We are all used to hearing in the media about various financial scams, but this is the low down on one which, rather alarmingly, is specifically targeting our hobby. What happens is that the criminal (usually from another country) scan 'Wanted' adverts for ham radio equipment and then takes on the identity of a radio amateur to offer the equipment advertised as wanted, eventually asking for payment which is taken and then they are never heard of again, leaving the radio amateur to protest their innocence.
One of the reasons they target hams more is that the identity of many hams is quite easy to find thanks to qrz.com and call books etc, so quite convincing impersonations can be made and we know they often create a realistic looking email address in a googlemail or hotmail format such as m1abc<at>ooglemail.com
This is'nt just a general notice but is real - two of our own club officers are the subject of just such a scam right now and both have put notices on their QRZ.com page's to they is not selling any equipment etc.
Our aim is not to scare you but to make you aware - think about what and how you present your details and if you see or hear about anything odd concerning you or a fellow amateur please don't ignore it but investigate and if in doubt contact the police - from recent experience I can tell you that they do take fraud and identity theft seriously and will take action if they can.
David G7URP