Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

Online Scam and my Switch from an Android Phone to an iPhone

End of February 2023. I had become accustomed to the minimalist changes and wanted to go even further. New opportunities opened up that I hadn't seen before. So the idea came to me to combine my heavy PC and laptop into a single powerful device. So I started searching online for various models to find the best laptop for programming, internet browsing, and video editing.

On the evening of February twenty-first, I was sitting at the PC comparing different laptops. During a short break, I looked at my phone and found a WhatsApp message from Galja. The more I read, the more my thoughts froze. Just yesterday, they had celebrated their birthday together in Asow at Gogi's. But when Galja woke up the next morning, she was alone. Gogi had passed away. He will be buried next to Grandpa Yura in the Kharkovskiy cemetery.

In a state of shock, I collapsed onto my bed and stared motionless at the ceiling. No sorrow found its way to my eyes. I couldn't shed a tear. It seemed so surreal to me that he was now gone forever. Later, I returned to the table, continued searching for laptops, until finally, the first tears dripped onto the keyboard. Here was the moment when I shut down my PC and went back to bed to give in to the sobbing. It was liberating, yet also exhausting. I sank into memories of time with Gogi in Asow for hours until I finally fell asleep...

The next day, I already felt much better and could continue searching for a laptop - even though I still thought of Gogi in the background. Today, I finally found the perfect model: the Surface Studio Laptop. It should be suitable for both video editing and writing with the pen.

Since the new laptop was very expensive and would eat up a part of my savings, I decided to go for a used device. On eBay Classifieds, I came across a model in very good condition at an amazingly low price of 1600 euros. Euphorically, I messaged the seller named Ralf Diermeier to inquire if the laptop was still available. A few hours later, I got a reply: "Yes, the laptop is still available."

"Great! I'm very excited! I'd like to buy it right away."

"All right. The laptop still has the original packaging and a warranty from Microsoft."

"That sounds great. 1600 euros is a lot of money, and I definitely don't want to lose it to a scammer. How should we handle the payment?"

"Don't worry. Take a look at my ratings and see how long I've been registered here. I haven't caused any problems to anyone so far. Let's process the payment via bank transfer. I'll send you the details by email. If the money arrives with me today, I'll either send the laptop today or tomorrow at the latest and provide you with the tracking number."

"Agreed. Oh man, I somehow have a queasy feeling."

"I promise you that I will ship the laptop no later than tomorrow before work. I am an honest person, have never cheated anyone, and will not do so. To which address should I send the laptop?"

"Okay. Then please send me your bank details," I agreed and provided him with my address.

Shortly after, I received an email from him with his bank details. Impatiently and still with a queasy feeling in my stomach, I made a real-time transfer to Ralf Diermeier.

"I have made the transfer," I wrote to Ralf, attaching the transfer confirmation.

Five minutes passed. Ten minutes passed. Twenty minutes passed.

"Have you received the money?" I asked impatiently.

There was no response in the next half hour. I became nervous and searched the internet for the name Ralf Diermeier. There was no entry for Diermeier, only for Dirmeier. That made me even more nervous. Then I checked the bank where the IBAN provided to me was registered: OLINDA branch Germany. This increased my nervousness, and I sent him another message.

"Hello? Can you please respond!"

"I have received the money and will ship the laptop today," he replied half an hour later, which calmed me down again.

"Good. I was afraid you had already disappeared with my money."

"No. Don't worry."

In the evening, he wrote: "Here is the DHL tracking number 358052820788. The laptop will arrive at your place in the next few days."

I immediately checked the validity of the tracking number. "The shipment was dropped off by the sender at the branch," it said, which completely reassured me. I could now focus on other tasks.

The next day, I checked the shipment status: "The shipment has been processed by DHL and is being prepared for further transportation to the recipient's region. The shipment has arrived in the recipient's region and is being transported to the delivery base. The shipment is being prepared for loading into the delivery vehicle."

I beamed with joy knowing that my laptop would likely arrive the next day. From tomorrow until noon the next day, I regularly updated the shipment status. There was no update until around two o'clock when the following message appeared: "Unfortunately, delivery of the shipment is not possible as it does not comply with our shipping conditions. The shipment will be returned to the sender."

A thousand thoughts immediately rushed through my mind, and I felt the fear of being cheated. Full of worry, I sent Ralf Diermeier a message on Kleinanzeigen with the current shipment status and asked what had happened.

"Did you provide me with the correct address?" he asked in response.

"Yes, I did!"

"Then we shouldn't worry. I will call DHL and get back to you."

The next day, I checked the status again and was relieved to see the message: "The shipment has been loaded into the delivery vehicle. Delivery is expected today."

I stayed home to receive the package and occupied myself with minimalism. However, in the afternoon, when I checked the status, the good mood burst again: "The return of the shipment could not be completed because the sender is unknown. The shipment will be forwarded to the parcel inquiry and stored."

"What's going on here? Please return my money. I will transfer it back to you immediately once the laptop is with me. Otherwise, I will involve the police!" I angrily wrote to Ralf Diermeier, sending him the current shipment status.

"Please, remain calm! I called DHL, and they said that my address was not legible. I had it corrected. If the laptop doesn't arrive at your place, I will refund you immediately."

I still tried to trust the man, although my gut feeling told me I should report it to the police before it was too late. It was probably already too late.

The next morning, I felt somewhat calmer. The shipment had been processed by DHL and was now being prepared for further transportation to the recipient's region.

I remained patient and hopeful that the package would still arrive. However, the next morning, it turned out that the status now read: "Receipt of the shipment at the parcel inquiry."

"What's going on here? I will report this to the police," I wrote to Ralf Diermeier, attaching a photo of the shipment status.

However, I received no further response from him. I also tried to reach him by email, but to no avail. A call to DHL did not provide me with any information due to data protection; I was referred to the sender or the police.

I instructed my bank to investigate with the recipient bank to see if it was possible to retrieve the money. Additionally, I filed a report against Ralf Diermeier. My savings of 1600 euros were permanently lost. I had no hope of recovering the money. Later, I would receive a notification from the Paderborn District Court that the well-rated eBay account had been hacked by a scammer and used for illegal activities. This scammer remained unidentified.

This incident weighed heavily on me, but it prompted me to explore an Apple laptop. I had always been a dedicated Windows user, and without this incident, I would probably never have considered looking at Apple products. However, as it turns out, switching to a MacBook will be the best technical decision of my life.

But before investing a lot of money in a MacBook, I traded my 6.4-inch Android smartphone for a lightweight iPhone 12 Mini with just 5.4 inches and bought a case where I could store my bank card, student card, and some cash. This made it much easier to fit it into the front pocket of my pants when sitting next to a larger person on the train. Due to its smaller size, it now even fit into all the pockets of my pants. With the case, which also served as a wallet for me, I was able to give away my separate wallet.

Life upgrades:

  1. I exchanged my huge smartphone for a compact model. This reduced the screen size from 6.4 inches to 5.4 inches and the weight by 50 grams. The compact smartphone is much more comfortable to carry in my pocket. It is even more powerful than my previous larger model and also has a better camera.
  2. I replaced my wallet with a phone case with card slots. This allowed me to combine two items in one.