Scammers are using Facebook Marketplace and Venmo to steal camera gear
Following multiple instances of camera store burglaries earlier this year, a new report from The Verge sheds light on an ongoing scam that uses Facebook Marketplace and payment system Venmo to steal camera gear from unsuspecting sellers. According to victims interviewed for the report, scammers operating under the name 'Andy Mai' and variations of it have made off with at least $25,000 worth of camera gear.
The scam is simple but devious in nature, and it depends on sellers being unfamiliar with Venmo and its policies. After contacting a seller, one of the scammers will request to pay for the camera gear using Venmo; if the seller agrees, the payment is made via a large batch of small, rapid transactions. Though sellers report having found this odd at the time, the money appeared to be safely in the sellers' possession, and so they proceeded with handing over the equipment to the 'buyer.'
Upon trying to transfer the money to a bank account, however, the seller discovers that the transfer has been halted and the account frozen. The reason, according to the victims, was cited as a violation of Venmo policy which forbids using the platform to receive money for selling items. About 20 sellers, all in the Los Angeles area, reported being hit with the same scam over the course of two weeks.
The Verge states that out of the 20 or so alleged victims who have come forward, they were able to verify four of the thefts and that those thefts alone totaled $25,000; actual victim losses are expected to be much higher. In a statement on the matter, a Venmo spokesperson told The Verge that it 'strongly' cautions its users to only receive payments from known, trusted individuals. Though Venmo has fraud protections in place, those protections failed to prevent fraudulent transactions from being made to the victims.
The individuals behind the camera thefts are unknown, though the use of the same name—Andy Mai—indicates they're working together under some singular scamming collective. The total number of victims is unknown, but it is safe to assume that these scams are ongoing, and anyone selling camera gear should stay on alert for them.
|Llyod's Building Elevators by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Your City - Elevators
|Fire Lake by bbadgett|
|Tail Fins...1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille by J Warren|
from Car Shows 2018
The app's algorithms have been trained using using 200 million cropping data points from real photographers.
Thanks to a software update, the Loupedeck+ editing console can now be used for video editing.
British photographic engineer MTF Services is claiming the world’s first third-party lens adapters for the new Nikon Z system with a collection of four units designed to allow cinema lenses to be mounted on the mirrorless full frame bodies.
Think Tank Photo has updated its line of heavy-duty rain covers and introduced a new, compact version for emergency situations.
The X-T3 is our first opportunity to analyze what's likely to be Fujifilm's next generation image sensor. Take a look at how it performs next to the competition in our studio test scene.
Canon's new normal is seriously sharp wide open. After shooting with it for a few days, we've prepared a gallery of real-world sample images.
Nikon will cease offering Brazil-based customer service and technical support, though the company stresses that it will still offer technical assistance and warranty repairs for valid warranties.
Two years ago, CatLABS of JP announced a plan to save Packfilm from the dead. Now, it's announced it's giving up its efforts to better focus its resources elsewhere.
The GoPro Fusion is designed to make it easy to capture 360-degree video and stills. We took it out recently on a typically hot Seattle summer day to see what it can do.
We've got our hands on a full-production Nikon Z7 camera and have updated our gallery with additional samples.
A new Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for Chroma Chrono, a programmable RGB camera flash that emits multiple colors during long exposures.
Think Tank Photo has launched a new lineup of six dual-access, water-resistant protective lens cases it calls Lens Case Duo.
Canon and Nikon finally entered the full-frame mirrorless market this summer with the brand-new RF and Z mounts. Now that we've had some time with the cameras, we wanted to revisit our earlier predictions and take stock.
The devices' camera specs look pretty much identical to last year's iPhone X but under the hood a number of important improvements have been made.
Blackmagic Design has announced the public beta of its new Blackmagic RAW video codec. The company says the new format combines the benefits of shooting Raw video with the ease of use and smaller file sizes usually associated with non-Raw video files.
Serif, the company behind the Affinity suite, has announced the latest update for its mobile Photoshop competitor Affinity Photo for iPad.
The Atomos Ninja V external video recorder and monitor will be ready to ship at the end of this month. The 5.2in Ninja V is designed to provide a smaller option, while still offering many of the features of the larger 7-inch models.
Having shot with the camera, spoken to Canon and read the tea leaves, here's what DPR Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks the EOS R tells us about Canon and the RF's mount's future.
After last week's teaser, lighting manufacturer Profoto has announced its 'small big' new product. The B10 is designed to be used as studio flash head but in a very small body, and has a powerful continuous light source for videographers as well.
Konseen has launched Photo Studio, a new light box tent large enough to photograph people, as well as objects.
Seagate has introduced new high-capacity hard drives for Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices: the 14TB IronWolf and 14TB IronWolf Pro HDDs.
The case was first announced earlier this year as a Kickstarter campaign and comes with a range of features aimed at iPhone photographers.
Manfrotto has introduced a new two-in-one tripod to its Befree lineup. Called the Befree 2N1, this new addition is both a tripod and monopod in one and is available with both of Manfrotto's locking mechanisms.
This new high dynamic range editing software comes with an AI-powered Quantum HDR Engine for improved photo merging.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone X in the form of three variants: the 5.8" iPhone XS and 6.5" iPhone XS Max with OLED screens, and the 6.1" iPhone XR with an LCD and single rear camera.
Ahead of the launch of the CamRanger II the company has announced a mini version of its wireless remote control system that it says has a longer range than the original in a body half the size.
Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced a trio of fast cinema lenses for full-frame camera systems, that it says will also be available in the future in the LPL mount for Arri’s large format camera system.
LumaPod is a a new tripod being funded on Kickstarter that takes just four seconds to set up and uses patented tension technology to keep your shots steady in a compact design.
X-Rite ColorChecker Video XL is an oversized color target for wide-angle, long distance, and aerial shooting.