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Sal Wise, Philly eBay Scammer Strikes Back! 367

Warlock7 followed up last week's bizarre story of eBay Fraud by noting "The news in Phlly ran with the story and put Sal's picture online with video. Now Sal has decided to direct all blame on his old business partner. He's put up his own site now trying to divert responsibilty away from himself and uses his kids pictures to try and garner support." It's hysterical to read the original log about how everything was his father's fault, but now get to learn about a more powerful evil named 'Vince'. It's like a soap opera that won't let me blink until the commercial.
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Sal Wise, Philly eBay Scammer Strikes Back!

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:50PM (#9827805)
    need a good whack from a lead pipe to smack some sense into them.
  • by bonestockR6 ( 735249 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:51PM (#9827806)
    Ohh well that web site has completely changed my feelings about 'ol Sal. [sarcasm] Maybe I'll send him $2500 for one of his Laptop auctions. . [/sarcasm]
  • Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

    by jebell ( 567579 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:51PM (#9827809) Journal
    This guy changes stories more often than I change underwear (I know, I'm opening myself up for obvious jokes here). Not too long ago, he was blaming it on his father.
    • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Funny)

      by mrwonton ( 456172 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:28PM (#9828054) Homepage
      This guy changes stories more often than I change underwear (I know, I'm opening myself up for obvious jokes here). Not too long ago, he was blaming it on his father.

      Lets see, he changes his story every couple days sooo... that makes you normal by /. standards.
  • Vince (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    but now get to learn about a more powerful evil named 'Vince'.

    We've been hearing for YEARS that the dirt on Vince Foster will eventually come out. Now it has!
  • huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by swimmar132 ( 302744 ) <joe&pinkpucker,net> on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:52PM (#9827816) Homepage
    Wut? Did the baby steal the money?

    I'm so confused.
    • In soviet australia, money steals babies!

      (or so I hear)
      • As an Australian, I take offence to that racial comment.

        BTW, I have a laptop for sale on ebay for $910, anyone wanna buy it? I'll even pay for shipping. Just make the cheque payable to "cash" or Sal Wise^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H. Cash will be fine :)

        Look forward to doing business with you.

  • by mikeage ( 119105 ) < minus pi> on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:52PM (#9827819) Homepage
    Can we make this a Slashdot Poll?

    Who's behind the Sal Wise scam?

    • Sal Wise - duh
    • Vince
    • Justin Spence - made up the whole thing
    • Elvis
    • Yo Mama
    • OJ Simpson - still looking for the real scammers
    • CmdrTaco - It's only one scam, it's just a duplicate listing
    • CowboyNeal
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:53PM (#9827826)

    It's not in italics.

  • This is odd (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bunburyist ( 664958 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:54PM (#9827832)
    Why would he post pictures of himself on a random website? Something isn't right. OR maybe he's just REALLY stupid, which is definately a possibility. Either way, I think that the Slashdot club people are probably quick to judge him as a scammer. Once we've completely de-bunked his claims, then we can call him a scammer! I think that judgement based on one guy who set up a website with all these reports of scamming could be slightly biassed. Not to say that this man isn't a slimy scammer, just don't beleive everything you read, including this guy's site nor the other guy's site.
    • I have to admit, I'm a bit biased against sites like this when the spelling and grammar are that horrible. It may be dangerous to attribute credibility to writing style, but jeez Sal, buy a spell-checker at least!

    • Did you READ the site in question?

      "These pics look better then the one on the news dont you think?"

      The news apparently showed some unflattering pictures, and he's trying to gain sympathy by circulating pictures of himself with kids. And it seems to work, even on Slashdotters [].
    • Judging Sal (Score:4, Informative)

      by crimson30 ( 172250 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:33AM (#9828827) Homepage
      Well, since he never refuted any of Justin's e-mails other than claiming he didn't write the earlier ones (establishing that they were indeed sent from his account), it certainly shows that somebody did indeed scam Justin. Given that there is no loss of credibility to Justin as of yet and the e-mails seem legit, this boils down to 2 likely possibilities which one can choose from:

      1. The hospital misinformed Justin as to whether or not Sal was admitted AND the bank staff have misinformed Justin about Sal as well. In this case, it is quite possible this Vince character used Sal's computer and e-mail client. Oh and, Sal and Vince happen to have a matching writing style.

      2. The bank staff is not confusing anyone with Sal and the hospital staff correctly informed Justin.

      Is scenario #1 possible. Sure.

      But, perhaps you ought to read all those e-mails again.
    • by skinfitz ( 564041 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @05:45AM (#9829645) Journal
      What if the awful truth is that hes just a ****ing idiot?

      I think that would frighten me more.
  • by staynz79au ( 740804 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:54PM (#9827834)
    Why would he think anyone would beleive him? It's dicks like Sal that give dicks a bad name.
  • Unexplained... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaelstromX ( 739241 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:57PM (#9827859)
    While I'll admit stranger things have happened, I'd still have to hold Mr. Wise 100% responsible until he provides a reasonable explanation of why the people at the check cashing place who knew him well were able to identify, without question, that he was the one that cashed the cashier's check, along with his other various lies, such as the person in the hospital who, mysteriously, the hospital had no record of.

    I'll give him points for effort, though. He didn't have to go out and make a web page defending himself, and I'm sure he'll draw a lot of sympathy for being such a family man! Maybe, if he gets a chance, he can also address some of the inconsistencies in his stories.
    • Re:Unexplained... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:11AM (#9828270)
      [...] and I'm sure he'll draw a lot of sympathy for being such a family man!

      Until, of course, the actual people those pictures belong to come forward and demand they be removed from his site :)

      I mean really

      $ file 000_000813.jpg
      000_000813.jpg: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.02, resolution (DPI), 271 x 271
      $ file P7120633.JPG
      P7120633.JPG: JPEG image data, EXIF standard 0.73, 10752 x 2048

      Then again, maybe I'm just being overly untrusting. But he reminds me a lot of a few compulsive liars I've known IRL, and I wouldn't put it past them for a moment...

  • Paypal? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lampei ( 685598 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:59PM (#9827871)
    I'm surprised he hasn't asked for Paypal donations yet.
  • Same guy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smkndrkn ( 3654 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @10:59PM (#9827872)
    Just by reading all the emails from the previous story and then reading can tell it is the same person typing.

    Honestly why have the police not taken care of this guy already?
  • Sigh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    Now i listed other items for vince also. Laptops that he bought from the street and gold coins that i found out were fake. Yes thats right he asked me to list them gold coins and then after some paid i found out they were fake by taking one to a local jewlery shop. So one of the victims that never got there gold coins now knows why they didnt get it. I wasnt sending fake coins out to people and told vince this so i didnt send them and told vince he had to refund the person who paid. He never did give me the
  • by Trogre ( 513942 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:02PM (#9827894) Homepage
    ... that this might not be a scam at all, and poor Sal is being harrassed to the point of suicide?

    To say nothing of his family, including newborn.

    Okay, so it's unlikely given the text so far, but not impossible. Vince might have the wrong guy.

    • I've not harassed him, and his problem probably has a lot less to do with /.'ers and average people harassing him as much as it is the ammount of short-lived press he is getting. If there's an iota of truth on his website... if you have a wife and kid and admit to living in somebody else's house that is only valued at $30,000.... you've got bigger problems than name recognition and harrassment. He would have seen situations that are far uglier than the current one.
    • Aw, crap!

      I meant Justin.

  • by Mad Martigan ( 166976 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:03PM (#9827899) Homepage
    Seriously. Even if there were an even greater evil power behind poor Sal's crimes, does that totally absolve him of responsibility?

    Yeah, I ran over an old lady and her cat ... twice ... But Vince made me do it! Can I have a cookie?.

  • Just look for the guy with the goatee. Guys with goatees are always the evil ones. That or the guys with shaved heads....or guys with shaved heads WITH goatees make Hitler look like Mother Teresa.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:10PM (#9827938)
    I live in Philadelphia, and work downtown. I am posting AC to avoid being a karma whore and to avoid getting killed by this Sal guy. Last week or so after work I walked down to his address because its not too far from center city. Let me tell you that this guy lives in a crumby crumby neighborhood. And even worse, in a very crumby house. I didn't even think it was livable at first. Its a very small row home damn near falling apart. It has a basement window flush to the ground that is completely kicked in and just has a little fence in plastic fence in front of it. The whole house looks horrible, but in particular the front door is all screwed up. When I checked this place out there was a shitty car in front of the house (not a lexus, so I don't know who's lexus he got pictues of) and he lives across from a deli and about 2 blocks from a local hospital. The neighborhood is one of the worst in Philly. I didn't stay long and didnt dare take out my digital camera for obvious reasons. Anyway, the money that he's scammed people out of could probably pay his rent for over a year in the piece of junk that he lives in. Judging from his neighbors (I didn't actually see Sal, just his house) he is a low life and probably on welfare too. Everyone in that neighborhood seemed sleazy and the crime rate is either the highest in the city or in the top 3, or so associates have informed me. Anyway, I am certain that this guy is scum. And its getting out of control. Me and Justin have been in communication and I would like to think that I have helped him out and I intend to continue helping him out. Also everything me and Justin discussed, he fowarded on to the other victims so I'm trying my best to help out everyone involved. This Sal guy needs to get taken down.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Wow! I'm surprised the cops haven't arrested everyone on the block! It's such a bad neighborhood they've all got to be criminals...or on welfare, which is just as know, they're poor people! They're not like us! They live in old, run-down houses because they can't afford to live in the really expensive houses! That means they're bad! They ought to just do away with them!

      Dude, this guy may or may not be a crook, but if you judge me by the neighborhood I can afford to live in, you deserve to have
      • by lightknight ( 213164 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:10AM (#9828262) Homepage
        I know I'm responding to a troll, but what the hell.

        Do you know why the cops don't arrest everyone on the block? Because they are scared. After the sun sets, Center City and University City are the only places worth hanging around (ratio of cops:people can be 1:5 at times). I've lived in Philly for a number of years, and some Ambulances will simply not drive into West Philly after dark. It's not worth it to them.

        Now, I am not condemning the majority of people living there. But there are sections that are infested. I believe there was an incident a few years back where the mayor simply let the city burn (anti-terrorist squad dropped a bomb (literally), started a big fire).

        For that matter, West Philly is the only place I've been chased out of (young, stupid, new to Philly, drunk). Got on the El (going the wrong way), got off at 69th street (out of money, spent it all on beer). Nothing opens your eyes like being chased by crazies (as the people who live their call them) out of the West. And you think white people are racist? Damn, nothing like white kid running from a bunch of middle-aged black guys carrying bats and ranting about "Cracker...white man going to have his day...holding us down."

        I hated Track in high school (middle distance/sprinter), but sprinting full out, I gained a newfound respect for my old coach. I got back to Center City very, very sober.

        • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:31AM (#9828365)
          I live in philly too. Everything you described and the grandparent about Sal's neighborhood is extremely accurate. I've lived in Philadelphia my whole life. The cops have barely any power in some areas, either because of the mob, or just sheer numbers of gangs. Not all of philadelphia is bad, but there are a few sections that you just don't go to, and when you live here, you know that. Me personally, I live in a great neighborhood in Philly, barely any crime, I go for walks nearly every night and I have no fear in my neighborhood. But honestly in some neighborhoods, once its dark, you stay in. The bombing you were referring to was done by Philadelphia's first black mayor, Wilson Goode. It was to get rid of a radical group called MOVE who had been fighting with the city for years. The naturalists/radicals/ and everything else that composed MOVE got out of hand and seriously started disrupting the city at large. That's when our good ol' mayor decided to literally wage ware upon its citizens. With military aircraft they bombed the block that MOVE lived on, then let it burn for an hour, wiping out 60 houses and killing a few. A few people at city hall got in trouble for it, but the Mayor who actually okayed it was granted immunity. It was quite an incident, I hope I got all the details right.
    • Neat trick (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kunta Kinte ( 323399 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:52PM (#9828183) Journal
      Judging from his neighbors (I didn't actually see Sal, just his house) he is a low life and probably on welfare too. Everyone in that neighborhood seemed sleazy...

      Neat trick, being able to tell a person's character from the look of their neighbors. Must come handy at times I'm sure.

      Not everyone that lives in poor neighborhoods are crooks or on welfare!

      The media and people's naiveness is to blame for this stereotype.

      The majority of the poor are probably working 2 jobs and getting little assistants if any. It's just that the media has no incentive to show you a single mother working 2 jobs, the vocal minority that make it big rapping violent lyrics, dealing drugs, running ebay scams etc. get all the face time they can stomach.

      Think about this the next time you judge someone by where they're from.

      • by jm007 ( 746228 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @01:20AM (#9828581)
        here here! I couldn't agree more... I mean, everybody knows that you know you've moved up a class when you can have normal-sized assistants
      • No - actually, I think he judged him based upon that he stole $7000!

        Suggesting that he is on welfare may or may not be true, but you have to admit that many of the poor, are, in fact on welfare....that why we GIVE them welfare, becaus they are poor.
    • Sal lives at West E 1694 E West Street.

      Or whatever...

      Wasn't there a whole chapter of Sal's scam devoted to whether the cheque had been delivered to East East West Street or East West East Street?

      I'd be utterly amazed if he's at ANY address listed ANYWHERE in the online records of this ugly transaction...

      For my money (not that I put any up, thank god) he's long, long gone.

  • I find it interesting that the Justin Spence site has been slashdotted out of oblivion but the Sal Wise site is still up. I bet Warlock7 is really sal waise and this is all a plan to knock Justin Spence offline and get his defense in place.

    Once again slashdot is the tool of the evil doers, when will it ever end!

  • Who wants to place bets on how long it takes for that site to die a quick death by Slashdot?

    Sure hope they don't bandwidth-cap their hosted home pages like they used to (still do?) cap their cable modem connections...

  • I traded it to him for a Powerbook. Where is it??
  • Many questions here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:21PM (#9828009)
    Does 'Vince" truly exist?
    Is the attrocious grammar, spelling, and sentence structure merely due to poor linguistic skills or is he trying to draw sympathy by protraying himself as a fairly unintelligent person that was taken advantage of?
    If his name is Sam Wise (yeah like that sounds real) then why is his comcast page mich617?

    But perhaps the most puzzling question of all,

    How in the heck is his page standing up to a /.ing so well?!?

    I think there's more to this fellow than meets the eye...
  • by a-aiyar ( 528921 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:26PM (#9828043) Homepage
    Sal's website doesn't really shed light on who Vince Messina (sic) is, and Justin's bandwidth can't handle the Slashdot effect!

    Here's a link to a story [] on NBC10 (Philadelphia). Turns out that Vincent Massina is a South Philadelphia businessman who was defrauded of about $13,000 by Sal Wise.

    Why am I not surprised that Sal has managed to twist this around?

  • by zaren ( 204877 ) <> on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:27PM (#9828050) Homepage Journal
    It was made known it whatever car forum he hung out in that he died recently. I guess he got better...
  • Because the web site has been slashdotted for a week. Now it's probably even worse with this new post.

    This is good for Sal, though, since none of us can read anything on Justin's site.
  • by Chordonblue ( 585047 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:36PM (#9828103) Journal gonna be PISSED. This is the exact sort of thing they hate to see their clients do.

    It was like when that Peterson guy was giving all those contradictory interviews. They are coming back to bite him in the ass now...

  • selling that movie to hollywood...

    it could even help Rob Schneider get his career back in high gear...

    but then again, maybe not.
  • One Good Thing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:42PM (#9828133)
    Although Sal apparently nearly successfully trick members of an on-line forum into believing he was dead and buried to raise "funds for his widow and children," he won't see a dime of it. [] Thanks to Justin Spence and Slashdotters, the people running the collection for the forum were notified in time before giving it to "Sal's grieving family" and are in the process of returning the money to the donaters.
  • by B.D.Mills ( 18626 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:49PM (#9828165)
    So far we have the following episodes:

    IV: A New Scammer
    V: Philly eBay Scammer Strikes Back!

    Let's hope that the next episode is:

    VI: Return of the Money
  • Is ANY of it real? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2004 @11:52PM (#9828185) Homepage
    I don't think there's any real proof that both this AND the original site are real. It all reads way too much like something staged as a game to see how many people (including Slashdot eds) can get sucked into the story. I don't buy any of it.
    • I can't say I blame you. If I weren't involved in it first-hand I'd probably feel the same way. As I posted on Justin's online forum a couple days ago, the stranger this gets, the more I feel like this whole story is in a Robert Anton Wilson novel, and I'm just one of the minor characters...
  • by Mitleid ( 734193 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @12:14AM (#9828286)
    People! People! Listen here!

    All the speculation and uncertainty on whether Sal is a scammer/family man/ghost should have been a pretty blatant indication that this whole fiasco is simply part of the Halo 2 ARG, Haunted Apiary []! I'd think such an "enlightened" group as the slashdot crowd would have caught on by now.

    As for me, this whole "Sal Wise" component is the final piece of the puzzle. I've solved the riddle...

    Have YOU?
  • It needs to go to the Feds. This is a classic interstate fraud case and the Deparment of Justice has the jurisdiction. I think it actually falls on the Federal prosecuter for that district. I belive the penalties are rather severe when you add all the individual charges together.
  • Here are my (reasonably) fool-proof security rules:

    - NEVER enter personal information into anything other than a web browser.
    - NEVER enter personal information unless the browser URL begins with https:// and the security icon is displayed.
    - NEVER enter personal information unless you EXPLICITLY TRUST the website.
    - CHEK THE SPELLING of the website address.
    - NEVER enter personal information after following a link from an email or website (other than the one you're logging into).
    - ALWAYS type the address of y
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Good rules, but I can't help but mention that:

      CHEK THE SPELLING of the website address.

      Is just SO ironic.
  • Any idea what the whole thing about him dying on the lexus owners club site was about? Just a cynical attempt to get more money?
    • I liked his replies when he was uncovered... "I never posted anything saying I died."

      That's pretty hard to do when you're dead, Sal.

      "Hi I'm dead! Give me^H^H my wife some money. I really am dead!"

      I love people. They're so amuzing :)
  • Of course! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @01:40AM (#9828651)
    "but now get to learn about a more powerful evil named 'Vince'."

    It all makes sense now! He was posessed by Vince Clortho, keymaster of Gozer!
  • "Strikes Back?" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by veg_all ( 22581 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @01:57AM (#9828721)
    That's not striking back. That's further incriminating oneself. It's a common reaction under suspicion: talk more. Even a first year law student, would Mr. Wise have been smart enough to have one standing beside him, would be advising his client to "shut up shut up SHUT UP!"

    Fortunately for J Spence, Mr. Wise does not, in fact, appear to have been smart enough to engage counsel. This is all evidence quite favorable for the plaintiff. It's now cached on hard drives all over the world.

    What an idiot.
  • This is the part I don't understand. Actually, I can see telling Justin to cancel the check to try to divert suspicion, but why would Sal wait until Justin told him he canceled the check to try to cash it? Why no cash it right off? Wasn't Sal running the risk of having the whole scam fail? Any theories? What am I missing? Sadly, this is the single most interesting thing in my life right now.
  • Forget cops (Score:5, Funny)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Thursday July 29, 2004 @02:30AM (#9828817) Journal
    Forgets cops, I want a new show called Scammers, Spammers, and Nigerian pimps!
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @03:34AM (#9829147)
    When he realizes he *is* Vince!

    (cue flashback of "Vince" cashing yet another check).
  • by kahei ( 466208 )

    I am comforted to see that there are still people who not merely say but _write_ 'youse', completely without irony.

    I just wanted to share that with y'all.

  • by adzoox ( 615327 ) * on Thursday July 29, 2004 @08:22AM (#9830177) Journal
    Has anyone ever heard of Jack Campbell and MacMice? This guy does the same thing. He says one thing in a forum, then says something completely different in another forum concerning his actions and his companies actions.

    He's been caught on the internet several times misrepresenting an attorney, stealing patented products, and making claims about his products that are just insane.

    If any of you are interested and like this kind of story. I've done two stories on my website about this kind of scammer.

    One story [] is similar to this one and is about eBay. (Titled: Scamming Scammers & The Scheming Scammers Who Scam Them Back)

    The other [] is about Jack Campbell as mentioned above. (Titled: Catch Me If You Can Part II: The True Story Behind MacMice)

    I think it's interesting to read stories like this and I wish more people read or were interested in them. If you can understand how pathological narcissitic people work - you can learn to avoid them.

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.