Saturday, February 8, 2014

:: A Scam Story - the details

This is a post I've been dreading to write.  It makes me feel vulnerable.  And foolish.  And it brings back emotions I'd rather not remember.  But I've had an incredible number of sweet ladies show concern and ask questions, I feel like an explanation is necessary. 

First off, I'd just like to say a huge thank you to each of you who had kind, sympathetic things to say on my Instagram post a few weeks ago.  Even though it didn't change the circumstances of my situation, it's amazing what kindness and compassion can do to a hurting heart.  So a big Thank You to each of you (you know who you are)!!

So here goes...
I bought my very first sewing machine back in 1996 with money gifts given to me when I graduated from High School.  It was love at first sight.  Nothing fancy, but she has treated me well and does all I've needed her to.
However, with the amount of sewing I do, there are some features on a nicer model that would make life much easier for me. (as I'm sure many of you feel, as well)  Over the past 3 years I've drooled over the Bernina Aurora model, but I knew it wasn't even a financial possibility, with us being a 1-income family and raising 5 little kids.  Despite that, a girl's gotta dream, right?!  So this past year I began following used machines on ebay, as well as regularly calling my local Bernina store to see if they ever got any trade-in's, in order to get a feel for their price-range. 

In November, my husband received an unexpected bonus from his work, and he surprised me by saying he thought we would have enough leftover (after paying bills) to buy one!  I was over the moon!  I began watching machines on ebay in ernest, and even tried to bid on a few.  I decided to wait till January and the higher Christmas prices went back down.

A few weeks ago, through a series of events, I found a Bernina Aurora 440 on an online classified add,  and I was able to talk the seller down to a great price.  We chatted back and forth - she told me her husband was in the military and they had been relocated, but had to leave some of their things behind with a relocating company (Perfect Trade) to sell for them.  The company's website was very reassuring, offering a 10-day-money-back gurarantee, etc.

I guess I am too trusting.  And maybe I was a little over-eager as well.  Regardless, I sent my money through Western Union (first time I've ever bought a money order) on a Sunday, and waited eagerly to get my machine that Friday.  (I know, everyone tells me NOW that was a classic mistake - and I feel even worse!) 

During the week I tried contacting the selling company twice, but didn't hear a word back - total silence.  It was then my heart began to sink.
All day Friday I waited.  Not knowing if I was going to be heartbroken, or if "Christmas" was going to come!  Just hoping against hope that the UPS man would show up on my doorstep (he usually comes between 5-6pm).  But when Josh walked through the doorway at 6:15, I knew it was over, and I just sobbed.  And sobbed.  And sobbed...

Like I said, the range of emotions I felt are hard to put into words. Extreme disappointment that I wasn't getting my "dream machine", shame at loosing so much of Josh's hard-earned money, embarassement that I got scammed, anger that someone would take money from honest, hardworking families like us...

That weekend I did a lot of praying.  I told God that it was hard, but I trusted Him, and that if/when He wanted me to have a nicer machine, He'd work it out.  Otherwise, I'd be content with the machine I DO have, and the many other blessing He's already given me.  Faith in a loving Heavenly Father got me through that emotional weekend when all I felt like doing was staying in bed and crying.  =)

A few days later I posted a small version of the story on Instagram, and that's where you all came in.  Your comments and offers to help were like balm to my heart.  And it restored my faith in the goodwill of common man (or women).  I've sewn for many years of my life, seriously quilted for the past 3.5, and been a part of the online sewing community for only the past year.  But I have been blown away by the kindness I have seen there in all of you, and the compassion.  You are amazing!  Truly.

Anyways - this is the story in full.  I wanted to make sure and let you know it had nothing to do with Ebay or Paypal, as some of you have asked.  (How I wish it did!  They have so much buyer protection).  But I'm still working at trusting God.  I'm still sewing.  Still mothering my children.  And still trying to be a loving wife to my grace-giving husband (who not once made me feel bad about this whole thing).  Thank God for good men like him.  =)

UPDATE:  to read the amazing ending to this story, click here!


  1. Julia's amazing spirit and heartbreaking story touched my heart, I received a new Bernina about the same time she was awaiting hers and I can't imagine the heartbreak of finding out the money was gone and no new machine. I have set up an account to help her "Dream Machine Fund" go up in the right direction and hopefully go in the right direction. Here is the link to the account, hopefully we can make her heartbreak into a story of human kindness instead.

    1. Yay!! I didn't know how to make this happen so I'm glad someone else did!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't imagine how heartbreaking an experience it has been. I hope and pray you'll be able to get your dream machine soon.

  3. Gosh, this is truly heart breaking. I am so very sorry. I was hoping as I was reading, someone was already doing something to help you. Thank you Kira Rae for doing this! Best wishes and big hugs!

  4. I have cried over your story more than once now. Continue to keep your faith in God and know that there are many more good people in the world just like you (and you're almost to your goal!!!) I can't wait until the day that you are able to get your new machine, it won't be long now :) Love ya!!

  5. Oh! This story just makes me feel so sad for you! And yet I can see so much good in it too! You have one amazing husband. I have one like that too and I know they are few and far between. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing what projects you will make on the new machine, when you get it, which I think maybe you have?!!!

  6. The absolutely same thing happened to me right before Christmas only it was $3500. We, too, had an email relationship and I totally trusted her. But. I learned the same lesson as you - never, ever, ever, ever, ever wire money to anyone for anything. One of the dumbest things I've ever done in my life! Like your husband, my husband was so sweet about it. If he hadn't been been, though, I don't know what I would have done! Hope you get the very machine you've always wanted!


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