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I'm Devastated. Need Your Help - Fast..

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by agag2, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. agag2

    agag2 Supreme Member

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    Hi


    Ok, I'll start off by saying that I messed up big time and I need your advice - fast.


    Several months ago I hired a programmer on a large / famous programming site. The guy was super nice and did an excellent job for me. He also had dozens of 5 star ratings without a single negative review. All seemed fine.


    About 2 months ago I had another much larger programming job - so I decided to use this guy once again. This time I sent him nearly $1,000 in advance.


    Before I continue I need to point out that I divulged to him many of my tightly held secrets in order for him to compete this job for me.. Although the loss of money here is big.. I feel it's nothing compared to the info I shared with him.. That said let's get on with the story..


    Initially there was some communication problems but then they "seemed" to get sorted out. He was supposed to work for me daily on this job and provide a report on his progress. At first he responded to my emails, updating his status, although, it did take some pressuring.


    Then, I haven't received any communication from him for a while. So I tried sending him emails - week after week - for several weeks straight. I heard nothing from him. In one email he wrote that he'd be offline busy researching / completing the project so he may not see my emails. He gave me his phone # so I could text him. Never tried that (yet). I figured this is why he may not have responded to my emails. In one email I even threatened to "take action" if he didn't respond.


    But then..


    I decided to send him an email from an alternative email address.. Making like I'm someone looking to do business with him. Guess what? Within 5 minutes I've recieved a reply.


    This basically means that he's scamming me.


    Now, how should I go about hunting him down? Should I reveal to him that I sent him this email or better wait a little longer? Maybe strike up a deal and get his address?


    BTW, he did sign an NDA with his full home info (assuming its accurate which I don't know for sure..)


    What do you recommend?


    Thanks
     
  2. SmileAtmyWins

    SmileAtmyWins BANNED BANNED

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    I'd recommend showing up at his doorstep with printed documents of your agreement and consulting with your lawyer immediately.
     
  3. W9go

    W9go Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    if he is in a western country .... Contact your local police.
    Before giving him a last warning.
     
  4. mergethegreat

    mergethegreat Junior Member

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    You didn't mention if he live anywhere near you or if he's even in the same country as you. I have been a freelancer for a few years and your situation is a tough one but here is what I would do in your shoes:

    1) If paid by a credit card then I would do a charge back
    If paid by paypal I would complain to paypal that I did not receive my product. If you claim a physical product was supposed to be mailed to you (like a cd with the website files on it) their is a good chance for you to get your money back unless you sent the money as a service or paid an invoice. If this is the case then it may be a bit harder.

    2) If the first didn't work then I would complain to whatever freelancing site you hired him from and file a dispute with them if possible.

    3) If neither resolved the issue then try sweet talking him into a modest website with n over sized budget to get his mouth watering. Inform him that you have been burned in the past when you tried to get a website done for your company and that you have several businesses that all need websites. Also that they will have similar if not bigger budgets with relatively the same amount of work but for you to trust him he has to agree to work on a milestone basis. The first 25% will be paid when 25% of the work is finished. If he goes for this be sure to let him know who you really are when he has completed 25% of the project. :)

    4) Make sure to give him a horrible, and I mean horrible 3-10 paragraph review but in a professional way so that you look like an angry person that was just trying to get things done and not some angry kid just posting stuff.

    That's all I can think of at the moment. I hope 1 or 2 work for you but either way 4 is a must.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  5. iwillnbd

    iwillnbd Regular Member

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    I completely agree with "mergethegreat".
    If you payed via your credit card or paypal, charge a dispute.

    And, if you have his phone no. why not just call him and ask !?

    Or you could just contact him via some fake E-mail and tell him that you have this huge project that you want him to work on and that to finalize the deal, you will need to arrange a meeting with him.This way you can easily get hold of him.
     
  6. Jonny Quick

    Jonny Quick BANNED BANNED

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    You can't escalate until you've exhausted all means of contacting him, which means you CALL the phone and don't fuck around with text. Try that a few times, leave a few tense but polite voicemails. If that fails to get things going then send another email from the one that he answered and let him know you want your money back, in full, or you are going to leave a bad review. Keep the focus on the money, and not the secrets. The main thing here is to make it seem like your only concern is the money. Programmers are dime-a-dozen, and you want the money back so you can hire another one. Don't breath a word to him about the value of the secrets.

    If you are lucky, he will straighten up and finish the project, otherwise you either will or will not get your money back, and the threat of a negative review might make something happen. Otherwise, write the negative review.

    Do you have the ability to write the negative review and then delete it? If so, write it as soon as he proves that he isn't going to respond to the threat. I would also try to retrieve the payment if possible.

    Your paralysis is in your value of your secrets. That is what is clouding your thinking. The thing is, it's either gone or it's not, and there's nothing that you can do one way or the other, except possibly to expose your weakness and let him know that this is the main thing that you are truly concerned about. As soon as you do that, you will have handed him a rope to hang you with, and given him power where previously he may not have known that he had it.

    I got some really good advice about "ideas" once from marketing guru Jim Vidmar. He said that ideas are important, but what is REALLY important is execution. He didn't say it exactly like this, but the general idea is that your brilliant idea in the hands of someone that cannot execute makes your idea worthless. You don't have an idea problem, you have an execution problem. Get this fucker working, or get rid of this fucker, and get moving forward with someone else. Whatever you do, don't let this fucker slow down your momentum.
     
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  7. agag2

    agag2 Supreme Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I already contacted him about another job via another email address and he responded within 5 minutes. To my first email address however (the original l) he ignores.
     
  8. agag2

    agag2 Supreme Member

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    I'm from US. He appears to be from Canada but studying in the US.
     
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  9. Mr Stark

    Mr Stark Regular Member

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    DON'T REVEAL THAT YOU SENT HIM AN EMAIL FROM OTHER ADDRESS! If you do it might become much worse, he might run off with your money or, even worse, destroy your idea.
    You said you have his phone number, call him and try to sort it out, try to be friendly...
     
  10. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yea, try for an amicable resolution, even if he has to pay you back in instalments.

    If you fall out or he disappears, in reality it will be very hard to get your money back (hard to successfully sue individuals).
     
  11. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    If he is in the US you have his ass. What he has done is defraud you of your money, Canada and the US are not third world countries, the legal systems will take this on and follow it thru File a suit against him for breaking a contract and try to get damages.

    Or perhaps build a nice website with all the communication you had on it. Optimize this site for his name. Tell the complete and honest truth on this site to protect yourself.

    Then send him a link to his new website..

    Works wonders when you need to get someones attention.

    Of course this website is for sale for a price, your losses....
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  12. Ptrick125

    Ptrick125 Regular Member

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    Right now I think you should collect as much evidence as possible, not allowing him to make up many excuses later. Without proper evidence, it is impossible to expose a scammer.
     
  13. rasmusk

    rasmusk Senior Member

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    Make sure you get his real personal information trough your fake email business proposal. Gather up and store your evidence all the safe places.

    Also in the meanwhile call him, leave voice mails etc as stated above.

    When youre sure you know who exactly he is, you make a lawsuit, if it have not been possible to get your money back trough either paypal or your bank.
     
  14. stallionvik

    stallionvik Newbie

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    Try and get a second address from him with your fake email. That way you'll know if the first one is fake and you can take the next steps from there. Just incase the other steps don't work.
     
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  15. mego818

    mego818 Junior Member

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    This sucks. That idiot totally zuckerburged you.
     
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  16. redrubies

    redrubies Supreme Member

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    Just call your local police and file a report. They will contact the police in his city who will question him. Whatever you do, don't tell him that you emailed him under another name. Don't even say you called the police. Just call and wait for the police to investigate the matter.
     
  17. kingtrojan

    kingtrojan Junior Member

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    Check your PM. I could provide you with vital info if you hired him via freelancer.com.
     
  18. Sleinad

    Sleinad Senior Member

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    You've not even called the phone number yet...until you do that a few times and he ignores you, you can't accuse him of scamming you. Your emails could be going in his spam or something...there could be many reasons...
     
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  19. hellnation

    hellnation Regular Member

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    man, those stories are so demoralizing.

    for those who work a lot with freelancers, do you find age makes a difference? Any patterns you see? I mean, not to bash any ethnicity or anything, what are the red flags you see when starting to deal with someone?
     
  20. Dreamz

    Dreamz Newbie

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    Weve outsourced to many programers and haven't found age to make that big of a difference, but culture is a huge factor.