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Regarding the online vendor "Modeler's Depot," I placed an order on November 16, they charged my credit card on November 17 but as of today (November 28) their website [modelerdepot.com] still says my order is "awaiting fullfillment" and of course I have not received the Lionel locomotive that I ordered.  Customarily vendors do not charge the credit card until the item is actually shipped, so I am wondering what is happening with my order.  I emailed an inquiry today to the email address they listed on the order confirmation, but it bounced back from mailer-daemon as "message blocked, recipient address rejected".  Also, when I click the vendor web address as listed in details of my credit card charge on bank website, I get a "403 Forbidden" blank screen.  Of course when I dial the phone number of the vendor I get an anonymous recording that "all circuits are busy."  Did I just get ripped off?  Has anybody any experience with this vendor?

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Thanks for the quick replies.  Yes, I just did dispute the charge with my credit card bank, asking for a refund.  I wonder how fraudsters are able to have a bank account to receive credit card payments --don't the credit card banks demand the attorney general in the state shut down such accounts, and even prosecute whoever controls the account?

This is a widening scam, it happens all the time.  I looked at that site, they don't even have the super cheap prices that most use to suck you into placing an order.

I think the fraudsters just stay a couple steps ahead of the authorities and keep changing sites.  Many of them also copy listings from well known sites and just change the prices to attract "buyers", or is that "suckers".

I wonder how many of these are deliberate scams, or are they in some cases 'zombie' stores where the automated systems are still processing credit cards even though the owners are gone?

Well, most of them are indeed SCAM sites, at least the ones I'm talking about.  They steal a real store's content, change the prices to a fraction of the actual selling price, and then wait for the suckers.

@Will Wilkin posted:

Regarding the online vendor "Modeler's Depot," I placed an order on November 16, they charged my credit card on November 17 but as of today (November 28) their website [modelerdepot.com] still says my order is "awaiting fullfillment" and of course I have not received the Lionel locomotive that I ordered.  Customarily vendors do not charge the credit card until the item is actually shipped, so I am wondering what is happening with my order.  I emailed an inquiry today to the email address they listed on the order confirmation, but it bounced back from mailer-daemon as "message blocked, recipient address rejected".  Also, when I click the vendor web address as listed in details of my credit card charge on bank website, I get a "403 Forbidden" blank screen.  Of course when I dial the phone number of the vendor I get an anonymous recording that "all circuits are busy."  Did I just get ripped off?  Has anybody any experience with this vendor?

Call Cc company get money back…………. if it’s too good to be true, it is

I wonder how many of these are deliberate scams, or are they in some cases 'zombie' stores where the automated systems are still processing credit cards even though the owners are gone?

I agree.

This doesn't seem like a typical scam site where they ask $100 for a $1500 locomotive like most scam train sites that have been popping up lately.

I wonder if this was an operating store at one point, closed and all previous reviews were deleted. Then it turned into a "zombie" store as @Professor Chaos put it. It appears they had a legit Facebook page before the bad reviews started but just my opinion (I didn't search around very long so could be wrong).

I have to ask though, not to speak badly of the OP but why would anyone purchase from a 1 star review store that has nothing but complaints about being ripped off?

Brad

A couple weeks ago I had been on the hunt for some Midwest Products cork roadbed. Everything on eBay was overpriced so I turned to Google and found that Modelers Depot had it. I made the “mistake” of ordering right away. After a few hours I started asking myself if they actually had it in stock or not. I searched their number on Google when I found the horrible reviews. At that point, I was thinking I’m the next victim of a scam. Surprisingly, I received an email saying it shipped. After over a week of tracking, I started losing hope, as the updates weren’t leaving me hopeful. Then I went to check one day and got a message saying there were multiple tracking numbers matching mine (I imagine that’s common with a scam). I figured I’d get something in the mail, but didn’t know if it would be what I actually ordered or not - as I’ve read through the reviews and people wouldn’t get exactly what they ordered. To my disbelief, my order showed up today and it was exactly what I ordered.

So, is it a scam with certain items? Possibly. Maybe I’m just one of the few that made out ok. Either way, it’s been a lesson for me to check reviews before ordering from a site I’ve never used. Even if it is labeled as a hobby shop.

I looked them up - in addition to numerous negative reviews, they have a Facebook page (no posts for about a year and a half) which makes it appear that they were going to train shows.  In fact, their banner looks familiar - I may have seen it at a train show in the Midwest.  My guess is that they were a legitimate business that either ran into problems or the owner had health issues. 

When a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.  There are many of these online places that look 100% legit, and they seem to have the items that nobody else has or the others are out of stock.  Check their 'About us' page, look for a physical address, go to Google Maps and see where they are.  If they list a phone number make sure it has 10 digits, and try it.  If they have an email address, make an inquiry about shipping or something about the item and see if they respond, or how they respond, if legit, they answer the question, if not, they print a bunch of stuff that answers nothing useful or sings their praises about customer service.  I almost fell for the purchase of an antique item that was reasonably priced, but when I put their address in Google Maps, I ended up in the middle of a Kansas wheat field.

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