Nottingham man left fuming after auction scam

LTLF Exclusive by Fraud Correspondent, Ken Iving
December 10, 2013

A man from Nottingham is seeking a refund after he was taken in by an outrageous online auction scam.

Fawaz Al-Hasawi was duped by an eBay seller supposedly auctioning French footballer Bakary Sako.

Mr Al-Hasawi’s bid of £3.5 million was accepted by the Wolverhampton-based seller – who trades under the user name ‘Molineux_Kenny’ – but when the goods arrived the unfortunate victim realised he had been sent a cardboard cut-out of the player instead of the real thing.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Fawaz. “I thought it was a joke at first, then I went back and checked the listing. It turns out I really did bid on a life-size cardboard cut-out.”

Mr Al-Hasawi, 45, sent requests to the seller, which were ignored. He then approached eBay for a refund, which was also denied.

Fawaz puts on a brave face as he poses with his embarrassing purchaseThe hapless Fawaz told us: “I bought Bakary for my little boy, Billy. It’s completely ruined our season. He’s devastated.

“After I realised what I had done, I told my family about it and they just laughed – especially my cousin Omar.”

Young Billy is now facing up to a Christmas without a goal-scoring powerhouse as Mr Al-Hasawi says he can’t afford to replace the cardboard cut-out with the real thing:

“I feel like I’ve really let him down, he may never forgive me. When I broke the news to Billy he burst into tears. He was wailing ‘A cardboard cut-out?! I might as well play Marcus Tudgay up front!’”

LTLF contacted eBay for their response to the con and received the following statement: “eBay is very sorry about what happened to Mr Al-Hasawi, but we are unable to help as our terms and conditions clearly state we are not responsible for the stupidity of users – on the contrary, stupidity is actually one of the requirements of using our site.”

The falsified sale of footballers is not a new scam – the great Brian Clough once purchased a fake Justin Fashanu, while his successor Frank Clark was sold an Andrea Silenzi in place of a Roberto Baggio in 1996.

More recently, Steve McClaren bought several faulty players at great expense, though it is possible that he simply couldn’t understand the instructions.

Meanwhile, thousands of Nottingham Forest fans are facing a frustrating wait with a promotion ordered more than a decade ago seemingly still lost in the post.