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LesMiner
11-13-2016, 06:48 PM
I got a bizarre email from a New Jersey law enforcement detective. He contacted me as someone who purchased an eTap kit via eBay. He described how a shipment was stolen then to a pawn shop and finally sold through eBay. He wants serial number information and other information to build a case I guess. He is not out to charge me over the theft or anything.

I am skeptical because I heard of this several months ago from an LBS. So why the long delay getting to me? I don't want to get into some kind of scam. Contacts through email posing as government is suspicious. Anyone else hear of this?

bjf
11-13-2016, 06:54 PM
Ask for a badge number and precinct information, including phone number. Call them before you give out any information.

seric
11-13-2016, 06:56 PM
My first reaction would be to think it was a scam. Could you post the email with full header information? That would provide more context to ascertain rather or not it was a scam. Any email content claiming the message cannot be shared is usually non-enforcable as a unilateral contact. Although, I'm not a lawyer.

rrudoff
11-13-2016, 07:21 PM
And check that the phone number is for a real precinct. Sounds very fishy

vqdriver
11-13-2016, 08:59 PM
Screw that.
If you feel compelled to reply, tell him you will provide info in person at your local station if he wants it. Otherwise, any, ANY, info request from an unknown via email is suspicious

slowgoing
11-13-2016, 09:02 PM
block sender


although it is interesting that he knew you had an etap.

Black Dog
11-13-2016, 09:11 PM
block sender


although it is interesting that he knew you had an etap.

Maybe there is a security vuneralbility in e-tap that allows folks to hack into it and get the personal info of the owners...;)

sonicCows
11-13-2016, 09:58 PM
Wow, a lot of tinfoil hats worn here :rolleyes:

Haven't heard of email scams reaching out about eTap purchases; lots of emails about Nigerian princes and tax bonuses though! I would do the obvious and ask for clarification; if you bought an eTap kit on eBay that turned out to be stolen property, it makes sense that they traced you via eBay and got your email that way. I've filed police reports and the detective's followed up through email- sure it's not immune to fraud but if you do basic due diligence you should be fine.

BTW, I'm sure you know that possession of stolen property (knowingly) is a crime, and even if they don't charge you you could get it confiscated. Good luck!

pbarry
11-13-2016, 10:31 PM
Dispute resolution may be the way to go if this is legit. You need to go through ebay to get your $$ back, despite whatever happens with the PD.

dave thompson
11-13-2016, 10:55 PM
Wow, a lot of tinfoil hats worn here :rolleyes:

Haven't heard of email scams reaching out about eTap purchases; lots of emails about Nigerian princes and tax bonuses though! I would do the obvious and ask for clarification; if you bought an eTap kit on eBay that turned out to be stolen property, it makes sense that they traced you via eBay and got your email that way. I've filed police reports and the detective's followed up through email- sure it's not immune to fraud but if you do basic due diligence you should be fine.

BTW, I'm sure you know that possession of stolen property (knowingly) is a crime, and even if they don't charge you you could get it confiscated. Good luck!
Until the bona fides of the 'detective' are established, the OP has every obligation to be wary of scams. There are some folks perpetrating some very sophisticated ways designed to steal others money.

Cicli
11-14-2016, 04:26 AM
Until the bona fides of the 'detective' are established, the OP has every obligation to be wary of scams. There are some folks perpetrating some very sophisticated ways designed to steal others money.

Agreed. I wouldnt trust it.

My money is is you delete it, that may be the end of it.

oldpotatoe
11-14-2016, 06:36 AM
Ask for a badge number and precinct information, including phone number. Call them before you give out any information.

What he said..and you'll know when he hangs up.

zank
11-14-2016, 06:47 AM
Or call sram. I'm sure they can fill you in.

AngryScientist
11-14-2016, 06:59 AM
i know there are ways of faking it, but out of curiosity - what is the email address of the sender? obviously it's a scam if it's a gmail, yahoo, or other non .gov or state email server.

cyber security, and all the issues surrounding it are a huge deal today. every email from a completely unknown sender should be treated as suspect; and from what the OP is describing, this one certainly sounds like the makings of a scam.

any "professional" sending business related emails should include their pertinent information in the signature line (or elsewhere) in email correspondence. if this sender did not include their full name, professional title, badge number, precinct title and mailing address, and a contact phone number, just delete the email IMO.

ColonelJLloyd
11-14-2016, 07:22 AM
Their first communication is via email and not a phone call whose number can be verified? Scam.

bikinchris
11-14-2016, 07:30 AM
Their first communication is via email and not a phone call whose number can be verified? Scam.

In this age, telephone numbers can be made to appear to be anything.

Davist
11-14-2016, 08:17 AM
Definitely get the bona fides.

Like my comment on the Parlee for $800 though, no shortage of stolen goods being fenced on Ebay. Known issue and they ignore it. Car parts?! fuggedaboutit.. chop shop heaven..

mg2ride
11-14-2016, 08:58 AM
Even if it is the real deal.

You have nothing to gain by giving him ANY information.

ColonelJLloyd
11-14-2016, 09:20 AM
In this age, telephone numbers can be made to appear to be anything.

That's beside the point. They emailed first, so we can conclude it's a scam.

If they were to have called, then you Google another number for the agency and call to confirm.

parris
11-14-2016, 09:33 AM
I'm calling scam on the e-mail. Jersey to Minnesota for what in the scheme of things is not that expensive? How many cars, houses, people are ripped off every day in New Jersey to say nothing of much more serious crime? They're not going to expend limited resources for something like this.

franswa
11-14-2016, 09:33 AM
When I was managing a bike shop I had a police investigator make first contact via email with regards to a few stolen Colnagos.

benb
11-14-2016, 09:41 AM
Anything in email that is unsolicited needs to be treated with huge skepticism!

I just got email a week or two ago from an Escrow agent saying they had $$ in escrow for me held due to a stock transaction from an acquisition of a privately held company I used to work for. 5 Alarm Scam Alert! Took me several days of talking to the lawyers who worked the M & A, HR at the old company, ex co-workers, etc.. to finally determine it was legit. This was really sensitive as they wanted me to send a W9!

The issue was unsolicited email that was not personalized, did not have a personal contact info, and they had changed the name of their company since the acquisition occurred.

It strikes me as super odd for LE to ever reach out first via email.

gdw
11-14-2016, 09:43 AM
+1 on calling the department he claims to work for and see if he is legit. You don't need a stinking badge number or precinct unless he is from a city and even then it probably isn't necessary.

charliedid
11-14-2016, 09:56 AM
Maybe I am just stupid but how would he have both your email and knowledge that you purchased this?

Did you contact Ebay?

Birddog
11-14-2016, 09:59 AM
Several years ago, I received a similar notice from a Colorado Springs Police det. I can't remember if it was by phone or by E-Mail, but i think it was by phone. Anyway, he faxed me the forms and I filled them out and sent him my E -Bay and PayPal receipts for a crankset I purchased. He was way over the top thankful that I had saved the copies from this transaction as it had been a few years since purchase, and he said this alone would nail the guy as everything up to that point in his investigation had been less than perfect.

This was the case involving the employee at Colorado Cyclist that had been stealing inventory and selling it on E-Bay. I'm sure the detective managed to get other proof, but he was really thankful to me. It was a simple matter for him to let me call him on his line to prove his position. The bottom line is that I had saved an electronic "paper trail" with E-Mails back and forth from the perp and it was good enough to convict the dude. I've always felt good about the fact that I helped convict that a$$hole.

FlashUNC
11-14-2016, 10:58 AM
I'm calling scam on the e-mail. Jersey to Minnesota for what in the scheme of things is not that expensive? How many cars, houses, people are ripped off every day in New Jersey to say nothing of much more serious crime? They're not going to expend limited resources for something like this.

If it was a shipment of several eTap groups that was stolen and then parceled out, that turns into a pretty sizable dollar amount fairly quickly.

adrien
11-14-2016, 01:45 PM
If it was a shipment of several eTap groups that was stolen and then parceled out, that turns into a pretty sizable dollar amount fairly quickly.

Threshold for felony theft can vary. Here, (VA) I believe it is $500.

chiasticon
11-14-2016, 01:53 PM
Maybe I am just stupid but how would he have both your email and knowledge that you purchased this?this was my thought. unless it's the seller trying to get you to send the group back to him because it's "evidence" now? but that doesn't seem to be the case.

still, I wouldn't give out any personal info until you're sure it's legit.

jr59
11-14-2016, 02:03 PM
Or call sram. I'm sure they can fill you in.

this is a good idea, then contact the PD.

zmudshark
11-14-2016, 02:15 PM
Maybe I am just stupid but how would he have both your email and knowledge that you purchased this?

Did you contact Ebay?From eBay.

I think it is probably legit.

unterhausen
11-14-2016, 02:31 PM
Threshold for felony theft can vary. Here, (VA) I believe it is $500.

I was thinking that most PD's wouldn't be interested in this sale, but the original crime was big enough to get any law enforcement agency's attention
The seller should be able to lead them to the thieves, if he wasn't one of them

charliedid
11-14-2016, 02:36 PM
From eBay.

I think it is probably legit.

That's what I mean. Wouldn't Ebay have to have divulged this info?

I would tread carefully but I wouldn't disregard it as a scam. Email is a rather common form of communication :-)

chiasticon
11-14-2016, 02:36 PM
From eBay.

I think it is probably legit.well yeah, that's the implication: why are you questioning the legitimacy, when it would be hard for anyone to have your contact info and know you purchased this item otherwise?

zmudshark
11-14-2016, 02:36 PM
I was thinking that most PD's wouldn't be interested in this sale, but the original crime was big enough to get any law enforcement agency's attention
The seller should be able to lead them to the thieves, if he wasn't one of themYou are assuming that the single eTap was the only thing stolen in the (possible) theft and that the rightful owner has no clout with local law enforcement. :no:

adrien
11-14-2016, 02:46 PM
I was thinking that most PD's wouldn't be interested in this sale, but the original crime was big enough to get any law enforcement agency's attention
The seller should be able to lead them to the thieves, if he wasn't one of them

Isn't there also an interstate commerce law that would kick this into a higher offence?