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Author Topic: Garr255/Werner - Auction shilling  (Read 22485 times)
kibblesnbits
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June 20, 2013, 12:58:10 AM
 #1

Garr255 has been caught posting using a second forum account under the name "Werner".  This claim (from Inaba) was verified by Garr255 himself. 

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236794.msg2517652#msg2517652

Further investigation shows that several auctions started by Garr255 were bid shilled by the Werner account here...

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=159808.msg1689855#msg1689855

and here...

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=214965.msg2352295#msg2352295

and here...

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=214965.msg2297359#msg2297359

What shows is an obvious pattern of auction shilling, making victims of:

1@65 - Vezunchik
1@63 - starsoccer9

The coin loss is not substantial, a couple hundred dollars between just these two.  However, I think it's in the best interest of the forum to add the scammer tag to both Garr255 and Werner accounts. 

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June 20, 2013, 01:16:56 AM
 #2

I would also add that how we handle situations like this could quite possibly determine the future of bitcoin commerce.  We can either blow this off as a single disruption that is harmless, or we can unite against scams like these and make an example of them.  As one person has already said, if behavior like this is tolerated, who would ever feel comfortable bidding on an auction in this forum again?  

Bitcoin is rife with scams.  Let's not continue to tolerate it with faulty logic like "oh it happens all the time.  Why are you surprised?"  How about people start getting pissed about it, shunning those that do it, and start trying to make this a better place so people can conduct commerce fairly.  It's not just for our benefit, but for those who may get involved in bitcoin in the future.  It benefits all of us to see people like this publicly shamed (and I'm not talking about the way Inaba did it... I mean the RIGHT way with a scammer tag or some objective method).
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June 20, 2013, 02:11:09 AM
 #3

Okay, going through Werners posts I found this....

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=153263.msg1689664#msg1689664

Quote
Check this out: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=159808.0

You can buy the first order here!


Newbie forum.  Would you go into a newbie forum to tell the uniformed about an auction when you are a bidder of said auction?   After you had just bid??


Another post is an advertisement for Cognitive....

I am in the same situation so I invested in this mining company: http://cognitivemining.com/

They already had asic purchase, the first actually. So now we can own part of that first purchase!

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=153263.msg1626913#msg1626913

Sorry Garr, it's just way too coincidental.  

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June 20, 2013, 02:49:07 AM
 #4

I would also add that how we handle situations like this could quite possibly determine the future of bitcoin commerce.  We can either blow this off as a single disruption that is harmless, or we can unite against scams like these and make an example of them.  As one person has already said, if behavior like this is tolerated, who would ever feel comfortable bidding on an auction in this forum again?  

Bitcoin is rife with scams.  Let's not continue to tolerate it with faulty logic like "oh it happens all the time.  Why are you surprised?"  How about people start getting pissed about it, shunning those that do it, and start trying to make this a better place so people can conduct commerce fairly.  It's not just for our benefit, but for those who may get involved in bitcoin in the future.  It benefits all of us to see people like this publicly shamed (and I'm not talking about the way Inaba did it... I mean the RIGHT way with a scammer tag or some objective method).

The news for you would be that:

A. Nothing happening on this forum has any impact on Bitcoin anything, be it finance, commerce or etcetera.

B. Nothing a user registered a coupla months ago has to say carries any weight or importance.

Yes, I get it, you love the concept and wish to change the world. Good for you.

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June 20, 2013, 04:11:24 AM
 #5

Holy shit. There's actually enough information here to open an investigation on Inaba. The quote tags were edited, and the screenshot appears fake. I think QuestionAuthority might be right:

Quote from: Inaba on Today at 02:58:55
Quote
I did not request a refund. If you refund me, I expect the full amount of BTC I paid to be refunded. If you are able to do this I will gladly take my business elsewhere, because believe it or not you have competition now

You'll get the full amount you paid in USD, since that's how our products are priced. 

As a point of fact, you did request a refund, let me quote you:

Quote
but your business operations and ethic are both unacceptable.

You find them unacceptable, I understand.  We will cut ties and move on and you no longer have to deal with the unacceptable (to you) business nature.  We do not want to force you into a position where you are must deal with an unacceptable situation, so we are removing that roadblock from your happiness.  I'm done here, your refund will be processed by COB tomorrow.

I think you're misunderstanding my logic. Take Apple Computer for example. A company that produces an admittedly good product, but not in the most ethical way. I am open about how they shouldn't employ FoxConn for their assembly etc, but they do it anyway, and I live with it.

My intentions are not to anger anyone, or disrupt my business relationship with BFL. I just want to promote honesty, and discourage the opposite.

Give me truth and I'll give you peace. Most people think that's simple enough.

Hahaha... post with the wrong sock puppet account there, sport?  Epic!

*EDIT* - For those of you who may have missed it, Garr just accidentally posted with his Werner account and then deleted the post and reposted with Garr when he realized he screwed up.



I was refreshing this thread every 30 seconds to not miss any of this juicy garbage and I didn't see that. I think you're smoking something.

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June 20, 2013, 04:32:16 AM
 #6

Wait let me grab my popcorn!
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June 20, 2013, 04:38:20 AM
 #7

Holy shit. There's actually enough information here to open an investigation on Inaba. The quote tags were edited, and the screenshot appears fake. I think QuestionAuthority might be right:

Quote from: Inaba on Today at 02:58:55
Quote
I did not request a refund. If you refund me, I expect the full amount of BTC I paid to be refunded. If you are able to do this I will gladly take my business elsewhere, because believe it or not you have competition now

You'll get the full amount you paid in USD, since that's how our products are priced. 

As a point of fact, you did request a refund, let me quote you:

Quote
but your business operations and ethic are both unacceptable.

You find them unacceptable, I understand.  We will cut ties and move on and you no longer have to deal with the unacceptable (to you) business nature.  We do not want to force you into a position where you are must deal with an unacceptable situation, so we are removing that roadblock from your happiness.  I'm done here, your refund will be processed by COB tomorrow.

I think you're misunderstanding my logic. Take Apple Computer for example. A company that produces an admittedly good product, but not in the most ethical way. I am open about how they shouldn't employ FoxConn for their assembly etc, but they do it anyway, and I live with it.

My intentions are not to anger anyone, or disrupt my business relationship with BFL. I just want to promote honesty, and discourage the opposite.

Give me truth and I'll give you peace. Most people think that's simple enough.

Hahaha... post with the wrong sock puppet account there, sport?  Epic!

*EDIT* - For those of you who may have missed it, Garr just accidentally posted with his Werner account and then deleted the post and reposted with Garr when he realized he screwed up.



I was refreshing this thread every 30 seconds to not miss any of this juicy garbage and I didn't see that. I think you're smoking something.


Yes, by all means, open an investigation.  Lets see the IP logs of the posts and the post history.  SMF does have soft delete, right?  I use it on vBulletin all the time, any posts that are deleted are removed from public view, but I can view and recover them when I need to.

I still have the thread open in my browser as well, looking at it right now as a matter of fact.  In fact, lets post Garr's Skype log to me:

Quote
[6/19/2013 3:15:00 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Hi josh.zerlan, I'd like to add you as a contact. Garrett Ian MacDonald
[6/19/2013 3:25:13 AM] Josh Zerlan: What can I help you with?
[6/19/2013 3:25:17 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Thanks for adding me
[6/19/2013 3:25:21 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: free for a call?
[6/19/2013 3:25:30 AM] Josh Zerlan: No, it's too late at night for that.
[6/19/2013 3:25:54 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: I was wondering what your policy is on canceling orders, sir.
[6/19/2013 3:26:04 AM] Josh Zerlan: With regards to what?
[6/19/2013 3:28:17 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Dude this is Garr. I have to shamefully apologize for calling your company out, and making you think I don't want to deal with you, because most of my orders are not for me and have been sold to other people already.
[6/19/2013 3:29:07 AM] Josh Zerlan: You know, that might have carried some weight before you used a sock puppet account to troll me, then used your own account to lie about it and AGAIN essentially call me a liar.
[6/19/2013 3:29:21 AM] Josh Zerlan: You and I both know Werner is your sock puppet account
[6/19/2013 3:29:28 AM] Josh Zerlan: Given the speed you did your editing, I suspect you posted from the same IP
[6/19/2013 3:29:52 AM] Josh Zerlan: So getting a mod to check the IPs on those two posts will probably yield up the proof required to call you out on that
[6/19/2013 3:30:04 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: I'm just saying, it will hurt other customers more than me if you terminate our relationship. The terms I've agreed to with them exempt me from you canceling my order without a formal request.
[6/19/2013 3:30:34 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: It will hurt me a lot as well, still Tongue
[6/19/2013 3:30:36 AM] Josh Zerlan: Right... so you think it's ok to abuse me and BFL at your liesure and I should just bend over and take it?  It doesn't work like that here.
[6/19/2013 3:31:10 AM] Josh Zerlan: You did make a formal request.  You explicitly stated that our business ethics etc... were unacceptable.
[6/19/2013 3:31:15 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Well in my defense, can you argue against my accusations? This is not the outcome I intended.
[6/19/2013 3:32:00 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Are you a believer in implied word, or actual word. Because I am actually asking you to not cancel my orders, please.
[6/19/2013 3:33:46 AM] Josh Zerlan: Yes, I can easily arguing against your accusations. I already did.  There are orders ahead of you in the queue that were in before Bitpay. Most notably some FPGA orders that were never delivered at the customer request and converted into ASIC orders.  There's not a lot of them, but there's some of them.
[6/19/2013 3:34:16 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Okay, that does make sense
[6/19/2013 3:34:46 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: now that you tell me straight up and not through (what I suspect to be) a puppet.
[6/19/2013 3:34:58 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: ^sorry if I'm wrong about that
[6/19/2013 3:35:06 AM] Josh Zerlan: Unlike you, Garrett, I have but one account (or two if you cound BFL_Josh).
[6/19/2013 3:35:15 AM] Josh Zerlan: I'm not duplicious or dishonest like you appear to be at this point.
[6/19/2013 3:35:17 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: a smart person would use a VPN with a sock puppet account.
[6/19/2013 3:36:04 AM] Josh Zerlan: Yes, you could have been using a VPN with your puppet, but given the speed you switched it up, unless your VPN was on another computer, I doubt you had time to switch off your VPN and back on.
[6/19/2013 3:36:05 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Honestly I just want you to be forthcoming with your business operations
[6/19/2013 3:36:18 AM] Josh Zerlan: Dude, your credibility is shot after the stunt with Werner.
[6/19/2013 3:36:28 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: I don't want to discuss that.
[6/19/2013 3:36:38 AM] Josh Zerlan: Are you honestly sitting there trying to lecture me on being forthcoming after that?
[6/19/2013 3:36:57 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: I'm not bothering arguing that.
[6/19/2013 3:37:21 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Really I wish we weren't here having this discussion
[6/19/2013 3:38:12 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: You have to admit, that being an outsider of BFL, and seeing people be sent units with the explicit agreement that they would post picutres, that it looks shady.
[6/19/2013 3:38:25 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: I just want to get the truth.
[6/19/2013 3:38:59 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: And with your explaination for the FPGA orders, I believe I have it. At least part of it.
[6/19/2013 3:39:07 AM] Josh Zerlan: There's been several singles sent out, there's only one picture that I know of, and that's Allten.  We are shipping out in order.  I know it's hard to believe, but the majority of our orders don't come from Bitcointalk members.
[6/19/2013 3:39:21 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: It's totally believable
[6/19/2013 3:39:38 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: just something that most don't take into account as often as we should
[6/19/2013 3:39:42 AM] Josh Zerlan: Bitcointalk forum members are a signifigant faction, yes, but they are by no means a majority.
[6/19/2013 3:40:05 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Yep that is analogous with cognitive shareholders
[6/19/2013 3:40:18 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: so I understand that.
[6/19/2013 3:40:29 AM] Josh Zerlan: So, if you want to clean the slate, fine.  You need to apologize publically for calling me and BFL liars, admit Werner is your sock puppet account and apologize for utilizing it to troll me.
[6/19/2013 3:40:44 AM] Josh Zerlan: Then we can just forget it happened and move on.
[6/19/2013 3:46:01 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Okay, writing a post now...
[6/19/2013 4:02:56 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Done. I genuinely appreciate your giving me the opportunity to keep my orders.
[6/19/2013 4:05:58 AM] Josh Zerlan: That is probably one of the most disingenuous apologies I have ever seen, I have to admit.
[6/19/2013 4:07:09 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: It wasn't intended to be anything more than you asked.
[6/19/2013 4:07:20 AM] Garrett Ian MacDonald: Again, sorry for making you and I both look like cunts.
[6/19/2013 4:07:22 AM] Josh Zerlan: Clearly

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
erk
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June 20, 2013, 04:39:12 AM
 #8

Would only take a few min to verify if Werner was Garret, the forums have logs, you can see post deletions, which would have been required to change the owner of post #93 at 1371628652 in the Inaba screenshot.

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June 20, 2013, 04:45:19 AM
 #9

It looks to me like the screenshot is fake, look at the timestamp discrepancy:



(the hour won't match because of time zones, but the minutes and seconds should match)
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June 20, 2013, 04:49:39 AM
 #10

And in fact THIS is the Werner post with that timestamp (17:57:32):

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236794.msg2517592#msg2517592

Sloppy work there Inaba!


Wait I think I heard my microwave bell... brb popcorn is ready!
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June 20, 2013, 04:51:52 AM
 #11

Would only take a few min to verify if Werner was Garret, the forums have logs, you can see post deletions, which would have been required to change the owner of post #93 at 1371628652 in the Inaba screenshot.
Yes, we can check the contents of post 2517632. However, the question now is whether we should. Is it ethical for us to do that, especially giving the evidence against Inaba? I honestly don't know.

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June 20, 2013, 04:53:31 AM
Last edit: June 20, 2013, 04:54:33 AM by Maged
 #12

Yes, because that quote link was manually entered.  Try to "quote" via the quote button a post that has been deleted - SMF won't pull it up.  I originally had generic quote tags around it and had to go back and add who it was from, since it wouldn't make any sense otherwise within the context, AFTER Garr reposted the same text.  

Here's the original quote HTML:

Code:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=post;quote=2517632;topic=236794.80;num_replies=92;sesc=*removed*

And the original post link:

Code:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236794.msg2517632#msg2517632

Now go test it for yourself, post a message, pull it up in a  browser, delete it and then try to quote it.  You'll get nothing and you'll have to do it manually.  As in the other thread, I'll even let Maged remote into my machine and examine the still open browser window.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 20, 2013, 04:54:38 AM
 #13

Yes, we can check the contents of post 2517632. However, the question now is whether we should. Is it ethical for us to do that, especially giving the evidence against Inaba? I honestly don't know.

Ban them both?
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June 20, 2013, 04:55:01 AM
 #14

Not ethical?  Why is it not ethical?  Check it and if I'm lying, call me out on it.  If I'm not... well, you have your answer.  There's no need to reveal what's in the post if it's NOT what I said, there's no ethics problem in verifying but not disclosing.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 20, 2013, 05:00:32 AM
 #15

Would only take a few min to verify if Werner was Garret, the forums have logs, you can see post deletions, which would have been required to change the owner of post #93 at 1371628652 in the Inaba screenshot.
Yes, we can check the contents of post 2517632. However, the question now is whether we should. Is it ethical for us to do that, especially giving the evidence against Inaba? I honestly don't know.

It's at least as ethical as taking a legitimate request from another user and warping it this way and then calling it 'evidence'.

As a forum mod, you should have an interest in curtailing sockpuppet accounts especially when they've been used to bid on the owners own auctions.

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June 20, 2013, 05:02:04 AM
 #16

Yes, because that quote link was manually entered.  Try to "quote" via the quote button a post that has been deleted - SMF won't pull it up.  I originally had generic quote tags around it and had to go back and add who it was from, since it wouldn't make any sense otherwise within the context, AFTER Garr reposted the same text.  

Here's the original quote HTML:

Code:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?action=post;quote=2517632;topic=236794.80;num_replies=92;sesc=*removed*

And the original post link:

Code:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236794.msg2517632#msg2517632

Now go test it for yourself, post a message, pull it up in a  browser, delete it and then try to quote it.  You'll get nothing and you'll have to do it manually.  As in the other thread, I'll even let Maged remote into my machine and examine the still open browser window.
Hmm... I guess that makes sense. We'll hold back on that for now. In that case, the only thing remaining to put in a verification request is to determine that a scam took place, assuming the post is real. I'd like to see more arguments on that.

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June 20, 2013, 05:04:09 AM
 #17

Bid shilling isn't a scam?  He's basically scammed a number of users out of BTC by bidding up prices on stuff.

You could even argue that he's scammed his Cognitive users by posting positive remarks about how awesome it and he is, since people assume it's a legitimate disinterested third party, not the same guy selling what he's selling.  That's almost by definition a scam.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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June 20, 2013, 05:13:03 AM
 #18

Thinking this through, scams here (usually) need a victim to exist to be tagged. I don't really want to do anything about this until they come forward. Once they do come forward, if Garr255 would like to settle the issue with them, that would prevent the need for me to neg trust him.

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June 20, 2013, 06:33:58 AM
 #19

Thinking this through, scams here (usually) need a victim to exist to be tagged. I don't really want to do anything about this until they come forward. Once they do come forward, if Garr255 would like to settle the issue with them, that would prevent the need for me to neg trust him.

This thread has at least one clear potential victim in it and I'm sure they would like to know about it.

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=214965.0

At one point (after Werner had already contributed a few times) the top bidders were the following:

Current top bids:
1@60 - nlovlyn
1@61 - starsoccer9

Then conveniently, Werner shows up:

2@62

Prompting some more bidding until finally two of the non-Werner bidders both upped their bids:

Less than four hours left!

Current leaders:

1@65 - Vezunchik
1@63 - starsoccer9

If Werner is indeed Garr255, this is painting a very clear picture of how he scammed starsoccer9 out of 2 BTC for that particular auction.
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June 20, 2013, 07:07:40 AM
 #20

And in fact THIS is the Werner post with that timestamp (17:57:32):

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=236794.msg2517592#msg2517592

Sloppy work there Inaba!


Wait I think I heard my microwave bell... brb popcorn is ready!

I ran the screenshot from Inaba through fotoforensics.com
http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=920e738915e00c0dda24bc1fc373b24e59f1f704.238213

I leave as an exercise for the reader to interpret the results.  Grin

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