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Lost and Stolen SpecimensStolen Specimens
7th Mar 2017 09:48 GMTJILL BRUNNER
These two specimens have been stolen, valued at $2500, by a Matt Zusinas and Tamarah Rago. They go by the user name of Mzusinas on eBay where they run a syndicate targeting non US based sellers!
If you have any information please contact me.
These specimens have been reported stolen and a case has been opened with the USA police department.
DIOPTASE, TSUMEB MINE, OTJIKOTO REGION, NAMIBIA. - 8.2cm x 3.5cm x 2.3cm
TOURMALINE ON QUARTZ FLOATER, OTJUA MINE, KARIBIB REGION, NAMIBIA - 8.5cm x 3.2cm x 2cm
What a coincidence, I just got ripped off by them on Ebay. They bought a very nice tourmaline ($1380!), then claimed it was under weight (150 g instead of 161 as advertised). I thought I had weighed it accurately but offered to pro-rate the stone to account for the difference. Nope, he insisted on a return. What a big surprise when I got a hunk of what looks like dino dung in the return shipment. I looked him up and found this link on Mandat as well as his name showing up on a police blotter for burglary. You can look it up if you are interested. Tamarah Rago was the payee on the Paypal account. I hope Ebay does not give me the shaft. I have been on Ebay since around 2001, and never a problem. I am a US based seller so it looks like they have expanded their operation from non-US.
28th Mar 2017 04:52 BSTTodd Welti
Todd: want to post a photo of your tourmaline in case this scum wants to resell it?
28th Mar 2017 08:37 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager
28th Mar 2017 10:35 BSTJILL BRUNNER
these guys need to be stopped They did it to me a second time. They cleverly spaced out the purchases so that the 1st order was received, they then waited until the 2nd order was already shipped out and then only opened up the return requests for the 2nd order knowing there was no way for me to stop the parcel.
attached are the next two specimens stolen.
Lets hope other eBay sellers see these posts and don't get caught out!!
Good luck with eBay!
Hi Jill, have you blocked their bidder ID on ebay? You can also block ID's with less than two feedback scores I believe in case they are creating new Id's
28th Mar 2017 18:49 BSTAndrew Debnam
I'm an eBay seller as well, its unfortunate to hear your story. Once a return is open by a buyer they are required by eBay to provide return tracking info, if they do not within the time period required by eBay you, the seller, are completely covered and will not be required to issue a refund and any paypal hold on your $$$ will be released. I know this doesn't help your situation, but at least you can rest assure your covered!
28th Mar 2017 21:35 BSTryan christensen
Their pages on facebook are no longer there.
28th Mar 2017 22:09 BSTRudy Bolona Expert
You could set up your own or different facebook account and share your interactions with them to the world, I'm sure there are many many others who have been taken by these guys who don't know about mindat. Just a thought, a little public shaming would not hurt
28th Mar 2017 23:25 BSTryan christensen
One of her postings is still there:
29th Mar 2017 10:10 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager
Hi everyone. Thanks for all your messages.
29th Mar 2017 10:44 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Andrew, I have blocked mzusinas in ebay. But they can obviously open up a new ebay account quiet easily.. these are the risks with selling online. . All other restrictions are in place.
Ryan, Matt knows exactly how to get his refund and keep the specimen.. he is crafty. He knows how the refund cases work..
I think they know the heat is on!! Hense the Facebook pages disappearing. I was advised by another collector that they have other business pages on Facebook trading as APPLIED METAPHYSICS
They doesn't know how tight knit our community is..
Thanks again guys. .. any more news please keep me updated!
Wow, nice response. I also found the Facebook page (he looks like the Home Alone kid!), also a twitter feed where Matt Zusinas talks about using some sort of email bomb software. Check Twitter.
29th Mar 2017 18:16 BSTTodd Welti
I am at this very moment filing a police report. That is what Ebay said to do. Actually, it appears that Ebay has closed this with no refund to the buyer. If correct, that is good news. They can of course start a new Ebay account but will have to start over with their rating. I am tempted to post their address, but it might be blocked. It helps to band together against scum like this. Both Ebay and the police were very interested in this post, and I'm using it as evidence. Also they were interested in the police blotter showing Matt being arrested for breaking and entering. Search Matt Zusinas PA.
They are likely reading this. PM me for a way to find if they are trying to resell...
29th Mar 2017 18:18 BSTTodd Welti
... police just left here. They were amazing! Took pictures of the hunk of dino dung that was sent back to me, the correspondence between "Home Alone" and me, his arrest record, and asked all kinds of questions. They said they will forward to Pittsburgh police dept. Probably nothing will come of it but...
29th Mar 2017 18:42 BSTTodd Welti
Just got this from Paypal, looks like they are runnin scared:
29th Mar 2017 19:50 BSTTodd Welti
PayPal has concluded our investigation of the following Buyer Complaint:
Buyer's name: Tamarah Rago
Buyer's email: email@example.com
Transaction ID: 7XU80070HD3916604
Transaction date: Mar 13, 2017
Transaction amount: $1,380.00 USD
Your transaction ID: 87530194NS897974T
Case number: PP-005-682-075-862
Refund amount: $1,380.00 USD
Because the buyer has reported that the claim has been amicably resolved,
this case has been closed.
Thank you for your cooperation with our investigation.
Protection Services Department
I have a new hobby! It is tracking these morons online and doing my utmost to out them to prospective buyers. Everything will be legal of course. There is a lot you can do. If you are having issues with Ebay, you can use my case as a point of reference for these two. you can also do a google search using an actual image file (who knew!) so if they try to sell them, it might show up in your search and you can alert someone.
29th Mar 2017 20:19 BSTTodd Welti
Good to hear! Hopefully the scum find legal work..... i doubt that though...
30th Mar 2017 02:41 BSTMatt Neuzil Expert
Good to hear these thieves are getting their comeuppance.
30th Mar 2017 06:43 BSTJessica Guichard (2)
Is there any way to after them through Paypal? That is often the best way to after thieves, through their finances.
30th Mar 2017 17:57 BSTTodd Welti
This is the email address linked to the PayPal payments received from these two.. firstname.lastname@example.org
30th Mar 2017 20:53 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Paypal only facilitate the transaction.. since splitting from eBay they have nothing to do with cases opened in eBay..
Paypal does have a seller protection policy
30th Mar 2017 22:36 BSTAndrew Debnam
These are 2 scumbags. They bought a Louis Vuitton belt from me new and claimed snad. They mailed back a rock to me. I called eBay to report the scumbag and after hours on the phone ebay issued me a courtesy refund only after I filed a ic3 report. He is still on eBay scamming others. They are also on Facebook , I just found the fleabag. eBay does nothing about this thief. I saw on FB last week where he was selling some gems or stones no doubt that he stole from some poor eBay seller. He needs to be stopped. eBay claimed he mailed a rock by accident. Really? Anyway hope this thief is found.. I'm not sure my post belongs here because my item is different but nevertheless they need to be stopped.
31st Mar 2017 00:23 BSTAngela Wagner
Update 3/31/17. eBay has removed him but I'm not sure about PayPal but I did call and tell them what I found here. The new name on Facebook Taz Rago has also been deleted. . eBay lets anybody file a return for any reason and they get their money back . They know how ebay and PayPal not as described cases work in their favor. PayPal has 6 months to return something which is ridiculous.
I just called PayPal to have them removed. I was also a victim.
31st Mar 2017 01:15 BSTAngela Wagner
Shame about Paypal.
31st Mar 2017 04:32 BSTTodd Welti
BTW Tamarah Rago is going by "Taz" Rago now. ALso found here on Etsy (she changed her bio to remove her name, but I looked under "cached" version of website and found her name on there. Full name is Tamarah Lynn Rago.
3rd Apr 2017 11:45 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Great news! Matt's ebay account has been shut down! received post on fb.. amazing what can happen when we all pull together!!
We need to keep it up! This is the only way to rid the mineral world of thieving scum!
Thanks again for all your participation in the discussions in this forum. It brings the necessary attention and helps get the word out there!
So glad to hear this... I love trying to win your items Jill, I'm currently outbid on the yellow over purple fluorite going on right now!!! ..
4th Apr 2017 20:06 BSTScott Rider
Anyhoo, I hope those scumbags go to jail soon... If only I met them in person........wink wink
All of this was starting to scare me... I was thinking about selling a good portion of my duplicates in my collection in order to save for my prospecting tool fund and to obtain some classics (phosphophyllite, a good Lake George combo, Legrandite, etc)... But these stories had me worried.... I have sold many minerals on ebay in the past and was lucky, no bad buyers -- got burned only 1 time, when I tried to sell a cell phone to some crook in South America... Said he didn't get it about 45 days later (edit -- after it was delivered), and ebay forced me to refund...
Having lived in South America for many years, Scott, I can attest that LOTS of packages mysteriously do get lost there, generally disappearing in transit through Customs offices. So it's quite possible your buyer might not have been a crook. It's not a continent I would send anything to by mail. I've even heard of cases where the job of Customs officer was a "voluntary" position, ie. no government salary; the officer was EXPECTED to get his/her income by extorting money from shippers.
4th Apr 2017 22:10 BSTAlfredo Petrov Manager
Gosh, I guess I can call myself lucky as I have had many packages sent from southern parts of Africa with no problems. But the only package I have ever sent to South America was "lost." I haven't sent anything to Africa, just from... So no experience other than receiving stuff from Africa...
4th Apr 2017 22:45 BSTScott Rider
Me and my wife give uo sending mothers day or birthday cards. They never arrive to South America. The never contain anything. We never had problems with packages until this christmas. We sent my wife's family cards in a package. It never arrived. Oddly enough I sent my wife plenty of packages when we were just starting and they all arrived
4th Apr 2017 22:56 BSTMatt Neuzil Expert
11th Apr 2017 15:47 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Matt is at it again. He has a new user name on ebay check out the message he is sending out on ebay.. Todd this info should be sent to the police.
A couple of things for what it worth. This is a breach of ebay rules on a few fronts and should be reported. I will not comment on what they choose to do with the information. The other idea I think I mentioned before. In the buyer requirements settings in ebay you can set it so a buyer with ZERO feedback cannot bid on your items. They would need to contact you to allow them to do so.
11th Apr 2017 16:12 BSTAndrew Debnam
Sending items through USPS with confirmation and signature i believe would help this. If they are not home to sign, they must go to post office show ID and sign. Im often not home when my packages arrive.
11th Apr 2017 19:18 BSTMatt Neuzil Expert
I always have to go and sign.
They sign they cant deny they didnt send it. Keeping the item is just theft. These people disgust me.
I find the name hilarious, as if adding TM makes it sound legitimate... Or, to actually trademark therockguy name. Albeit I personally believe he is trying to legitimize the name in a really lazy, pathetic fashion...
11th Apr 2017 19:50 BSTScott Rider
I HIGHLY recommend sellers on eBay to follow Andrew's instructions. This is one of the easiest, best defenses as bad buyers are kicked out of eBay all the time and then come back with a new names and cause havoc... Not allowing people with zero feedback may restrict some actual buyers though, which is the only caveat of restricting them. You can also restrict people with certain feedback scores and from certain parts of the world (albeit in this situation the latter won't help at all...).
When I sold a bunch of stuff in eBay, I had that option selected as well as restricting buyers from certain countries. I would randomly get an email for someone trying to buy an expensive item, never the cheap stuff. 9 times out of 10 the buyer's name was totally bogus sounding, it was something like this: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org... This saved me headaches down the road for sure!!!
Matt zusinas has a new user name on ebay!
12th Apr 2017 14:47 BSTJILL BRUNNER
He is sending this message to all the sellers he has unfinished business with.. pass it on please to as many people who sell on ebay!
Just checked - therockguytm account has also been shut down, as well as his girlfriends appliedmetaphysics!!
15th Apr 2017 06:22 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Finally eBay is actually looking after its sellers!
Selling on eBay is not for the faint hearted.. you just have to trust that there are honest people out there. Fortunately I have a fantastic buyers :)
Thanks again guys! This just shows you how important it is to be part of this amazing community of rock lovers! We need to stick together and look after each other!
16th Apr 2017 12:46 BSTJILL BRUNNER
I have just been informed that Matt has another ebay account..mineralcollector247. account has been active for less that a month.. all other information is a match!
Keep a look out for this one too.. Lets hope eBay does their job!
25th Apr 2017 08:37 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Tamarah Rago/Matt Zusinas are contacting sellers about orders placed with closed ebay accounts using the following user name: applied.meta-8.. Add it to your block list!!!
Good lord...... Apparently the police and ebay have not done anything with this scum!!! They are clearly trying to steal and scam and continue their practices!!! Too bad we're gunna pay for it one way or another, either thru ebay or their free room and board at the county jail !
25th Apr 2017 16:39 BSTMatt Neuzil Expert
I received an email from this guy. Here are some excerpts:
25th Apr 2017 20:12 BSTJolyon Ralph Founder
"Dear Mr. Ralph,
I realize this is quite a stretch, but as you are the webmaster of the site mindat.com, I would like to personally email you on this matter.
If there is any financial retribution I can offer to Mindat to show my appreciation of this I would be more than willing to oblige. "
So, he wanted to pay us to remove this thread.
So,,,, like what,,,, a half a billion pounds?
25th Apr 2017 21:03 BSTWayne Corwin
Better ask for it in cash Jolyon !
Sounds like a predestined life of crime.
26th Apr 2017 12:26 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager
Wow this Guy Matt has a real cheek! If they are so worried about their reputation and want to clear their name they should start by returning all the stolen rocks!
2nd May 2017 07:05 BSTJILL BRUNNER
Thanks Jolyon for sharing this with us!
Little do they know that in the mineral business reputation is everything!!!
Looks like Tamarah Rago and Matt Zusinas are getting a bit hot under the collar.. This is how they deal with sellers on eBay now! Rather disgusting and totally unacceptable! Lets hope eBay ban them both for good!
9th May 2017 15:11 BSTJILL BRUNNER
User name is applies.meta-8. block this user if you are selling on eBay
Unconfirmed: but I do believe that they have a new user name on eBay jess99o_6
17th May 2017 15:26 BSTJILL BRUNNER
I have contacted eBay and now waiting for confirmation.
I strongly believe it is inappropriate to use Mindat to bash someone, regardless of 'proof' or 'allegations'. I urge the admins to squash and erase this discussion.
17th May 2017 19:10 BSTSteve Hardinger Expert
I completely agree with STEVE H.
17th May 2017 19:40 BSTBob Harman
Following this thread there are some posts including the last one by JILL B that might be considered disparaging without absolute proof ("unconfirmed: but I do believe......"). This thread has gone on long enough. CHEERS.......BOB
Steve & Bob: I respectfully disagree.
17th May 2017 19:58 BSTUwe Kolitsch Manager
This has been, in the words of one mineral dealer who has talked to me about this issue, the only time this kind of thing has happened in over a decade of trading online. Before I let this thread develop I spoke to people to try to gauge how credible the story was. What I heard shocked me.
17th May 2017 22:40 BSTJolyon Ralph Founder
I assume, Steve, that you are NOT one of the dealers who has been burned by them.
Is mindat the right place for this? Well, if not, where? This is the community, and this is where the community gets together to discuss things, good and bad.
I would rather these things weren't brushed under the carpet and that we allow people to bring up these issues.
Since I agreed with STEVE H, I will defend him adding my final 2 cents worth here. I do philosophically agree with you, JOLYON, but I just think it not right to keep posting anecdotal and unsubstantiated claims about eBay dealers.
17th May 2017 23:34 BSTBob Harman
All the Mindat postings, in my opinion, should be added only after they can be substantiated so that any dealers are not wrongly or inadvertently disparaged. CHEERS.....BOB
I hardly think that the remark by Jill B., "Wow this Guy Matt has a real cheek!", is disparaging. Considering their continued apparent, although not absolutely proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, fraudulent activities, profane language and disrespectful behavior, "cheek" would be one of the weakest of innuendos I have seen in a while.
18th May 2017 00:18 BSTGregg Little
In this forum, a little light should be shone in their dark corner.
Jolyon, I agree completely - if not here, where?
18th May 2017 00:53 BSTDon Saathoff Expert
I agree with Jolyon,,, bur would still like to see more proof.
18th May 2017 04:16 BSTWayne Corwin
I agree 100 percent. Sometimes the world needs a few brave people to stand up and say the "king is naked". Potential fraudsters are only exposed when those who have the courage stand up and say I have been cheated come forward-Mr. Madoff comes to mind.
18th May 2017 13:47 BSTAndrew Debnam
Jolyon & Katya Ralph Wrote:
> This has been, in the words of one mineral dealer
> who has talked to me about this issue, the only
> time this kind of thing has happened in over a
> decade of trading online. Before I let this
> thread develop I spoke to people to try to gauge
> how credible the story was. What I heard shocked
> I assume, Steve, that you are NOT one of the
> dealers who has been burned by them.
> Is mindat the right place for this? Well, if not,
> where? This is the community, and this is where
> the community gets together to discuss things,
> good and bad.
> I would rather these things weren't brushed under
> the carpet and that we allow people to bring up
> these issues.
In certainly glad this thread is here, or I would not have been connected to others who have been ripped of by these two people. It has proven very useful. BTW, the current username for matt zusinas is
31st May 2017 21:28 BSTTodd Welti
This is a fact, since I have a couple of email messages from him, as mineralcollector247 and earlier, and it is definitely him. I have been contacting sellers who he is following and warning them. Excerpt of a message i got from Matt:
"Why make a new account when this one is clearly still working? It's good to know you're clearly paranoid and still wasting your time and energy on me. I'm not hiding? The biggest impact you've had in my life was saving me a few grand by keeping me from making a few select purchases, which I mean honestly, thanks."
So, it is good to know i have perhaps prevented at least one seller from getting ripped off. I'm guessing most people who got ripped off by him would agree with having this thread. I'm one.
Since this is about a dishonest buyer rather than seller even if all of this is not true there is little harm done. It is not as though he has to buy for a living. If it where a dealer who did make a living at selling I would agree that more proof is needed. In this case it is better to err on the side of caution.
1st Jun 2017 00:08 BSTReiner Mielke Expert
16th Jun 2017 00:53 BSTTodd Welti
Just got info that Mr. Zusinas appeared on e-rocks as a buyer. A dealer who knew this thread informed the webmaster and as far as i know at the moment he is blocked now there. Absolutely good that this thread is here. I could have been the next victim.
11th Jul 2017 14:03 BSTRoger Lang Manager
Hi. I am a seller on ebay besides being a dealer at gem and mineral shows. We recently had a purchase from this man: Matt Zusinas from P. burgh. He goes under the name of xtincauldron and has a gmail account crystalncauldron and calls himself Crystal Man. Before sending a historic specimen to him, I had a premonition to check him out online. I am so glad I found your thread.
16th Dec 2017 05:13 GMTRonald Kendig
Hi Ronald, I would immediately contact eBay and cancel the sale. He will most certainly try to rip you off as you are aware from this thread. I am unsure what you can say to ebay other than this particular individual has been stealing mineral specimens from our members who sell on ebay.
18th Dec 2017 17:25 GMTScott Rider
27th Feb 2019 00:56 GMTLinda Larson
I just got scammed by Matt Zusinas on eBay. This criminal is alive and operating again on eBay.
His new ebay name is .....xtlincauldron.
Please block asap. I have filed case with ebay but we all know they do not protect sellers.
He scammed me out of my sterling silver flatware. Claimed it was damaged and wanted some of his money back...I told him to return...so he filed return claiming damage and then sent a few steel forks back!!! Ebay gave him full refund so now he has my silver and all his money.
Everywhere I look online this creep is popping up.
I have filed with police, FBI and USPS and ebay
This seller is also on Etsy as CrystalInCauldron. Full disclosure, I purchased two specimens from this seller and did not have any issues, but I wonder if some of the items offered for sale were obtained fraudulently from other sellers.
27th Feb 2019 01:32 GMTHiro Inukai
Correction on his ebay name.... xtlncauldron
27th Feb 2019 02:00 GMTLinda Larson
BLOCK ASAP he is busy scamming lots of dealers on ebay....mainly buying
You can count on that. I found lots and lots of people who have been ripped off by this guy.
27th Feb 2019 17:10 GMTLinda Larson
Found a post stating he had been arrested for theft, robber & breaking and entering.
The real topper is the whole family has criminal records on file.
He has an account on facebook with thousands of people including me and some very prominent mineral dealers and collectors as 'friends.' I did not notice this thread until today. I've not done any business with him, and never met him in person, but this is obviously concerning to read. How can we verify it is 'him' that is doing the scamming, or not just someone using that name on ebay? Facebook has fake accounts that assume 'real' peoples' names, pictures, etc. all the time, I assume it is not that much harder to type someone's name in the end of an ebay message. Is there a way to provide any more evidence of his alleged crimes? At risk of annoying people who've been wronged, I will state that I distrust by default most things I read on internet forums. The burden is on you to prove something.
27th Feb 2019 18:51 GMTMichael Sommers
Honestly I think it's more that the judicial system or law enforcement, or both not giving a crap. This guy continues to steal and defraud people and the authorities don't do Jack squat. It's sure is infuriating but unfortunately I don't see it changing unless a vigalante steps in...
27th Feb 2019 19:06 GMTScott Rider
Unfortunately I think the best solution is to stop selling online. It is way to easy for fraudsters to disguise themselves and continue this crap. This particular scumbag will continue to get away with this until the authorities get some balls and prosecute and jail this horrible human being...
I guess the other solution other than giving up, is to vet each and every person that buys things from you. That would probably get really expensive and time consuming though... Good luck to all that sell online. I wish you all success and hope this piece of garbage person goes to jail. But for me, I'm done with selling on the Internet...
Perhaps you should do a little detective work like I have. He had a previous account on ebay with a partner that was shut down...a month later he opened current account....all I can say is lots and lots of people out of lots of money....he is slick and knows how to work the system and likes pretty rocks.
27th Feb 2019 22:14 GMTLinda Larson
I can certainly understand your frustration Linda, but you must realise that Mindat is not the mineral police. We are not in the business to say who is fair or who is dishonest; that is up to the potential buyer to know what they are buying and who from.
27th Feb 2019 23:55 GMTPaul Brandes Manager
I was the seller. I have been selling for 20 years. This person purchased my item then claimed it was damaged. Demanded money then filed for a return. He did not return my item...he sent a box with junk in it.
28th Feb 2019 00:51 GMTLinda Larson
Ebay refunded his money. He now has my item and his money back.
There was no reason to think this person was dishonest...and because you cannot leave negative feedback for buyers...no one knows who the bad guys are.
So if someone is dishonest I am going to say something. If you stay mute... then you are allowing others to be victims.
So Paul you clearly do not understand my frustration. You are not the victim. I am. I sell to help pay bills as I am a disabled senior on fixed income.
This guy needs to be in jail. Why isn't he? Is he involved in something bigger and the authorities are waiting for something better to charge him with?
28th Feb 2019 16:50 GMTScott Rider
I'm not even involved with sellers that have been defrauded, yet I really pissed off he's getting away with this... For all you sellers out there!!! Good luck! I hope you vet your customers and take care of the higher priced sales you make. My only real warning that is more practical (my last entry was really impractical) is to NEVER sell to people who have NO or little feedback. When I used to sell, I would block anyone that is new to ebay. After I did that I have much fewer problems (not 100% better tho)..
I am cautious with newbies on ebay but this guy has over 376 feedback so no worries right...wrong. (remember sellers cannot leave buyers negative feedback) I was not until I looked at feedback he had left for others that I saw a pattern. It was not until I found this site I learned a lot more about this guy. If I had not sold to him I would not have his name and address...via the shipping label.
28th Feb 2019 21:12 GMTLinda Larson
I do not know how this has been going on for years but it has.
Hoping the FBI will step in and take over.
this may also be Matt's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/soulstarcrystals/posts/908586605993480
3rd Jun 2019 04:43 BSTkim you
We need to have a better way to track these E-Bay thieves.
1st Aug 2019 04:18 BSTMatthew Droppleman
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Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.