More bad hams…Part 5

Posted: July 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


More bad hams…..Part 5

We all know that amateur radio enthusiasts or “hams” are predominately good people. But just like our population in general, there are Bullies, thugs, misfits and even some criminals in our hobby.

In Part 5 of Good hams…bad hams, I want to tell you about one misfit in Washington who is running a successful Internet scam business. I will also update you on the infamous bad hams, KZ8O and K3VR.

Don Pinson of Orting Washington is becoming well known as an internet scam artist. He preys on his fellow ham radio enthusiasts. When word gets out as to his activities, he merely changes his call sign and continues with his scams. His most recent call signs are: W6HFS, AA7DP, NA0DP, N7DPP and W7GP.

Here is how his scam works. Don responds to ham radio gear for sale/trade ads. He offers to trade a piece of gear for something that he wants. An unknowing ham agrees to the deal and sends Don his rig. Don never completes the trade and the unknowing ham gets the run around from Don until he gives up.

Don has done this to a number of hams. He is known to refurbish what he trades and sells them on Ebay. How does he get away with it?

Don knows that trading on the internet where no money is exchanged is not theft. However it is fraud but Don works this to his advantage.

Don knows that most Law Enforcement agencies are overwhelmed with fraud cases and a couple of hams trading gear does not grab their attention. When a victim becomes particularly nosey/noisy, Don has been known to make an offer to give them some money to go away quietly.Complaints have been made with the US Postal Inspector for mail fraud.

If you Google Don Pinson, who will find many examples of his fraud activities on various Eham and QRZ forums. He’s even featured in his local newspaper:

Here are just a few more examples of his scams:

As one poster put it “Pinson obviously views the ham hobby and hams as a game to be trapped, snared, picked and plundered. He knows his victims are gullible and unable or unwilling to retaliate”.

Guys like Don Pinson give hams a bad name. He needs to be investigated and we need to see the Justice System give him some attention.

Here is an update on infamous bad guy and well known jammer-Michael Guernsey-KZ8O. On July 22nd, 2015, The FCC imposed the full $22,000 fine it had proposed in 2014 for causing intentional interference with other Amateur Radio communications and for failing to identify. In a Forfeiture Order issued on July 22, 2015 — exactly 1 year from its Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) proposing the hefty fine — the FCC cited Guernsey’s “long history of causing interference to other Amateur Radio operators” and noted that he “has been warned repeatedly in writing.” Guernsey’s interactions with the FCC Enforcement Bureau date back well over a decade, and, at one point agreed to have his license suspended for 9 months. “Despite repeated warnings from the [Enforcement] Bureau regarding his on-air behavior,

Mr. Guernsey’s violations included the deliberate playing of music on top of the transmissions of other amateur operators in order to obstruct their ability to communicate on the frequency,” the FCC recounted in the July 22 Forfeiture Order. “Mr Guernsey further used various animal noises to prevent the communications of other stations with whom he had a longstanding and well-documented dispute.”

The FCC said the egregiousness of Guernsey’s “repeated willful acts of malicious interference” warranted the assessment of the full $22,000 forfeiture it had proposed a year earlier. “Nothing in the record in this case, including Mr Guernsey’s financial condition, warrants any leniency or mitigation of that amount,” the FCC added. In responding to the 2014 NAL, Guernsey denied responsibility for the interference, in part noting that FCC agents had not inspected his station and may have heard the signal of a nearby radio amateur. He also sought a cancellation or reduction of the fine based on inability to pay. The FCC was having none of it.

The Commission said its agents “positively confirmed the source” of the interfering transmissions as Guernsey’s residence and monitored them for 40 minutes. Further, the FCC said that inability to pay a fine was but one criterion it uses in determining an appropriate financial penalty. “Considering the entire record, we find no reason to cancel, withdraw, or reduce the proposed penalty,” the FCC said in the Forfeiture Order to Guernsey, who has 30 days to pay the fine or arrange to do so on an installment plan.

In a related enforcement case, the FCC in January affirmed an $11,500 fine against Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, for causing deliberate interference. The FCC The Enforcement Bureau had proposed fining for both Crow and Guernsey in separate, but similarly worded Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture issued a year ago. Crow did not respond to the 2014 NAL. In both instances, the FCC said, it responded in March 2014 to “several complaints of intentional interference” on 14.313 MHz, and Commission agents used radio direction-finding techniques to pin down the transmission sources.

I am glad to see that our system albeit slow, is working to root out these bad guys.

What do you think?

  1. Of Course; But Maybe | Perturbation says:

    […] writes Part 5 of Good hams…bad hams. Of course the clown running the gear swap scam needs to be visited by the boys in his local radio […]

  2. Robert H. Pusch WD8NVN says:

    Most Amateurs ops are good people. Those three scufflaws were not the first nor the last to be serious law-breaking hams… With regards to expensive, complicated ham equipment, I only deal with persons I know personally, who are also known by others.

  3. Maybe we’ll get lucky and someone will do this to Don Pinson: DE K8CPA

    • n6pse says:

      There is no question that Pinson is a bad ham and I hope the long arm of the law catches up to him. But I could never advocate sending a bomb to him (or anyone else).

  4. bryan says:

    Its seems Mr Guernsey’s is not to concerned because you can here him recently and constantly still harassing people on 14.313?His latest rant is .His lawyer has taken care of everything and Laura Smith and the agents that handled his case will all soon be on the unemployment line??Now that’s funny!!!

  5. Chick says:

    I really wonder why folks are busted by the authorities for scams, etc. I see so many of them come and go frequently from the swap boards. As to Mike KZ8O, who knows. He may operate with his girlfriends callsign (if he can’t operate) as use her as a control op. Wouldn’t take much to get that going. What a sad case this is…..

  6. Fred VE3FAL says:

    Over the years KZ8O and WW4D were major menaces to JOTA, one of the operating frequencies for JOTA was just above 14.313. We would be operating and these two clowns thought nothing of cursing and swearing and splattering all over the frequency while we were on 14.315, and there first I might add. KZ8O has a long record and history, I hope his ticket is pulled for good. As far as WW4D goes who knows where he is today.

    • n6pse says:

      Fred, its very unfortunate that our FCC does not provide the investigation and enforcement that they once provided. The problems with bad actors and bad behavior seems to be getting worse.

      • WA9D says:

        We all want to pay less in taxes but this is one of the places where we are getting hurt. The FCC has had to cut staff and activity badly. I also wish they could take some effective action against the QRM coming from all the CFL and LED bulbs with switching power supplies in their bases. But they can’t do it without resources.

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