I'm a member of a few forums around the web for our strange group that collects this lovely old tat. Sadly, I see that a few times a year a collector has been conned out of his money by this lowlife, 'Pawel Nowak', or somebody else using his methods. This s**t drives me crazy I hope this thread saves at least one of you some amount of money. If that happens I am happy.
For those of you not familiar with Pawel Nowak or the associated scam, he basically advertises genuine items that do not belong to him for much less than they are worth. Normally, he will steal photos from a forum or dealer site of a good item, an SS helmet or dagger for example. He will then advertise the item on various forums or classifieds sites. Generally his prices are around 10% of the true market value of an item, and since the photos are of a genuine item, they are obviously attractive to those in the know. He will send you a couple of photos, then another couple, then maybe some more. This gives the impression that he has the item in his possession, and is taking extra pics for you to view. He normally only accepts Western Union, or some other form of payment that offers no protection to the buyer. As soon as you drop the $400 for the SS dagger he disappears laughing into the night ALWAYS USE PAYPAL! and ALWAYS post an item for discussion in the forum first.
I was fortunate enough to be able to help a collector out from this scumbag's jaws earlier this evening. He had been offered an SS helmet on a hunting forum for the price of $350, and was very close to paying for the helmet which was genuine and obviously hugely under-priced.
There is a simple method for unravelling this scam, since it depends on pictures of an original item sourced from elsewhere on the web. Don't consider this foolproof but it does gives very good results as you will see.
Step 1. Save a picture of the item in question. A good overview pic works best, not a photo of a detail on the piece.
Step 2. Go to the Google homepage, and click 'Images' at the top of the page.
Click the camera icon, at the right hand edge of the search text bar. This function searches for other instances of an identical image on the net.
Step 4. Upload the picture you saved from the advert you suspect to be dubious.
Step 5. Scan through the results. Look at the addresses where the picture has been found. You might find that there are more adverts for the same item elsewhere, but what you are really looking for is a dealer site selling the item, or a thread created by the owner in a forum somewhere. In this instance I found exactly that when searching for this SS helmet. It is currently for sale on raskantik for 3500 euros, which was the original source of the photos.
Protect yourselves guys, I really hope this is of some use to some of you .