Gumtree Scammer – Bicycles Network Australia Imposter

Are you a genuine Gumtree seller and have received an email from Christopher at Bicycles Network Australia? This email was sent by a Gumtree scammer who is upset that their fraudulent activity was spotted by a member of the Australian Cycling Forums.

Today, numerous sellers of cycling gear on Gumtree have been contacted by the scammer with a message using the reply function, supposedly from me. Obviously I have not contacted any Gumtree sellers and have no interest, connection, or issue with their Gumtree classified ads.

Here is an example of the illegitimate email that genuine sellers have been receiving.

Subject: A reply to your ad “AD DESCRIPTION REMOVED”
From: [email protected]
CC:
Someone has replied to your ad!
A Gumtree user has an inquiry about your classified ad ‘mens crane mountain bike’ (Reference: 1024040432).

Message:
Please be advised, we can not tolerate this, what you are selling makes it harder for me and my mates to sell. Don’t bother to make your ad better than ours, take it down, or I will create more test accounts in my forum to ask members to report you, it’s your choice, we believe in choices. Copies of your photos and text are now saved in my website to be used freely by my forum members.

I saw the same thing elsewhere at a lower price, this is a ripoff.

Alternatively, you may downgrade your ad’s presentation to settle with us. We would be happy to assist you to make the changes. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Christopher
Bicycle Network Australia

[email protected]

To reply to this message please use the Reply Button of your email client

 

If you do receive one of these emails, please forward it to me. I have started to receive a large number of emails from angry and confused sellers and have reported this to Gumtree, plus I have also recorded all of the emails of the scammer to report to the Police.

Here is an example of one reply from a genuine seller who was targeted:

Christopher,
As far as I no I don’t need your permission to sell a bike on gumtree! We believe  the price we have put on it is fair and negotiable. We own a retail store in Tasmania and I am sure my customers wouldn’t appreciate me bullying them as i dont appreciate being threatened and bullied by you!

 

Who is the Scammer?
The scammer is a person in Sydney who purchases cheap K-Mart bikes, removes the stickers, and then takes nice photos and misrepresents the bikes, claiming that it was a gift or is no longer required. A bike purchased for $150, as an example, is then sold for $350.

Here is a google cache example of one of their Gumtree ads for a fraudulent bike sale

There are a few big problems with this:
1. Ethically selling a low quality bike for far more than it is worth
2. Providing misleading, incorrect and fraudulent information
3. Supermarket bikes don’t have a great reputation for quality. Add to this a scammer who has assembled this, and there is a potential safety problem.

You could argue “Buyer Beware”, however on Bicycles Network Australia it doesn’t matter if you are a novice or an expert – we understand that people have different levels of cycling abilities and bicycle knowledge. It is my personal interest, and the general interest of members within the forums, to help others protect themselves from cycling related fraud and scams.

Why is the scammer doing this?
In the cycling forums, a member spotted a bike being sold that looked identical to a Kmart bike, though at a much higher price and reported it as dubious. Subsequently other members spotted similar instances and the seller’s writting style was similar. The scammer signed up to the forum and was initially allowed to participate since they pretended they were independent and from an international forum. I argued that it is better to resolve this  behind the scenes, though “she” (it could be a “she”, they identify as Jenny, or Jennay, or ausbike) persisted and the forum thread became popular: 2nd hand K-mart bike for 133% more than new

The wild and incoherent comments from Jenny were hilarious, though this person never confirmed their association with the fraudulent Gumtree seller, however, at some stage they said that the service provided was assembly.

The scammer is upset and within the forums has obviously not found support for their misleading Gumtree sales, in fact the opposite. Their latest move is now using the Gumtree reply function to pick genuine sellers of cycling gear and send a fake message with the intention to defame myself and Bicycles Network Australia. The Gumtree email reply to the sellers is sent using various email addresses connected to me.

 

What can be done?
I have reported this to Gumtree and also have an email and IP addresses for the person. If you have any further information, please email this to me: [email protected] . If you do receive such a message, I’m sorry that you are getting caught up in this mess – please report to Gumtree that the poster is an imposter and also provide details to me.

To follow the progress, there is a forum announcement: Gumtree Seller – Fraudulently representing BNA

p.s. I have never sold anything on Gumtree and have only ever purchased 2 things from the classified site: an old iPhone, and some Foo Fighters tickets; both were from legitimate sellers.



Christopher Jones
About The Author

Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a professional design business, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.

6 Responses to “Gumtree Scammer – Bicycles Network Australia Imposter”

  1. Update: Gumtree have responded and are providing assistance. The spammer however was sending between 1pm and 8pm on Saturday so the real flood of confused or angry emails may still be to come.

  2. Reuben Milner says:

    Hi Christopher, I received the text below yesterday from:

    [email protected]

    I reported it to Gumtree and now to you

    Please be warned, we can not tolerate this, you are competing with the bikes that me and my mates are selling, Don’t ever bother to make it look better than our bikes, take it down, or I will make more test accounts in my forum to ask members to report you, it’s your choice, we believe in choices.

    I bought the same bike elsewhere cheaper, this is a ripoff anyway.

    Alternatively, you may downgrade your ad’s presentation to settle with us. We would be happy to assist you to make it the way I think right. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Christopher
    Bicycle Network Australia

  3. Joseph says:

    I got one overnight as well, really bothered me because I didn’t even put a price on my bike as I don’t know how much I could sell it for. I don’t deal in bikes and just want to earn some pocket money. it’s not fair I have been targeted by this nut bag. my dad is going to help me with reporting you and the nut bag to gumtree and the police. your problems are not my problems.

  4. Ed says:

    I received this exact email for a bike I am selling. I do not make a living selling 2nd hand bikes it is a bike I purchased, no longer need and I take great offence that this cretin is threatening me.

    I am glad to see BNA has nothing to do with this and I would gladly pass on my details to the police to take this low life to the cleaners.

    Well done for outing this numpty with easy to find link on your home page, my faith is restored in BNA!

    Kind regards.

    Ed.

  5. nico says:

    same here but i dont see any connection with the picture, my mate works for gumtree, they didn’t send out email like this, keep up the good work mate !

  6. irene says:

    Something not right with this gumtree seller in Balcatta Perth.

    He advertises on Gumtree “Bike Unisex Hybrid Giant Cypress | Bicycles | Gumtree Australia … Balcatta.

    He keeps advertising same bike and other stuff!

    Google these numbers 1034528071 1032916039 1035159237 1035159237 1034091894 all come up with same bike on Gumtree and pop up says its sold??..

    He has readvertised it again and again & says email enquiry only but he doesnt reply to emails and then he readvertises bike VERY ODD

    Cant contact gumtree no email or contact address