Dealer-offer.com aka fraud

Late last spring Owl bought our beautiful Vauxhall (Holden) Monaro.monaro 1 I had never driven a car with a V8 engine before so I was quite apprehensive. However as soon as I started to drive her I fell in love with her. I love the smooth lines of her shape. I adore the comfort of her immaculate soft black leather upholstery (even when the backs of my legs stick to the leather). The way she holds the road even on bends, is a delight to this woman who had always thought yada yada whenever petrol heads talk about cars in this way.

It wasn’t long before I was claiming her as my daily drive to work car. The comfort, the sound, the feel, she is just the perfect drive. A little heavy on the juice but you can’t have everything.

Fast forward to this spring, our circumstances have changed, Owl was on the way to getting his licence back after losing it last autumn for drinking two pints then driving. We realised that we are never going to be able to afford the insurance for him to drive this car again. We decided to sell her, although we will both be sorry to lose her.

First we had to get her through her MOT, which was not too much of a problem, apart from replacing the tyre that had blistered following my encounter with a pothole. We did need to replace one other part, which led to an extensive search to find the right part. My car might be badged as a Vauxhall but it needed a genuine Holden part. This was located and collected by one of my colleagues who lives in the same city as the garage where the part was.

MOT passed, the next thing was to get a minor scratch repaired, an unknown hooligan in charge of another car had at some point (car parked it). It did take a while to find someone who was willing to undergo this work. By this time another month had passed. I took some photos of our beloved vehicle, composed a couple of ads to go on different websites.

The first website we used was gumtree, a number of people had advocated this site as the best place to advertise. Within a day or so I had a message from a prospective buyer. I replied, but when I received their next message it became clear from what they said that this was not genuine.

 

Hankeen Gabriel (hankeengabriel@gmail.com)
14/08/2014
 
I really appreciate your response to my text message, i am presently working on the sea as a marine engineer  which enable me not make a call that is the reason  i try to send a text message to you via the sms web.i am satisfied with  your ad as it was listed on the site  and am ready to buy for my Dad,i will not be able to come take a look due to my work. I will have the shipper to come pick it up from you and delivered to my dad after i have made the payment to your account.i will make the payment to you via paypal and i hope you have a paypal account  so that you can be able to received the payment, If you are not a paypal user you can set up a paypal  with your bank account you will just go on www.paypal.co.uk and attached your bank account  to your email using paypal so that you can be able to get the money on your bank account .After the payment has been cleared and you have your cash in hand i will have my shipper to  come shake hand with you and pick it up to deliver to my Dad.I will be waiting to have the necessary details to make the payment to you.
Your paypal email..
Price Amount…
You Phone number..
Hope to have a reply back from you
Did you notice that not once did he mention what car I was selling, indeed he didn’t even mention that it was a car.
A few days later we had another enquiry.

Re: car

Nice Hearing back from you..I’m quite satisfied with the condition and price..I want you to get back to me with your PayPal email so i can start with the Payment now….mind you, you won’t release your ad until PayPal credit your account before you will release it so it can be pick and my shipping company will be coming for  pick up so you don’t need to worry about pick up okay. I will need your home address for it to be Picked Up by the Shipping Company.
Both these enquiries appear to have been written with the English that you get when translated directly from another language. Needless to say we didn’t respond to either of these.
By this time we also had our ad on Autotrader. (over the three weeks our ad was live we had over 4000 views). This was surprising when considering the rarity of our car in UK. We did have a few enquiries, one man even came to see the car but his 6’10” frame made things a little difficult for him to get comfortable.
Our good friend (L0rd) came round to take some better photos and make suggestions on selling our car. He buys and sells second hand cars frequently. I replaced some of my photos with his and adapted some of the wording. A new ad went on a more specialist website (Pistonheads).
We had another enquiry from a local man but unfortunately he was about to go abroad with work.
Just 2 days after our ad with Autotrader had lapsed I received a call from them pleading with me to renew our ad, this time with the premium package for 6 weeks. I managed to get them to reduce the price slightly before agreeing to go ahead.
This weekend I had an email through Auto trader from a local man interested in our car. Several emails later we agreed to drive over to his house on Sunday morning so he could see what we had. We decided that it would be a good opportunity to have one last drive out in her before we sell her. Anyway, after a discussion about the cars he and Owl have owned over the years, we left, with him saying he would let us know. Even though I got the impression during our short test drive (OK, he actually said that he liked the sound and feel of her) , I had this feeling that he wouldn’t be buying her. I was right.
So here we are on Monday back to square one. During recent weeks I have received a number of messages from dealers wanting to buy our car, their offers have been just over 50% of the asking price. Today I received an offer which was 95% of our asking price. This would be great if it is genuine, we are open to offers and this is not far short of our price. My instinct though was to check out the website first. I found the website http://www.dealer-offer.com within a couple of clicks. What I couldn’t find were any reviews on the Company. I tried to click on the facebook icon nothing, I tried the same with the Autotrader icon, again nothing.
I decided to call Autotrader as the website claim to be working with them. I had just missed their opening hours by ten minutes. Next I went onto the website for AutoTrader and clicked on the heading Staying safe on AutoTrader. The first thing I saw was this warning.
Beware of Fraudulent Website
Monday 15 September 2014We have received reports of customers receiving a text message asking them to visit http://www.dealer-offer.com to sell their cars quickly for cash. Customers are asked to pay a deposit in order to secure the sale of their vehicle. This website is not genuine and in no way affiliated with AutoTrader. We are currently working to have this website shut down. For more information please contact our Customer Security team on 0330 303 9001.
I am so glad that I followed my instinct to check them out.

I am sure that eventually we will find a genuine buyer for our gorgeous electric blue charriot.
Please if you find yourself wanting/needing to sell or buy a second hand car privately, be aware of the fraudsters out there.
We have since had the same text from a another Company using the web address http://www.best-cash-deal.com. looking them up they appear to have the exact same website as dealer-offer.com, I don’t think I will bother looking into it.

The difference a year makes

This time last year things between us were not good. We had been married for a whole 6 months. When we married I felt happier than I ever remember being in my life. Three months into our marriage we had our wonderful honeymoon in California. But within days of returning home things began to go wrong. My husband was not himself, he was showing signs of dementia or so I thought. However it turned out to be a mixture of anxiety attacks, and an over indulgence in secret vodka drinking.

The anxiety attacks were dealt with by the taking of anti depressants. The alcohol abuse is an ongoing situation, but at least I now know what I am dealing with. At the time I was extremely angry, I felt that I could not trust my husband. I felt betrayed.  More than anything I was angry with myself for not realising what had been going on.

Owl still drinks but, we never go out to the pub anymore. Back in March Owl had a fall in the road  due to his legs giving way. His alcohol level had dropped. I took him to hospital with a cut head and broken hand. There he was given some medication to replace the alcohol he hadn’t had. He was promised help by the hospital clinic. This didn’t materialise other than one appointment where he was told that he is a binge drinker and should cut down for a week then stop. Ha ha what planet did that advice come from.

Anyway, for a time Owl was not able to do much at all. Gradually though he has become stronger and fitter. He has been very busy working in our garden doing all the things he should have done last year but wasn’t in the right place to do anything much except sleep.

The shed that I bought for him last year was finally erected. Owl began by making it stronger in places by making wooden braces. He painted the shed forest green.shed 1  shed 3 before adding fixtures for everything to go inside, there is a purpose build space for everything that goes in there.IMG_1944 then he painted the old shed green to match the new one. IMG_1947 the back gate was also painted green to match. This also involved taking off the ironmongery to be painted black.back gate When he had done that he reorganised the space near to the back gate which meant adding a hanging basket bracket to the wall as a hose tidy.under magnolia tree Once all this had been done he turned his attention to the hedges that he had hired someone to cut a few weeks prior. He was not happy with the way they were looking. He spent the next couple of weeks cutting the hedges by hand. hedge 1 now he is simultaneously working on the five bar gate and taking up the decking at the front of the house.hedge 3 Oh and I nearly forgot he has painted all the fences under the hedges and along the outside of the house.

None of these things would have been possible a year or even 6 months ago. I am so pleased with the progress he is making. I am also pleased that he has even begun to apply for work outside the home. Ok so I have been applying for jobs on his behalf but he has sent his CV to some places too. Step by step we are getting back to where we should be.

It’s a brand new year

Today has been New Years Day, tomorrow I go back to work after 12 days off. I can’t believe it has been 12 days, it only feels like it has been a long weekend. Maybe my long day in hospital followed by Christmas and now New Year have made it feel less time. I didn’t leave the house from the time I got home on Christmas Eve until Monday when I went food shopping.  Then on Monday evening the four of us (Owl, Pug, skater & I) went to the pub for the Christmas/End of Year Quiz (we came last but had a good evening).

I had intended to do a lot of writing over the holiday period. Apart from a few posts on here I have not done any writing. However I have been reading. I am on my third book by Maddie Cochere over at Breezy Books  .

But now we are starting a New Year, I am not one for making New Year resolutions. However whilst I have been blog lurking I came across an idea whereby each day for however long you like you fill a jar with the good things that happen in your life. Then at the end of the period you take out all the slips of paper and remind yourself of all the things (big or small) that have made you happy during this time.

I will be starting my jar today with the news that my friend who I have known for nearly 20 years has said yes to the marriage proposal she received today. I am so happy for her. I have never met this man but I do know that in the last three years he has been good for her.

As for my writing I am at a stand still at the moment which I will explain another time but this does not mean that I have given up. Watch this space for news of which direction I choose to take. I have a number of options I am just undecided which to follow.

I hope that 2014 turns out to be a better year for everyone.

Last night my husband said to me …..’I shall be 60 this year, how do you think that makes me feel?’

My reply ……’Lucky, you made it this far My dad only just made it to 55′.

I really believe that no matter what cross you have to bear there is always a silver lining to every cloud you just have to look for it.

 

Happy New Year to everyone.

Boxing Day Anniversary

It’s Boxing Day here in the UK. I gather from my step children that this is not celebrated in USA.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses[1] or employers. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and other Commonwealth nations.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland and Italy, the day is known as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (IrishLá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.[2]

However my reason for this post has nothing to do with Boxing Day Holiday except that it was a year ago today that I first began this blog. In other words I am celebrating one whole year of this blog.

During this year I have made new blogging friends. Renewed other online friendships and shared my world with people in my every day life who have learnt more about me and my life than they would do normally.

I have married my Owl.

We had our honeymoon in California which I was then able to share with you through this blog.

I have celebrated my sons’ achievements.

I made a start at serious writing (on hold at the moment but watch this space)

We have shared the extremes in weather from the harsh cold long winter complete with unusual amounts of snow to the unexpected un British heat in the summer months.

We have also mourned the passing of our faithful cat.

Ending the year with various preparations for Christmas.

2013 has been a year of extremes, extreme happiness as well as extreme despair.

In a few days we will be celebrating the start of 2014 which I hope will bring with it a more relaxed year.

Maybe I will even manage to write something that I can do something with.

How would you describe 2013 for you and what are your hopes for 2014?

This Christmas

Every year I vow to be ore organised next year.

This year I have wrapped all but one of my presents (usually end up doing that for hours on Christmas Eve evening) and we still have two full days to go.

The food was delivered last night, later I will be in town picking up the few bits I forgot to order.

The cake has been sitting in all it’s white glory in the corner of the kitchen for a week.

Mince pies were made last night with more to follow tonight along with cocktail sausage rolls.

The tree is semi decorated

Pug is home from University

Statto will arrive on Christmas day with my mother.(Prodigal won’t be with us this year but we will see him on Boxing day).

Today I have to make sure that everything is ready for Wednesday as for me tomorrow will be a lost day.

Tomorrow (Christmas Eve) I shall be leaving the house by taxi at 6.15am to keep an important appointment with some very special people. People who instead of being at home with their own families are  making sure that people like me have the surgery that we need. I am only having a small procedure and should be home some time in the afternoon. However this does mean that I have no choice but to sit back and relax on Christmas day whilst Skater and Statto between them cook Christmas dinner with help from Pug and guidance from Grannie. (Owl will be on washing up duty).

Am I looking forward to Christmas day?

Yes with some reservations (I hate not having any control over what is happening).

 

Christmas Crisis

The Christmas cards have been bought, they have been languishing on the side for a few weeks now.

Time is running out, the official last posting day to guarantee delivery before Christmas was two days ago.

I keep saying give me a list of who you want to send the cards to.

But the problem is that the labels cannot be found.

A new template will need to be made.

New labels have been bought, 21 to a page instead of 14.

People have moved, addresses need to be updated.

Can’t we just hand write the addresses?

The labels need to be found

He still can’t find the labels.

Maybe you will all get your cards in time for Christmas 2014

It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas

It has taken a while but it is beginning to feel like Christmas is on it’s way.

I made my Christmas cake back in October and finally this weekend got around to icing it.  It had taken me weeks to track down any marzipan in the shops but finally I found some.  Having spread apricot jam all over my cake before covering it with the ready rolled almond paste I set about making the icing.

I am not very organised when it comes to things like this, I knew I had two packs of icing sugar but didn’t realise until I started my preparations that I didn’t quite have enough icing sugar. By this time I had separated the egg whites, it was Sunday evening and I had been having a rare PJ day as I had been feeling off colour earlier. I didn’t fancy going out to buy more icing sugar at this stage. I could have waited until Monday and bought more sugar, but I didn’t want to wait. Mostly because it is getting close to the big day now and time was/is running out. With egg whites in small glass bowl and icicng sugar in large china mixing bowl I set to the business of whisking the egg whites. By this time I had realised my mistake. The egg whites should have been in the large bowl and the icing sugar should have been in my medium bowl (which has vanished).

Never mind I would find a way to do this. Have you ever tried to whisk egg whites vigorously without  letting them slop over the sides of a bowl that is far too small? …No well I don’t recommend it.

Once I had achieved soft peaks I started to slowly stir in the icing sugar, one spoon at a time. Still taking care not to let the mixture spill over the side. Eventually I reached the moment where I had to change tactic.  Carefully pushing the soft white powder to one side of the large china bowl (you know the type, smooth and white on the inside and patterned in a caramel glaze on the outside). The next step was to gently tip the egg mixture into the side of the bowl that was now nearly empty before then spooning the soft white sweet powder into the small bowl that had previously held the eggs. Now I was able to continue spooning the sugar into the egg mixture  until it was all mixed in to a shiny white runny gloop.

Hmmm well there was no going back now but the icing mixture was far too runny, perhaps I could just add a little caster sugar to thicken it up. I have in my cupboard, demerara sugar, soft golden sugar, dark brown soft sugar, or granulated sugar but no caster sugar. So granulated it was. My icing is now complete and crunchy.

Whilst I was battling with my icing Owl was having a battle of his own. He has now put up our 6′ pre lit Christmas tree. Having done this  we are now waiting for the decorations to magically appear among the artificial branches. Skater had got the tree and a large box of decorations down from the loft days earlier but it seemed that not all the decs were there. I wouldn’t allow Owl to go up to the loft himself so we had to wait for Skater to be available. Last night Skater obliged us and we now have all our decs in boxes and bags on the living room floor.

Our table is littered with gold and silver parcels after my mammoth wrapping session on Saturday evening. Once the tree has been dressed in it’s silver and red strings of tinsel along with baubles and other decorations also in the red and silver theme, I shall be able to place my parcels under the tree.

There have been many conversations with family members about who wants what for Christmas. Pug has booked his train ticket and will be arriving home on Friday evening. I won’t see him until later because Owl and I will be out having Christmas dinner with friends. Prodigal is promising to visit on boxing day with his better half in tow.

I am beginning to get the feeling that Christmas is coming, I just need to get Christmas eve out of the way first. I have booked my early morning taxi to get me to hospital for 7am. Hopefully I am near the top of the theatre list so will be home not too late (one benefit of being diabetic). I am looking forward to a Christmas day where I shall be looked after by my family and my sons won’t have too many disagreements over who is head chef for the day. Both Statto and Skater are looking forward to cooking for us.

Now I really should get some cards written before it is too late.

How are your preparations going?

The run around

On Monday I took a call from my Dr, she wanted me to have a course of antibiotics. I agreed to pick these up on Tuesday.

After work on Tuesday I went to the medical centre not quite sure if my prescription would with the receptionist or the adjoining pharmacy.

I queued up at the pharmacy waiting to be served. No it wasn’t there. That’s OK I will collect it from reception.

I queued up at reception in safe knowledge that it must be there. But alas, there was no sign of it. Checking the computer records the receptionist could see that it had been raised the previous day. Eventually she discovered that it had gone with the daily collection of prescriptions by the ASDA pharmacy, (I collect my repeat prescriptions from there every 2 weeks when I am doing the family shopping).

Next I drove the couple of miles to ASDA, waited for the assistant to finish with the customer she was serving. I gave my name and she disappeared behind the counter.Very quickly returning with a small red plastic basket containing my prescription. There were two prescriptions, the one I had come to collect plus the one for Bydureon. Which I expected to collect from the medical centre pharmacy on Friday when I see the practice nurse to learn about my new medication. The pharmacist explained that they didn’t have any Bydureon in stock so had ordered it in. This meant that I would have to return to ASDA to collect my medication on Wednesday or Thursday. I busied myself in the shop whilst my antibiotics were prepared.

Today I returned to collect my medication only to be told that they didn’t have anything for me. The staff were not the same as on Tuesday. I explained that the prescription had been there on Tuesday and they had ordered my prescription n for me. They checked their records, nothing they couldn’t even find a record of me. It turned out they were making a mistake in spelling my surname. Once they found my record I was told that their last dispensing for me had been in June. This is wrong but I wasn’t going to argue the point. It was then that the pharmacist (who had a strong foreign accent) asked me what was the name of my medication. I repeated it several times until she asked me to write it down. That is when the penny dropped, she rushed off  to collect my package from the refrigerator.

All this trouble just to get some tablets

Not a baby

Today is a kind of momentous day for me.

18 years ago today I gave birth to skater.

When 1995 began I had what I considered to be a complete family. I had a husband and 3 sons who I adored plus a mother and father.

Unfortunately my father died from a massive heart attack (his first and final one) whilst serving a customer in his newsagents shop. Just 4 days after putting the business up for sale due to stress. He had turned 55 in December and died a month later. I remember it well. At that time I was the only one of his three children to be married. between the three of us there have been 4 more marriages. My three sons who he adored were the only grandchildren he saw. There are now 7 of them. My dad was always very good with small children. Anyway I digress.

My father died in January 1995, in March 1995 I became pregnant for the fourth time, not an easy thing to do when you have Polycystic ovary syndrome. (My ovaries did not work consistently) coupled with the infrequency of intimate relations with my husband. So this pregnancy was an unexpected surprise, even more surprising was that this new baby would be due on my father’s birthday 16th December. Because of my medical history ie 3 large babies including 2 caesarean sections it was decided to bring his birth forward.

Hence at 9.30am on Friday 1st December 1995 I gave birth by caesarean section to my fourth son weighing in at 7lb 8oz (my smallest baby). I was in hospital for 4 days before we were discharged back to normal family life. This baby boy who was due to be born on my father’s birthday has the same brown eyes as my father. (The others are blue, green and grey, none have my hazel eyes).

baby Joe

 

There are 4 years between Skater and Pug so it was not easy for me going back to the broken nights and dirty nappies that had begun 8 years earlier with Prodigal. It seemed that my life was going to revolve around baby stuff for a few more years yet.

toddler Joe

My cute little brown eyed blonde  toddler has grown up into a handsome dark haired, lovely natured young man.

Joe at 13  still cute at 13 Joe at 15 quite smart at 15  Joe at 17 young man of 17.

Life has not always been kind to this young man.  aged 5 he had just started school when his mother was taken ill (cancer, his dad told him his mummy was going to die). Aged 9 his parents went through an ugly divorce. He more than the others witnessed some of the nastier aspects of this. Resulting in him not wanting to leave my side, not wanting to go to school in case anything bad happened to me without him there to protect me. Growing up with an alcoholic father was not great, growing up in a single parent family was a struggle but so much happier. I am so pleased that this young man has grown up to be as lovely as he is without too many scars.

But even though Skater is now officially an adult he will always be my baby.