PlayTheGame.trade51.com / Scam
Okay, so this is my story... sorry it’s long…
My wife is a stay-at-home mom and she really misses being able to financially contribute to the household. She has offered to work after I get home from work even though she's tired of taking care of two kids, cleaning the house, taking and picking them up from school, going to the market, taking them to swim class, and so on. I appreciated her willingness to help provide for the family but I'd rather her look after the kids and get to sleep at a normal time. I eventually got her hooked up with eBay where she has made some money selling handbags and sandals. She really enjoyed seeing her modest return on her investment and her time. She was really excited that she was finally able to make a profit. Each time she made a sale; she re-invested her earnings and bought more items to sell. She eventually built up a little over a thousand dollars. All this time I left her to her own accord with the deals she's made so she could feel she accomplished her goals all on her own. I was a bit concerned by this because she is too trusting and not aware of how to identify the signs of a scam. Anyway, our daughter's birthday is in mid August and my wife's goal was to earn enough money to be able to pay for the whole thing. She was really looking forward to being able to say to herself that she paid for it by herself. So she took these hard-earned thousand dollars and decided to buy 10 PSP's from PlayTheGame.trade51.com in order to re-sell them at a profit that would make her money grow even more (she really wanted to go all out on Natalie's B-Day). She spoke to this guy named Dan Burman and he told her to send the money via Western Union and soon because he was leaving town to visit a customer. She took her prized 1000 dollars and honestly kept her end of the deal. Dan Burman said he would contact her the very next day to let her know the shipping information but he never emailed her. The sad reality eventually sunk in and we realized we had been taken by some over-seas crook. We have not heard from him since.
My wife is a good person and she's always gone out of her way to help others and this really upsets me because she's not the person that deserves this. The loss of the thousand dollars doesn't even compare to the loss of her spirit and motivation. She has lost her willingness and confidence to make another deal and I don't know how long it will be for her to get that back. She may never want to get involved in the resale business again. This is the problem with these scammers. They don't look at the real damage they cause to people. They think the only price people pay is the amount they were able to scam from them and not the real human toll. The money is not important to me because I've seen the devastation this deal has done to her as a person. She feels that she has failed her family and especially our daughter. You scammers out there really need to think and consider what you do to people and take up something more honest. You can't possibly spend the money you steal without feeling like a thief. Maybe this is your punishment for doing what you do. You always have to feel like a thief because you are.
True, there were warning signs out there to see. After she wept and said how sorry she was for letting us down I retraced her steps and found several red flags she obviously missed. The first one I noticed was that one of his two business addresses was a Walmart in San Diego, CA. The next thing was that even though his name was Dan Burman, he had a heavy Armenian accent. Another thing was that he would only accept Western Union (a scammer’s favorite method of payment). His website was incomplete (only enough information to act as a lure). His list of references (she contacted a few before the transaction) were all free email accounts like yahoo, hotmail, etc.
I'm going to try and re-build her confidence and teach her how to spot a scam. It's going to take some time but eventually she should return to herself again. I do intend to forward this scam to the UK Internet Fraud Unit they have created due to the high levels of scams going on in their country. Like I'm doing here, I will post my story in other internet chat rooms in hopes it keeps someone from making the same mistake. Also, I've noticed his website did not open up the last time I checked it. Apparently he must have gone on to another one of his scam sites and is waiting for another honest person to take the bait.