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Thursday, 5 December, 2002, 10:10 GMT
Internet auction scam uncovered
Computer user
The case highlights one of the fears of shoppers who buy through the internet

It has been called one of the largest internet auction scams ever uncovered.

A Los Angeles man has been charged with defrauding eBay buyers across six continents by offering for sale computers and their parts that never even existed.

Chris Chong Kim, 27, who is based in Los Angeles, was charged with four counts of grand theft and 26 counts of holding mock auctions for allegedly failing to deliver computers, laptops and parts bought on the eBay site.

He had been selling on the internet for two years through a company he called Calvin Auctions.

Then in April this year he allegedly stopped shipping the products but continued to sell.

No delivery

This went on for two months by which time 26 customers had allegedly spent more than $450,000 but seen nothing in return.

The company then shut down completely and it was not long before eBay was swamped with complaints from disgruntled customers around the world.

The case highlights the fear of many customers who use the internet to buy goods.

You supply your credit card details make your purchase then hope that the goods will arrive.

It is also particularly difficult to chase up products if they do not turn up as it can be hard to track down the physical address of internet companies.

E-mail inquiries may go unanswered, and many complainants give up in frustration.

Chris Kim was arrested on Tuesday this week.

If convicted on all counts, he could face 24 years in jail.

See also:

26 Nov 02 | Business
04 Oct 02 | Business
19 Jul 02 | Business
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