06

Sorry no advice but I really hope you get your money back.

LoopiusMaximus Thu 15-Oct-15 20:49:37

If you think you've been a victim of a fraud or scam then contact 'Action Fraud' ASAP and then contact eBay. A similar thing happened to me last year via a different auction site. I contacted Action Fraud and explained i'd made a bank transfer and not received the promised goods. As I had the scammers bank details, they were able to track them down. He/she was arrested (I assume they had done the same to numerous people) and I'm waiting to be informed of the outcome. I was very warey of scammers previous to this and like you thought I'd be the last person it'd happen to. I even asked the fraudster for proof that he/she was genuine and still managed to get conned blush

PorcupineNecktie Thu 15-Oct-15 21:03:30

- Make a note of all the details on his Ebay profile, and take screenshots if you can (if you're on Chrome or Firefox, you can add extensions that help you do this more easily; search for "add screenshot extension" and you should find one)

- Report him to the police: both your local force and his local one, if you know his business address

- Send him a formal letter (or email, if you don't have his address) stating everything that has happened, including dates and times of money sent, and any details you have re. when he said he'd send the boiler. If you can get a lawyer or similar to look over this, so much the better! If not, at least have a friend take a look at it - it should be formally worded and should also give him a cut-off point, e.g. "If I have received no further communications before [DATE] then I will be taking this matter to court".

- If you can, see if you can find a reasonably priced private investigator in your area who can track down whether (a) he is who he claims to be and (b) whether the business is legitimate. They will also be able to help you with serving him with the formal letter.

- Probably also worth talking to your bank even if the payment has left the account; if it does end up going to court it'll be in your interest to be able to demonstrate that you've taken as many steps as possible.

I'm so sorry this has happened, we all have those desperate moments when our brains work against us! I hope you manage to get it sorted out! flowers wine

PorcupineNecktie Thu 15-Oct-15 21:04:32

Oh and I second Loopius' suggestion, contacting ActionFraud is also an excellent idea!

cantbelieveivebeensostupid Thu 15-Oct-15 21:19:25

Thank you all for some great advice flowers

We really are desperately poor at the moment, even though DH works full time and me only part time due to childcare costs, so lawyers are out of the question. That £900 was all we had in the world and we are going to have to try to get a loan to try and find another second hand oil boiler that we can't really afford to do! We must try though or we will have no hot water or heating which would be fine if it was just DH and me but with dc it's not doable. I truly feel sick to my stomach and can't stop sobbing at my stupidity!

I will contact Action Fraud and Ebay and start the ball rolling. I will also write to him advising I will be going to the small claims courts to retrieve my money.

SimLondon Thu 15-Oct-15 21:57:34

You can get a solicitor's debt recovery letter before action sent for about £10-£20

LeftMyRidingCropInTheMortuary Thu 15-Oct-15 22:02:47

Op the guy running off with your money may have been a blessing in disguise. Dodgy boilers can kill via carbon monoxide.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Thu 15-Oct-15 22:12:27

Did you buy anything via eBay? Was their an auction for this?

Or were you outbid on eBay, and then did an off ebay transaction?

It doesn't matter, you can still do a letter before action and small claims, but it'll affect what eBay can do to help.

ThatsDissapointing Thu 15-Oct-15 22:17:31

I guess it was a mobile number that you contacted him on?

Have you tried googling every bit of info you have on him?

His name, address, phone number etc etc. you can try and look at his address on street view etc. Did his accent match where he is claiming to live. Has he got any listings at the minute?

I think there is a possibility it's not fraud. (fingers crossed) He might just be useless or something might have come up.

I'm not sure how helpful EBay will be considering it was an off eBay transaction.

I hope it works out. Keep us posted.

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