Author Topic: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.  (Read 3145 times)

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Offline lincoln

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Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« on: January 23, 2020, 09:51:36 pm »
After my current vintage o-scope died when I really needed it, I though it was time to invest in one that was made in this century.  A local e-bay seller had a good deal on a Rohde and Schwarz, 500 MHz 4 channel. That was 1.5 months ago. Got a call form a an investigator saying the scope is stolen and property of the Navy.

Well the call is legit and I'm now legally obliged to hand over the scope and hope Ebay or the seller will refund my money.

 :--

I'm just venting, not really any one else who would understand.
 

Offline kg4arn

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 10:09:33 pm »
Ouch!
 

Offline Gregg

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 10:20:03 pm »
Before agreeing to anything, request positive proof that it belongs to the Navy and that the “investigator” is genuine and not a scammer.  Don’t give them a serial number, pictures or anything until they have given you sufficient evidence that it is indeed stolen property.  You have the right to know you aren’t being scammed by someone that saw the auction.  Scrutinize any badge, documents etc that they may have.
If there is a local legal self-help group where you can ask for legal advice, do so.
 
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Online edpalmer42

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 10:25:24 pm »
A better idea would be to phone the police and see what they say.
 
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Online thm_w

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 10:26:37 pm »
You should still be within the paypal window, if you did pay with paypal.

Is it a legit seller?
 

Offline lincoln

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 10:46:47 pm »
You should still be within the paypal window, if you did pay with paypal.

Is it a legit seller?

The seller is legit, Its a some what local test equipment house. I have bought from them before.

As for the guy who called me, I have directed him to my lawyer.
 

Offline andy3055

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 11:08:46 pm »
If you got it locally, take it back and tell them to refund you. Document the whole thing with eBay. They will get on the case with the seller. Don't panic but just be cautious.

How did the "investigator" know you have it? Looks like the seller is aware of the whole thing. Ask the investigator to provide his connection with the Navy so that you can check it out.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 11:12:03 pm by andy3055 »
 

Online rhb

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2020, 12:30:47 am »
Please do tell us how it all turns out.

Very wise move to turn it all over to the lawyer.  He'll know exactly what to do and it will only require a few phone calls, so the bill should be insignificant.  And if you use him for business counsel, probably won't even bill you.

I very much doubt that the lawyer in Texas that I had set up my S corp and review all my employment contracts would have billed me for it.  Not worth the paperwork to bill for making a few short phone calls.

Sadly, there are a lot of lawyers with a very different attitude.  Once I wanted someone to review a real estate purchase and, because I did not then have a lawyer, got bled by an SOB that stretched a  15 minute conversation into 45 minutes engaging in idle chit chat and then billed me for 45 minutes at some obscene hourly rate.  I was quite insulted.

That convinced me it is a really good idea to have an established relationship with a good lawyer, so you know who to call, *before* you need to call him.   A good lawyer's focus is keeping his clients out of court.  When I set up my S corp, I was going  to give my wife part ownership.  He advised strongly against doing that.  Texas is a community property state, so effectively she already had a right to 1/2 and it kept things simple when we later got divorced.

What you want to look for is someone who mostly does general tax and estate planning and business law.  Those are the skills you are most likely to need and also the last refuge of the lawyers of good character.    If you need something more specialized such as criminal defense or divorce, you let him pick the person.  He'll know who is honest and who is a crook. Mine sent me to someone for the divorce work and everything went very smoothly and cost only a few hundred dollars, much of which was filing fees.

Interestingly, in conversations with both, I mentioned my grandfather and a brother of his were both lawyers and that I had intended to go into the law myself, but didn't because by the late 70's the legal profession in the US was over run by crooks.  Both of them remarked if they had recognized what wouldhappen to the law they would have chosen a different career.  But both are about 10 years older than I and it wasn't yet obvious that things would really go own hill fast once lawyers were allowed to advertise seeking clients when they started law school.

Reg
 

Offline imo

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2020, 01:06:47 am »
Join the Navy and you will get the oscope (sign-on bonus) :)
 
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Online Bud

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2020, 01:27:51 am »
It is pretty lousy security if oscilloscopes can be sneaked out of military facilities. Wonder what else was taken out. The caller's story smells fishy.
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Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2020, 02:01:15 am »
It is pretty lousy security if oscilloscopes can be sneaked out of military facilities. Wonder what else was taken out. The caller's story smells fishy.

   X2.  Tell them to show you a court order for you to return the scope.  If the theft really happened I doubt that the Navy would even take the scope back, even if you gave it to them, since the calibration is now suspect and there could be hidden damage to the scope. Generally speaking the police might want the item back as evidence for a trial but owners rarely want a stolen item back (that's what insurance is for.)

   None of this story is adding up. You say that you got it from a local TE dealer that you know and trust. But if this item was stolen, then where did the dealer get it from?  Or is he running a stolen TE fencing operation?

   If the investigator was legit they would have come to you in person and shown ID, and not called you on the phone!
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 02:08:38 am »
After my current vintage o-scope died when I really needed it, I though it was time to invest in one that was made in this century.  A local e-bay seller had a good deal on a Rohde and Schwarz, 500 MHz 4 channel. That was 1.5 months ago. Got a call form a an investigator saying the scope is stolen and property of the Navy.

Well the call is legit and I'm now legally obliged to hand over the scope and hope Ebay or the seller will refund my money.

 :--

I'm just venting, not really any one else who would understand.

Hope you didn't admit that you received the item. I'd say to them that I never got it, ask the post office.

As an aside, insist from now on that all correspondence be done in writing.


edit:

You should still be within the paypal window, if you did pay with paypal.

Is it a legit seller?

The seller is legit, Its a some what local test equipment house. I have bought from them before.

As for the guy who called me, I have directed him to my lawyer.
Ah.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 02:12:55 am by Ed.Kloonk »
 

Offline andy3055

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 02:10:13 am »
The whole thing stinks of some fraud on the seller's side.
 

Online rhb

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2020, 02:22:14 am »
This is what lawyers are for.  You should have legal recourse against the seller, ebay and PayPal if you used it. However, it's a legal gamble and IANAL.

Whether that is economic depends upon who perceives themselves in the weakest position.  Selling stolen property is illegal.  And for the seller, the ding to their reputation would be rather severe.  So the seller has strong incentive to make you whole.  A transaction review which states, "Merchandise was stolen and seized by police 45 days later."  would be a serious impediment to continued operation on ebay.

Reg
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2020, 02:29:17 am »
I would assume something that belongs to the navy, or any branch of the military for that matter would have some pretty heafty tracking.  Stickers on it as a start, but probably something inside.

Don't turn it on return it right away, take it appaaaart.  (just kidding though, probably a bad idea to do that)

Sounds like a crappy situation though if what they're saying is true.  Hopefully there is a way you can at least get your money back.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 02:32:15 am by Red Squirrel »
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2020, 02:35:42 am »
   Tell the caller that you'll meet him at your local police department and that he can explain it to both you and the police at the same time.  Or maybe better, at the nearest FBI office. I'm sure that they'd be very interested in anyone pretending to be a federal law enforcement officer.
 

Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2020, 03:11:36 am »
As for the guy who called me, I have directed him to my lawyer.

And at this point let the lawyer sort out the legitimacy of the claim etc. Other advice your are getting might be well intention but likely will make a miserable situation worse.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2020, 03:39:15 am »
It is pretty lousy security if oscilloscopes can be sneaked out of military facilities. Wonder what else was taken out. The caller's story smells fishy.
   X2.  Tell them to show you a court order for you to return the scope.

Yep, I wouldn't do a thing until a court order shows up.
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2020, 05:36:40 am »
I once worked at a government facility where a lot of stuff went over the fence literally.  It was a largish place something like 1 kM by 3 kM.  Tall chain link fences with razor wire on the top.  Guarded gates.  Regular patrols. 

But there were a lot of people working in the many buildings on the site.  Three shift 24 hour a day operation.  Some not so honest.  As the problem was reconstructed afterward they were able to place spotters for the patrols and other unwelcome eyes.  And then literally threw the stuff over the top of the fence from a truck bed.  Don't know how they caught it on the far side.  Some, perhaps all, were caught in possession of the property.

The point of all this is that is amazing how much money and effort you can spend on security and not have your operation leak proof.   I would actually say that there are only two paths to "leak proof" security.  The first is to have nothing.  The second is to not admit to what you lost.   

I find it believable that the Navy lost gear.  In spite of significant efforts to prevent that.  And am encouraged that they are following up to recover losses.  Far better than pretending it didn't happen.  And also agree that assuring this is not a scam is well worth the effort.  The evil ones are on both sides of the fence.
 
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Offline blacksheeplogic

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2020, 05:42:03 am »
Yep, I wouldn't do a thing until a court order shows up.

Yep, and maybe they will accompany that court order with a change of receiving. You might eventually get the charge dropped but it's not much of a win if your living under a bridge destitute because you were being a ahole. Let the lawyer sort it out, US lawyers on principal don't give the government anything.
 

Offline BravoV

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2020, 07:53:54 am »
LOL ... the seller now can sell to party that willing to pay higher.  >:D

Online nctnico

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2020, 07:10:59 pm »
After my current vintage o-scope died when I really needed it, I though it was time to invest in one that was made in this century.  A local e-bay seller had a good deal on a Rohde and Schwarz, 500 MHz 4 channel. That was 1.5 months ago. Got a call form a an investigator saying the scope is stolen and property of the Navy.

Well the call is legit and I'm now legally obliged to hand over the scope and hope Ebay or the seller will refund my money.
I'd imagine the seller is required to give you a refund. And they likely pointed the investigator towards you so they'll probably expect a call from you.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline andy3055

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2020, 08:41:54 pm »
Another thought came to me. Will the Navy take so much trouble to hire an investigator and spend on him/her? I don't know the value of the scope and when it was made. It might be worthwhile for them to go to this much trouble to hunt for it.

Anyway your lawyer should be able to sort it out.
 

Online rhb

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2020, 08:47:01 pm »
NCIS would only pursue it as evidence  to convict the thief.   I agree it's all rather fishy.
 

Offline donotdespisethesnake

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Re: Just had to hand over my new to me o-scope to the navy.
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2020, 11:24:44 pm »
I can understand that an investigator would be hired to track down some expensive equipment, there are specialist asset recovery companies. What I am more skeptical about is that an investigator would expect people to just hand over stuff after being informed it is "stolen". Surely they would always get police involved, who would have a copy of a crime report detailing the serial numbers.

I got ripped off on one auction, wondering if this will be another scam I have to watch out for.




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