The Argentina "Scam"

Nov 08, 2019

Ever since I first became interested in firearms, the two guns I have always wanted were an FG42 and a Vickers K. Well I finally purchased a Vickers K after 54 years, but this tale is about an original FG42.

A well meaning individual on CGN sent me a link on the Internet showing an FG42 for sale, she looked in great shape, complete with original scope - so the purchase began; this was in Dec 2004.

After exchanging numerous e-mails, including copies of personal ID, Passport, drivers Licence etc. to confirm the credentials of the seller and numerous photos of the gun I sent a first deposit, the owner lived in Argentine... Christmas was coming and I was extremely busy so I was not my normal cautious self. I sent $,5000.00 deposit by Western Union MO before I realized something was fishy! I had been had!

I then proceeded to put a hold on the purchase, more payments were demanded - I suggested the scope be shipped as a show of good faith, not happening, I was told to pay up in full! This happened several years ago, so the details are hazy, but I wanted to call the deal off. Now I found others had also been scammed. What was I to do?

Well the Internet had got me into this jam so why not use the Internet to reverse the situation.

I eventually got to talk to the "owner" of a large US gun board. I persuaded him that if I was willing to post the complete details, including a copy of the sellers Passport, Driver's Licence and home address along will all my personal details including my name, address phone number etc., he would post them. I offered $1,000.00 cash for information leading to the prosecution of the seller.

Well this really created a storm. I received numerous e-mails. I was called by two US Police Officers who had been scammed over the purchase of some night vision equipment. Other cases involving fancy sports cars came to light. It went on and on.

Two UK Marines offered to break his legs, tempting as it was I didn't have a positive ID and anyway if someone was going to get his legs broke I wanted to do it.

Time rolled on, five years had passed.

I had a new employee start work for us and I took my wife away on holiday to Crete. Imagine my surprise when on my return I was told that the seller (lets call him GF) had called, he asked my new employee if I was a bad man? Could she ask me to "call the dogs off" ... my poor employee really must have wondered what she was getting into. She told GF to call me at 9am on x date when I returned. I had a good laugh when I heard about this.

The appointed date and time arrived, and the receptionist told me that GF was on the phone! I took the call, by now he had believed that I had put a price on his head (I did not tell him anything different, he could believe anything he wanted to). He asked that I please call my dogs off. No, I said refund my $5,000,00 plus interest first. GF continued, it wasn't his fault, you don't know what it is like here, my partner had a gun to my head, my poor old mother is sick, my girlfriend is pregnant, the address you posted is not mine, it is my girlfriend's apartment, you have to help me.

I am always obliging, so I told GF "certainly I will help you, you have 48 hours to refund my deposit otherwise I can not call off my dogs".

I thought he was going to have a heart attack from the noises over the phone, but, but, but. I cut in "48 hours, you can always call me back", I hung up.

The next day GF called me back, "I will need a week to raise the money", OK I said but remember the dogs are closing in.

A few days later I was told that there were some Western Union MO's waiting in Virden to be collected. All the staff laughed as I left the office, not one of them believed I was going to see my refund!

While I waited for the six MO's to be printed the fellow in the office asked what I was up to. When I told him I had been scammed he wouldn't believe me - "who, you? Get away!".
Next stop was the Credit Union, I need to cash these please. The new girl at the counter was uncomfortable in bringing so much cash to the counter; we should use a back room - no worries, all is good I said.

It got better, as I started to stuff $6,000,00 (Canadian) into my pockets the manger walked by "What are you grinning for" he asked me? I told him the whole story, now everyone was having a good laugh.

I purchased some do-nuts for the staff and went back to the office. I placed the do-nuts on the counter, called the staff and they watched wide eyed as I emptied my pockets of $6,000,00 onto the counter!

This taught me the power of the Internet. I thanked the Gun Board that had assisted me and asked that everything be removed as I had received a full refund and I sincerely doubted GF was going to continue to try and scam people.

Then I received a call from two US Police Officers, "How had I got my money back? Could I help them?" I had to smile, you fellows have a lot more resources than me. I told them what I had done, I really don't think they believed me!

Now while I think of it, I really should call off my dogs. 😊

Keep your powder dry,
Mr. Wolverine

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