I just lost a big sum of money and I’m trying to recover it from a guy named Karl Joseph R. Avinante.
We had a transaction. I was buying an item (via a new but persistent “online market place”). I asked for a discount from the original price. We agreed on the discounted price he gave. After I sent the money, he said that his wife got angry on the discount that he gave. I said that he should stick with the agreement. After several text messages, I called him up. I was able to talk to him. He said that he had asked his brother-in-law to send the item. I was asking for the tracking number but that’s when he stopped replying to my text messages and dropping my calls.
(amount intentionally removed)
I don’t know if someone is just using his name or what, but it was his name and his account that I used to send the money.
I searched his name online and saw a person – one exact match for the name (including the middle initial) but I’m still hesitant to link it here or contact that person as he may be the wrong person (yeah even with the exact middle initial). His ad says he’s from central visayas but all the search results says he’s from Laguna.
I decided to post this because he has not replied to any of my text messages or my calls.
1. He disregarded our agreement – about the price and sending the unit after deposit
2. He could have told me that he changed his mind or wife still wants 12k BEFORE I deposited the money and not AFTER.
3. He lied when he said he already sent the unit thru his brother-in-law and made me believe that he was sending the unit when in fact he was not.
4. He could have offered for me to just add 1k instead of 2k just to continue with the transaction.
5. It seems he doesn’t want to talk to me – doesn’t reply to my text messages immediately – or not at all. Doesn’t answer my succeeding calls (only talked to him once). Turns off the phone/ makes himself unavailable.
6. He is giving me problems when it is supposed to be just an easy transaction.. I pay, he sends the unit… as agreed.
I will contact the bank and try to get some help. I will also contact PNP and NBI.
UPDATE 1: Augusut 29 @ 10:30 am
He texted me saying that he will return the money on Tuesday (No bank on Monday due coz its a holiday). I texted him that he can return the money on a Saturday because BDO banks are open even during these days (those inside SM Malls). No reply. I tried to call him several times, but his number was already “out of coverage”.
Update 2: August 29 @ 3 PM
Miguel, a blog reader, commented that the same guy is selling another item on the same “online market place”. When I checked, he changed his name to Joseph A. He is selling another item at a verrrrry cheap price. 2k less than market price for second hand item and up to 4k cheaper than the price of a brand new unit.
He also changed his cellphone number (or using a different number for the transaction). Tsk tsk tsk
Miguel was also able to get the exact address of the person.
I’ll wait till Tuesday to give him a last chance to give back my money as he said on his text if not, will report this to the authorities.
UPDATE 3: August 30 @ 1:49 pm
This person has claimed another victim. Chris, another reader, commented that he lost 5k to the same guy. I called Chris and got further details of what happened. He transacted with Karl Joseph R. Avinante to buy the PSP. Karl offered him the PSP for only 5k, 1k less than the displayed price. He sent the money thru globe G-Cash. He awaited the tracking number. But until today, Karl Joseph R. Avinante has not replied nor asnwered his calls.
I’ve asked help from friends for the contact info of the “online market site” since it has not responded yet to my URGENT request. BDO has not responded either.
Karl Joseph Avinante used the mobile number 0935-929-9078 for this transaction.
UPDATE 4: August 30, 2009 @ 6:48 pm
Another victim saw this post. Sherwin said that the same guy was able to get 20k from him. I chatted with him and he said that the same thing happened to him. Karl also used the same bank account.
This time, Karl Joseph Avinante used the number 0905-926-3251. This is the third number he has used to victimize people.
I’ve tried to contact BDO and the “online market site” many times now. I think they don’t care.
UPDATE 5: August 31, 2009 @ 11:00 AM
A friend texted me that she has already forwarded my concern to the owners and investors of the “online market site” and higher ups of BDO. I will just wait for feedback from them! Super thanks friend.
Also, Sherwin went to Laguna to hunt down Karl. I also texted Karl this morning reminding him of our agreement that he should send back my money by tomorrow. Let’s see what will happen.
UPDATE 6: August 31, 2009 @ 4:22 PM
“Online market site” has already responded to my complaint/request letter which I sent to them last 08/29/2009 08:20:
Thank you for writing to us.
We are truly sorry about what happened to you. You should never send money to
people whom you do not know. You should always try and deal in COD (cash on
delivery) to avoid from being cheated. Please read our shop safe page below:
We have noted your complain. We have sent the advertiser an email requesting him
to either refund the money or send the item to you, within the next 5 working
days. Please notify us if you do not hear from him by 07 Sept 2009.
Thank you for their LATE response. Again, something as urgent as this should have been given IMMEDIATE ATTENTION! 5 working days to send back the money? Karl got it from me in less than an hour. Why still give the person 5 days?!
Still no response from BDO. A bank that cares for people like Karl. They’re still letting him use the account for his no-good activities.
UPDATE 7: September 01, 2009 @ 12nn
I gave Karl between 10am to 12nn today to deposit my money based from his “promise”. I held on to that promise even if I know that he is a fraudster. I told him that I won’t be texting or calling him anymore after that deadline and that he will just have to see what happens next.
I called up BDO head office and was redirected to BDO in Laguna. I was able to talk to the branch manager. He told me that Karl is already on their watch list and his name and data was already forwarded to their legal team. Furthermore, BDO has already informed the Anti Money Laundering Council.
Mr. Branch Manager said that they have received reports about Karl’s activities since Friday. However, it was not clear when they were able to block his account as Sherwin, the second known victim, was still scammed and deposited the money last Saturday. He further said that I wasn’t the first one to report an incident involving Karl. In turns out that he has also scammed other people. At least one other… this time trying to sell a Macbook.
I requested Mr. Branch Manager to provide me info where he withdrew the money. But even fraudsters and scammers are protected by the bank secrecy law, and so Mr. Branch Manager can’t divulge that information. However he was kind enough to inform me that Karl Joseph Avinante withdrew the money in Metro Manila and not in Laguna or Siquijor.
And since Since Karl’s bank account has been freezed, he is now using Globe G-Cash in performing his evil deeds. And so I called up Globe’s customer service hotline and reported the matter. Victim # 2 already reported this to a Globe Business Center last Saturday. I don’t know what happend. I told the CSE what happend and she told me that I should expect a call from them within the day. I asked if they can provide information where Karl withdrew the G-Cash money. She said she will try to get that information.
Update 8: September 02
Called Globe to report the numbers Karl Joseph Avenante is using. The numbers are still active. It seems Globe is not taking action.
Furthermore, It seems that Globe’s customer service hotline did not take our complaints seriously. When I Called 211 again today to follow-up on my complaint, I asked the CSR to check the report logs under my name so that I won’t repeat telling the story. But I still ended up narrating what happend. This time, the CSR gave me a service ticket.
Very frustrating. Karl Joseph Avinante’s number is still active and maybe even his G-Cash account.
I also finished my statement that i’ll give to PNP.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank old and new friends who are helping me solve this big problem.
Update 9: September 03 @ 8:00 AM
I received a message today on my email. A facebook notification . I wont disclose it yet and won’t write about it now.
Its something positive… Although the case got more complicated.
Update 10: September 03 @ 10:13 AM
I called up ABS-CBN’ XXX hotline 414-2539.
XXX: XXX Hello
I said Hi and stated my name. I told the person on the other line that i have a complaint.
XXX: Tungkol saan?
Me: Na-iscam po kasi ako.
XXX: Tungkol nga saan?
At this point medyo nainis na ako. parang ayaw niya ako kausapin or nagmamadali.
Me: I bought an item pero hindi po pinadala yung item and ayaw ibalik yung pera ko.
XXX: Online ba yan?
Me: Yes po.
That’s when he said that XXX won’t be able to help me. He said that it will be hard for us to prove that the scammer got the money because of bank secrecy regulations. And that at the end they, XXX, might end up being charged in court.
I asked how XXX could help me. He really said they can’t.
I was dissappointed. The guy that i talked to didn’t even know the whole story, and here he is saying that its a hopeless case. WOW. So this is how XXX treats victims. Now I know.
It’s now up to the local authorites. If that still fails. I know where to go to.
Update 11: September 03 @ 11:28 AM
I searched for the contact number of GMA’s Imbestigador. It was quite harder to find it compared to XXX’s contact details. I found one here. I called Imbestigador at 928-4713.
I was able to talk to Willie. He asked me about what happened. I gave him an overview. Then he asked for my contact details and told me that someone will call me back. He said he will forward my concern for approval. I told him i can send the whole story via email as i have prepared a very lengthy account of what happened. So he gave me their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In less than 30 mins, Lora, a staff of imbestigador contacted me. She asked me to narrate what happened. I told her some highlights of the incident and told her that i also forwarded the whole story in their email.
She said she will read my accounts first and then they’ll call me back.
Buti pa ang Imbestigador!
Update 12: September 04 @ 8:51 AM
No feedback yet from Imbestigador.
I tried to contact thru email, PNP’s DIRECTORATE FOR INVESTIGATION AND DETECTIVE MANAGEMENT (DIDM) as I saw in one news article that they were the one doing an investigation on an “internet scam”. However, seconds after sending my email, I got this error:
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.1.1 <email@example.com> User unknown; rejecting (state 14).
Even the CIDG email address seems to be… well how will I put it… Not working?
Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:
Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.1.1 User unknown; rejecting (state 14).
I also contacted PNP thru text. I sent PNP < message> and sent it to 2920. I inquired for the contact info of their cybercrime unit. No response yet.
But this case has already been forwarded to the PNP by Sherwin.
Update 13: September 04 @ 5:06 PM
Got a reply from BDO call center:
This will acknowledge receipt of your internet mail, <my name>.
We would like to inform you that as per bank’s general procedure, we are not authorized to provide 3rd party account information (or providing account information to other person). This is also in compliance with Government Rulings regarding Bank Secrecy Law, which the bank adheres to.
Thank you for your time and have a nice day.
BDO Customer Contact Center
I understand the contents of the email. But what I don’t understand is the LATE response. I sent my complaint to them last August 29… they sent their response 6 days after. They should have responded to my email sooner. Even an automated reply will do. Just so I’m sure that they got my email. Right? They can do all the investigation they want but just inform me first that your doing something. I hope they improve on this. Good thing i called them up to get updates. Plus, to me, BDO is saying “I’m sorry, we can’t help you.” But i’m sure that if I sue this Scammer, then they might provide the information needed.
Update 14: September 5, 2013 (yes after 5 years)
I never got a response from PNP or CIDG. I also didn’t have time to go to PNP in Manila or in Laguna to file a complaint. When I talked to Ayosdito.ph and BDO, it seemed that they will not be able to help. So I just told my self “hayaan nalang yan”. Even my wife and my family said hayaan nalang.
But today, as I was cleaning my inbox and archive mails, I saw the email threads for this incident. I tried searching his name on Facebook and I saw the FB of Karl Joseph R. Avinante. There I saw that he was living his life normally… like nothing happened. So the anger came back.
Today, I called up his office (the one indicated on his Facebook Account). I asked for the HR Manager. I inquired if they have an employee by the name of Karl Joseph Avinante. She asked why I was asking so I told her that I was swindled by a certain Karl Joseph Avinante. After which she did not confirm nor deny if Karl Joseph Avinante was their employee (which was the right thing to do.). She said that whatever Karl Joseph Avinante did to me was a private matter which they should not be involved. But for me, It was enough to let them know that the guy is a fraudster.
I’m also posting the Facebook Message from Karl Joseph Avinante, the one I mentioned on Update 9.
I tried to set-up a schedule for Karl Joseph Avinante and I to meet but he did not reply to my messages and calls. It was additional proof that he was indeed the fraudster Karl Joseph Avinante.
Companies should also do a background check online to see if their employees are good or bad.