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some help and info needed

Discussion in 'Site Flipping' started by godspeed0603, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Hi everyone, i'm new to this forum and while searching for some answers i ended up here. My problem is that some time back i sold a website in flippa. The buyer made payment over to me via escrow and i transferred all files and contents over to her. Today i got a call from my local police station asking me if i know the buyer and if i did sell anything to her and i told them yes i did. it was a website via flippa . To which the police said to me ok, keep in touch as we will investigate this and you will also have to come over to the station for further investigation when we call you down etc.

    So now i'm worried and also confused... can a buyer complain like this? the buyer is from the states and I'm from Singap0re. I'm not even sure what i should do now. I find that this is very unfair of the buyer. The buyer inspected everything before releasing the funds over to me via escrow... and 3-4 weeks later file a complain on my local police station.

    i asked them why are they contacing me now and they said that the buyer had made a complain stating that i have sold a website that is fraud, does not generate any income and false claims etc. Will my local police be able to take any action against me saying that i have made a online fraud crime selling a website that does not match or live up to what was started on flippa?

    Please take note that i sold and mentioned everything truthfully when selling my website to the buyer. Showed proof of earnings etc. i cannot believe that the buyer as made such a complain against me after 3-4 weeks later. What do you think would happen or what should i do? any advice guys... any help would be much appreciated
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  2. GreyKnight

    GreyKnight Regular Member

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    First thing you should know, international dispute is not that easy. It's a wonder how American and Singapore law enforcement can work that fast.

    First thing as usual, gather all necessary data and proofs. You don't have to do this only when facing a case, all proofs and data must be stored at all times.
    Secondly, I would contact the police and ask them if I am facing a criminal charge or something. I am thinking that the "police" is a fraud, as nobody works that fast.
    Third, should you been summoned to the police office, never trust a phone call. All "calling down" by police must be accompanied by a letter, which must be send 3 times before the police uses force to call you down.

    But should you receive the first letter, find a lawyer.
    Only came after the third letter. That's how I do it with the police.
     
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  3. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Thanks for the fast reply, i'm not really sure when the complain was made but i think that it was today... why i say is because the buyer also emailed me today saying that she had spoken to my local authorities and i'm going to get it for cheating her etc... and also i'm very sure it's the police that called me as i'm familar with my local police station number.. as it ends with 999. And not only that, they were able to tell my full name and address etc... so i'm sure it was them.

    maybe if things get worst i need to get a lawyer to defend me. What would happen if i were to lose the case or the cops find my guilty in some way? Or what if they ask me to pay back the money which all of this is not fair...
     
  4. AquaticGamer

    AquaticGamer Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I'm from singapore as well and i know that the singapore government is fair. You can explain everything to the police department. Collect some evidence and then send them what you and the buyer have said to each other. You might not get into a lawsuit but the worst case would be returning the funds.
     
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  5. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Hi thanks for your reply, once i sold of the site to the buyer.. i cleared all emails from the buyer just some time back things all was fine and i don't need to keep any track of the emails . the only prove i have now is the escrow payment made in escrow website showing the amount the buyer and paid and was released to me and the link to the website i sold in flippa. one more detail i forgot to mention is that althought this website was listed in flippa, the buyer was not the winner of the auction. the winner of the auction backed out so i contacted the 2nd highest bidder and made the sale out of flippa.

    Are the sg police department even able to investigate such claims or complains from overseas buyers?
     
  6. GreyKnight

    GreyKnight Regular Member

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    I am not from Singapore (I came from the giant country in your south, LOL) but I do a lot of business in Singapore and they are very good at this.

    So, what you should gather :
    - The "goods".
    If you sell a website, make sure that you have some proofs that you owned it in the past.

    - The "proofs of purchase".
    Show that your client has paid.

    - The "contract". Show the proof (email/skype log) that shows :
    1. That the buyer has approached you with intention to buy, with a specific amount of money.
    2. That the seller (you) has provided the necessary goods.
    3. That the seller (you) has given opportunity to the buyer to inspect the aforementioned goods.
    4. That the buyer has inspected the goods, and have sent the money, only after the buyer inspected the goods.

    - The "promise". You must also be able to show what have you promised to the buyer.
    1. It's said that your website is a fraud. Easy to debunk.
    2. It's said that your website is not generating income. Show proofs that the business model/method to create such income existed. The income itself not existing is not proof of your guilt.

    What I do next after finding proofs is send a letter to the buyer, and asking (in detail) what she finds lacking in her purchase, and state that you are willing to negotiate. By willing to negotiate you already show goodwill. If she don't want to negotiate, it is another plus point for you, because she don't have a goodwill to solve the problem. The details that she mentioned, if she gives it to you, can be used for the following :
    - If she misinterpret your promise, this is a ground for you to say that the buyer has misinterpreted your promise.
    - If she changes/manipulates your promise, this is a ground for you to say that you don't promised that kind of thing, even can act as a ground for counter-suit.
    - If she interpret your promise correctly, but you don't deliver, it's a ground for you to know what you must do, and where you must be willing to negotiate.

    Good luck, mate!
     
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  7. internetlol

    internetlol Regular Member

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    If you don't have any evidence of what the site made before then you might as well get ready to pay back. I doubt they're going to do be able to do anything though it being overseas. Lot more to it than just call you down and prosecute you.
     
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  8. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    problem is i used a payment gateway , which i also transfered over to the buyer and all emails assosicated with the business was under the domain email as well. so only prove i have is i sold the website via escrow...
     
  9. dcuthbert

    dcuthbert Regular Member

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    Maybe this is just me being cynical, but are you sure the call was from the Police? In my country the Police are unlikely to phone someone unless they're returning a call, and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't discuss details of a potential case over the phone.

    I would suspect (maybe being paranoid) that the call was from the guy who bought the website, scoping out whether the contact details he found for you are actually real.
     
  10. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Hi yes, i have checked where to number i received the call was from and it was a police station's number. They called me and asked me if my address was the right one(which only the cops could have tracked back via my mobile no) and asked me if i knew the buyer, his name, country he was from etc and asked me if i sold him anything to which i told yes the website and that was 1 month ago and you're calling me now after a month? and they told me to keep in close touch and that they would call me down for an investigation. I'm still waiting for them to call me down. The no was from the "Police Cantonment Complex" where i verified the number i got a call from.
     
  11. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    What i do not understand at this point of time is, i sold someone a website and it's been a month now. Can the buyer raise a dispute via the local police of the seller? let's say i buy something and don't like it.. can i just call the cops and tell them the shop guy sold me something i do not like and want my money back? it does not make sense.. and the best part is that we used escrow. she released the money to me only after verifying things. If anything was missing or not as stated , she could have just not released the money in escrow.

    What has made me worry now is, why are the local police getting involved in this? Or can they get involved in this? also the buyer sent me an email saying "i have report you to your local police station for fraud". If which way does this come under fraud? Will this be considered online fraud?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  12. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    If you misrepresented anything and the buyer can prove it - then of course he can report you to the police. Whether or not they will actually do anything about it is a different matter. I know of a few people who have got jail time for selling websites using false information/stats etc.

    If you didn't misrepresent anything and the buyer is just getting cold feet then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. The contract (I hope you have) should cover any warranties, but rarely would it have guarantees or anything like that.
     
  13. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    .

    ohok i did not keep the contact copy as i thought it's been more than 1 month and all was fine. i'm totally regretting now for throwing them away and deleting the emails of the conversations we had. This is a good lesson for me i guess. and when you say, "I know of a few people who have got jail time for selling websites using false information/stats etc." were they from the same country or international?
     
  14. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    International. Why would you delete the contract and all email correspondence? That makes no sense - nor would police/a court see any logic in it.

    If you've been falsifying revenue/traffic then expect the buyer to come after you. If you've done nothing wrong and can prove everything you stated was accurate, you have nothing to worry about.
     
  15. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    since it's been over a month now, i thought i don't need to keep them any longer and just clear of my emails and the contract. If the buyer had had any problems, i should have heard from her in a few days? Only thing i can think of is that she's trying to get back her money. i don't want to do that as, firstly i have revealed how my website business works, my suppliers source and details etc. she knows all this know and it would be unfair for me.
     
  16. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    [removed as in hindsight this wasn't the best advice]

    Misrepresentation can come up whenever. I've seen it years after a sale. If the buyer can prove you misrepresented anything, then you don't really have a leg to stand on. If you haven't misrepresented anything and the buyer is just trying to get out of the sale after you have fulfilled your contract and buyer has released Escrow you should be fine.

    Let's use this analogy:

    If I kill someone, I have broken the law. If the police don't catch me for a few days and I've destroyed all evidence does that mean I'll get away with it? No. Same for fraud cases.

    I am not a lawyer so take the above with a pinch of salt based off my experiences with website sales/disputes etc.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  17. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Ok thank you for your advice. appreciate it
     
  18. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

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    A ton if mis-information in this thread, even from "seasoned' veterans. :(

    For the Police to become involved they have to determine there is enough evidence to prove a crime against the State has been committed (a law has been broken). Not a claim against another individual. If they determine this is a dispute between two individuals they pass on the case and tell each party this is a "civil" case and not a criminal case. Police don't involve themselves in civil cases.

    If they determine a crime against the State has been committed (criminal case) they will use the collected evidence and proceed to trial; typically offering some sort of plea agreement to avoid Court costs and reduce case loads. Regardless, if the Police determine a crime has been committed against the State, a refund does nothing to stop the criminal case. If anything it might strengthen their case by suggesting your act of refunding proves you knew what you did was wrong.

    There is only one correct course of action when the Police call about a possible criminal investigation. LAWYER UP! Don't answer any questions and tell the Police they'll need to talk to your Attorney or Counsel. DO NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS without legal representation except what's your name, address, and that sort of stuff. Once the questioning turns to what you did, what you knew, what happened, you get a quick case of STFU and request your Counsel. Anything you say can be twisted to find you guilty.

    They'll threaten you with arrest, and all sorts of horrific consequences for not cooperating but your response is the same, "I need to speak with my Attorney". If they have enough evidence to prove their case, you're getting arrested regardless of what you say. If they don't have enough evidence for their case, they'll bait you into providing what they need to prove you guilty. Obviously, that is not something you want to do. Don't talk without your Attorney and when he's there he'll tell you to be quiet as well. He'll answer the questions that need answered.

    Never answer Police questions about an investigation without Legal Counsel - EVER.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  19. meathead1234

    meathead1234 Moderator Staff Member Moderator Premium Member

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    Probably depends on the country. In the UK, the guy I knew had misrepresented financials (and had done it a few times) so got 2 years for fraud AND a civil suit for the money back. Unfortunately, in most cases, you'll never see a $ again as a buyer, and the legals can take ages (he was investigated for 2 years). He was stupid and didn't hire a lawyer so got the book thrown at him.

    You are right in advising lawyering up, though - that advice shouldn't change regardless of where you are based.

    You also make a fair point on the refund if it went criminal - but my point there was that IF the OP has done nothing criminal (e.g. against the State/wherever) then any civil dispute would likely be resolved by refunding the money. No judge is going to take on a case if the money has already been refunded/site returned to original owner.
     
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  20. godspeed0603

    godspeed0603 Newbie

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    Does that mean mine would come under a "civil" case unless in some way it has broken the states law ? Because from what i can see, this is something to do with a buyer and seller and i did not sell anything fake or a counterfeit item etc. Everything was explained to the buyer clearly before making the sales and she also had the time to check them before releasing payment to me via escrow.

    What has really got me worried was because i did not keep all the email conversations, contract we signed with me ( which is really a stupid move).