Monday, July 23, 2007

eBay fraudster loses home and car (UK)

A Tolworth man jailed for Kingston's biggest ever counterfeit scam has been ordered by Kingston Crown Court to sell his flat and his car to pay back the profits of his crime.

Simon Waugh, 45, was jailed for 12 months in March after building up a criminal business with a £170,000-a-year turnover by importing fake designer clothes from India and selling them as genuine on eBay.

He appeared in Kingston Crown Court on Monday for a confiscation hearing, in which Judge Campbell ordered him to sell his flat in Tolworth Close and his Vauxhall Cavalier car to pay back £55,000, about one third of the proceeds from the scam.

The money will be divided between the Treasury, the Crown Prosecution Service and the trading standards department at Kingston council - with the council believed to be receiving about £18,000 for its role in the investigation.

source article

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Know what you're buying before bidding online

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The grungy hotel room was reeking of smoke. The bathtub was rusty. The bedspread and furnishings were dingy relics.

But I couldn't leave.

I'd already paid $155 in an online travel auction for the Queen Mary Hotel room -- $91 for the room, $20 commission, $24 in taxes and $20 to upgrade to a room with a window. I'd taken a risk. And lost.

Online travel auctions promise fabulous bargains on vacations, hotels and airfare to glamorous places, playing on travelers' desires to get a steal of a deal. Sometimes they work out wonderfully. Sometimes they don't.

"Since the beginning of man, people have always wanted more for less," says Greg Donewar, manager of the federal Internet Crime Complaint Center in Fairmont, W.Va.

"If it sounds too good to be true, beware."

Ah, the old caveat emptor.

complete article here