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Internet Hobbies/Hobby Models Fraud Complaint

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Internet Hobbies/Hobby Models Fraud Complaint
Posted by maxman on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 5:09 PM

The Pennsylvania Attorny General has filed fraud complaints against these outfits, both apparently run by the same husband/wife.

https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/attorney-general-shapiro-files-complaint-against-online-hobby-shop-warns-of-holiday-shopping-scams/

 

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 5:22 PM

Interesting. It also lists numerous names/alias' of other companies the family does business as.

Wasn't there an online shop in Illinois that had similar complaints?  I know this is Pennsylvania, but I'm wondering if any of the alias' are DBA in Illinois.  

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Posted by JDawg on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 6:05 PM

Doughless

Interesting. It also lists numerous names/alias' of other companies the family does business as.

Wasn't there an online shop in Illinois that had similar complaints?  I know this is Pennsylvania, but I'm wondering if any of the alias' are DBA in Illinois.  

 

 

Wow! I wonder if any of this is true?! I've almost boughten from internet hobbies. Sort of glad I did not go through with the purchas.

JJF


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Posted by rrebell on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 9:50 PM

Back in the days of mail order I got scammed, the guy went to jail for mail froaud but I didn't get my money back.

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Posted by 7j43k on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 10:10 PM

JDawg

Wow! I wonder if any of this is true?!

 

When an attorney general gets involved, it starts looking true.

 

I recall that a company selling trains that had the word "internet" in their name generated a lot of discussion on various forums, years ago.

I also recall that there was another company that had the word "internet" in its name that was kind of dragged along into the pit.

 

I am surprised it took so long.  And I'm surprised jail time doesn't seem to be involved.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 10:53 PM

Been a long time since I heard anything about Internet Hobbies.  I remember the prices were really good, but also seem to recall a lot of complaints about them.

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 5:33 AM

Years ago, I bought steam locomotives on two separate occasions from Internet Hobbies. I had no problem with them back then. So, obviously, things have changed.

There was also an online hobby shop called Internet Trains, but that company doesn't seem to be around anymore.

Rich

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Posted by NVSRR on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 6:15 AM

There was the one in Florida. Hobby circle I do believe.   Plus the one just brought up two weeks ago-Broadway limited.   Hard to tell when they are scams.  Especially when it started as reputable.

 

shane

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 6:25 AM

Shane,

Broadway Limited Imports (BLI) is still legitimate.  It was another business using "Broadway Limited" in their name in order to make it sound like they were linked to BLI.  However, the two are NOT associated with one another.  The "other" was purportedly shipping product directly from China to "cut costs".

Tom

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Posted by Voyager on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 4:55 PM

Despite a very professional looking web site, the couple who ran this operation did so out of a single family home. The court document for the state case against them  (https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2021-11-24-In... ) lists the "firm's" address as 504 US HWY 6 in Mayfield, PA. on the outskirts of Scranton. There is no separate retail store much less any warehouse at this location as claimed on their principal web site--just a modest house.  Internet complaints against their failure to supply goods, provide refunds, or even answer inquiries date back to at least 2013. Yet for years they managed to take advantage of unsuspecting customers and the fact that most people whom they cheated failed to take any action against them. Any forum members among this group should contact the Pennsylvania State Attorney listed in the above court document to increase the prospect of shutting down their scam. Others should take warning and not order goods from online firms that are not well known and recommended by others. Check the internet for comments about and reviews of unknown firms before you order.

Voyager

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 9:10 PM

I dealt with these clowns about two years ago. Ended up having the credit card company do the fighting for me. 

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Posted by hbgatsf on Thursday, February 15, 2024 7:56 AM

maxman

The Pennsylvania Attorny General has filed fraud complaints against these outfits, both apparently run by the same husband/wife.

https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/taking-action/press-releases/attorney-general-shapiro-files-complaint-against-online-hobby-shop-warns-of-holiday-shopping-scams/

 

 

Apparantly nothing has come of this legal action.  I haven't been able to find anything about the outcome of the case and today I got an email from Internet Hobbies using Model Ship Depot as the storefront.

Why can't these scammers be put out of business?

Rick

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, February 15, 2024 8:33 PM

Only thing I can contribute is a FB discussion about the place from around the same time as the PA AG matter: https://www.facebook.com/internethobbies/.  Curious if anyone wants to monitor this case or post on FB.  I too question how this place and remain functioning.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, February 15, 2024 10:17 PM

I wish folks would not reference anything that requires me to have a Facebook account.

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Posted by Tophias on Friday, February 16, 2024 10:26 AM

maxman

I wish folks would not reference anything that requires me to have a Facebook account.

 

 Yes

Regards, Chris 

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Posted by AEP528 on Friday, February 16, 2024 10:59 AM

Tophias

 

 
maxman

I wish folks would not reference anything that requires me to have a Facebook account.

 

 

 

 Yes

 

Regards, Chris 

 

 

Well then, let's all just pretend that information in Facebook doesn't exist and not mention it so we don't hurt anybody's feelings.

Back in the real world, there is information that requires accounts to access, and behind paywalls that require subscriptions.

It is always appropriate to cite the existence of such information. It is up to the reader to decide if they want to access that information.

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, February 16, 2024 1:18 PM

hbgatsf
Apparantly nothing has come of this legal action.  I haven't been able to find anything about the outcome of the case and today I got an email from Internet Hobbies using Model Ship Depot as the storefront.

Why can't these scammers be put out of business?

Just a thought - perhaps they were investigated, and it turned out there wasn't sufficient proof of wrongdoing to warrant prosecution?

Stix
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Posted by speedybee on Friday, February 16, 2024 1:25 PM

maxman

I wish folks would not reference anything that requires me to have a Facebook account.

 
I don't think you need to have a Facebook account to view the page. When the window pops up asking you to log in to Facebook, just click the "x" in the pop-up window's corner, and then you can see the page without logging in
 
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Posted by maxman on Friday, February 16, 2024 1:52 PM

speedybee
I don't think you need to have a Facebook account to view the page.

That's right.  Thanks.  Someone told me that just recently and I forgot.

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Posted by hbgatsf on Friday, February 16, 2024 4:48 PM

wjstix

 

 
hbgatsf
Apparantly nothing has come of this legal action.  I haven't been able to find anything about the outcome of the case and today I got an email from Internet Hobbies using Model Ship Depot as the storefront.

Why can't these scammers be put out of business?

 

Just a thought - perhaps they were investigated, and it turned out there wasn't sufficient proof of wrongdoing to warrant prosecution?

 

I will have a contact in the Attorney General's Office check it out.  It will take a little more than a week but I will report what I find out.  

Rick

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 16, 2024 6:06 PM

wjstix
 
hbgatsf
Apparantly nothing has come of this legal action.  I haven't been able to find anything about the outcome of the case and today I got an email from Internet Hobbies using Model Ship Depot as the storefront.

Why can't these scammers be put out of business? 

Just a thought - perhaps they were investigated, and it turned out there wasn't sufficient proof of wrongdoing to warrant prosecution? 

My guess is that the case is still pending.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, February 16, 2024 7:08 PM

Voyager

Despite a very professional looking web site, the couple who ran this operation did so out of a single family home. The court document for the state case against them  (https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2021-11-24-In... ) lists the "firm's" address as 504 US HWY 6 in Mayfield, PA. on the outskirts of Scranton. There is no separate retail store much less any warehouse at this location as claimed on their principal web site--just a modest house.  Internet complaints against their failure to supply goods, provide refunds, or even answer inquiries date back to at least 2013. Yet for years they managed to take advantage of unsuspecting customers and the fact that most people whom they cheated failed to take any action against them. Any forum members among this group should contact the Pennsylvania State Attorney listed in the above court document to increase the prospect of shutting down their scam. Others should take warning and not order goods from online firms that are not well known and recommended by others. Check the internet for comments about and reviews of unknown firms before you order.

Voyager

 

All evidence of wrong doing aside, the fact that the business is operated out of a residence is not a sign of wrong doing or of a shady operation.

You can warehouse a lot of model trains in the basement of the average home here in the Mid Atlantic and in many places the operation of that sort of business is allowed in residential or "village" zoned areas.

But, a quick look at Google maps show this to be an older home, converted to commercial use, right on a main st, which is a US highway in downtown Honesdale.

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5765338,-75.2593574,3a,75y,132.51h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sEQ5McvsB9ChTDaWfUaEWSA!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3DEQ5McvsB9ChTDaWfUaEWSA%26cb_client%3Dsearch.gws-prod.gps%26w%3D86%26h%3D86%26yaw%3D132.506%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu

Go back to that street view and scan around in a circle, you will see that area is anything but a residential neighborhood today.

Modest house? Where are you from? That property looks to have been built around 1895 to possibly as late as 1915 and looks to be about 4000 sq ft, not counting any basement.

In its day that was an upper middle class home to a family that likely had a nanny, a maid and a gardener, even if they were part time day help, for a stay at home wife/mother who was likely part of the town social scene. Her husband was likely a lawyer, doctor, banker, business owner or other white colar mid/uppper level manager.

In its day, that house would have looked a little different before the monolithic vinyl siding and matching trim.

Maybe kind of like this but without the turret.

Lots of mail order/internet businesses do not have retail stores. And you might be very surprised to find out just how small the physical plant of many companies in this business are.

But again, I have no direct knowledge of the company in question here.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Tophias on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 7:48 AM

AEP528

 

 
Tophias

 

 
maxman

I wish folks would not reference anything that requires me to have a Facebook account.

 

 

 

 Yes

 

Regards, Chris 

 

 

 

 

Well then, let's all just pretend that information in Facebook doesn't exist and not mention it so we don't hurt anybody's feelings.

Back in the real world, there is information that requires accounts to access, and behind paywalls that require subscriptions.

It is always appropriate to cite the existence of such information. It is up to the reader to decide if they want to access that information.

 

well, here's my Mea Cupa. Like Maxman, I too thought any link to FB or any other social media required you to be member. Having learned once again that I was mistaken on a subject (I'm good at making assumptions without actually verifying what I think is correct), I now understand I can be part of any discussion surrounding a FB post. That's the good thing about being my age, finding out you were completely mistaken about something doesn't embarrass me anymore. Never to old to learn!

Regards, Chris 

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 8:46 AM

Tophias
Like Maxman, I too thought any link to FB or any other social media required you to be member. Having learned once again that I was mistaken on a subject (I'm good at making assumptions without actually verifying what I think is correct), I now understand I can be part of any discussion surrounding a FB post. That's the good thing about being my age, finding out you were completely mistaken about something doesn't embarrass me anymore. Never to old to learn! Regards, Chris 

FB allows the account holder to set different preferred privacy settings, from nearly wide open so everybody sees everything, to very provate amongst only "Friends".  I assume that a business would have very public settings, so you can get a lot of info from FB by simply visiting the site.

- Douglas

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Posted by Tophias on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 10:57 AM

Thnx Douglas, good to know.

Regards, Chris 

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 12:39 PM

I don't trust Facebook.  There is an individual who likes to send out selfies.  Nothing noxious.  But whenever I look at what he's sent I find that I have been automatically logged in.  I dont know how to make that stop.

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Posted by York1 on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 1:08 PM

I dropped Facebook several years ago.  My problem was not Facebook, but me.  I was spending a lot of time reading worthless posts from people I barely knew.  I kept making resolutions that I was not going to waste my time on FB anymore, but like an addict, I would go back to it.

I seem to have a lot more time for other things now that I am no longer on it.

I also did not know that I could read certain things without having an account.  I really didn't need to know that!  Sad

York1 John       

I asked my doctor if I gave up delicious food and all alcohol, would I live longer?  He said, "No, but it will seem longer."

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 3:33 PM

York1
I also did not know that I could read certain things without having an account.  I really didn't need to know that! 

I don't want to get into a FB thread derail here.  I am always logged into my FB account on one device, and I've never used other devices for FB.  There is probably better access to all FB accounts once you have an account and are logged in, but my other devices get information from FB businesses too eventhough I'm not logged in.  There may be different levels of access though between the two that I haven't reconciled.  

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, February 22, 2024 9:42 AM

hbgatsf
I will have a contact in the Attorney General's Office check it out.  It will take a little more than a week but I will report what I find out.  

Keep in mind that due to confidentiality issues, the AG may not be able to give out any information unless/until they actually press charges. 

Stix
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Posted by hbgatsf on Monday, February 26, 2024 7:34 PM

On 11/8/22 a Consent Decree was filed resolving the complaint.  Internet Hobbies et al. were ordered to pay $24,035.50 in restitution and to stop using many of the fictitious business names that were never filed with the Commonwealth. IH was to shut down for a year after selling any actual inventory in their possession.  They were also fined $100,000 but that was suspended as long as they followed normal business practices (which were detailed in the decree) when the opened back up.  

Time will tell if this tiger has changed its stripes.  

Rick

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