Scammed on Craigslist and Glowforge helped (the scammer)


Well in that case it would be easy to remedy on Glowforge’s part to reinstate the serial number after the original owner could not produce a police report.



You might have better luck purchasing a used machine from someone selling it here on the forum. There was a post this morning about one for sale - you would need to contact the seller in a Private Message and contact Glowforge Support to work out how the trransfer of ownership on the machine would take place. Once you hear back from them, you would be good to complete the transaction.

The criminal element is pretty rare, I’m sorry you ran across one the first time out. If you do decide to try again, i hope the next time goes perfectly.



Waiting for personal verification from staff would have been better… but OP’s assumption that the new user experience would know about the blacklist was reasonable. That IS how it should work.

Or to put it another way, what is the benefit of allowing a permanently blacklisted unit to make it through initial setup without notifying the user? This sure seems like an oversight to me.



easy but not quick. if you are on the expected usage paths glowforge has defined things happen pretty easily. this forum is full fo complaints of days if not weeks for customer service to be able to resolve the unexpected or edge cases.

We’ve dragged this discussion away from the originator a lot I suspect so I’m going to go ahead and drop this unless you think I have anymore than the wild conjectures I’ve already thrown to add.



With a purchase this large, perhaps a contract would be wise. The owner would have to show proof of purchase and sign something that states that 1) it works to the best of their knowledge), 2) they will lay no claim to the device moving forward.

This wouldn’t necessarily help in a situation like this, but it would prevent someone claiming a stolen device after the fact.

It’s really a shame that people can be so crummy and the rest of us have to suffer the consequences.



If the blacklist doesn’t prevent you from registering / using the Glowforge… then is it really a blacklist?

Does the Glowforge work now?



I wonder if something like this also exposes you to possible liability for “receiving stolen goods.”



Only if you knew they were stolen.



It does not.

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Interestingly, Glowforge’s blacklist policy acts as a certification that the goods weren’t stolen.

If you setup a new printer and got the following email, do you think you’d question it?



Ouch! That hurts. I appreciate your posting this to help others be aware.

I take comfort that having lost my iPhone, all the connected software does make it less desirable to steal. One consolation of having a device that never cuts the umbilical.

Maybe we can crowd source the solution to this situation or at least Glowforge and maybe Craigslist can assist and resolve it.



Totally with you on that. I hope Glowforge will find a way to make it right for you and, that the scammer will get caught.



on the bright side, you avoided a long stressful wait for snapmark / disappointment about lack of support for passthrough. :smiley:



@joshua.lutz, I’m so sorry the Glowforge you purchased was stolen. As our team let you know in email, if we can be of any help in filing a report with the police, please let us know.

For anyone else attempting to buy a “used” Glowforge, please remember to follow the directions the original poster references:

Most importantly:
“To avoid this, buy only from someone who you know personally, and verify that the current owner can print on their Glowforge before they sell it to you.”

Unfortunately, the software alone cannot guarantee that the unit is “unstolen”, whether it prints or not, because we might receive proof of a stolen unit after the thief has resold it.

That is why our strong advice is to buy only from someone you know personally. That is the only way to be certain you don’t wind up possessing stolen goods, and a useless product.

Again, @joshua.lutz, I’m so sorry this happened.

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Hi Dan,
Frankly your apology (and Rita’s) is hollow.

As the person who sets policy, I find it interesting to watch you try to hide behind it.

First of all, I got a confirmation from your software that my printer was validly added to my account. I then received an email that said “Congratulations” “You’re ready to start printing.” If you were in my shoes, what would you think at that point?

Unfortunately, the software alone cannot guarantee that the unit is “unstolen”, whether it prints or not, because we might receive proof of a stolen unit after the thief has resold it.

Is that what you’re saying happened here? Did the seller contact support after taking my money?

The San Francisco PD has reviewed all my documentation and interaction with both Glowforge and the seller. Their recommendation was to take Glowforge to small claims court. You bricked this device. Your software told me I was good, and I relied on that advice.

You’re the reason I’m out $3k and holding a paperweight. You’re the reason an alleged criminal has my $3k.

If indeed your goal was to close the loop on theft, you’d share the police report or at least jurisdiction that this printer was stolen in. As it stands, I have no reason to believe that it’s even stolen as the printer worked until I asked support if it was stolen, at which point I received a “yeah, unfortunately it is” and that coincided with the last time the printer logged in.

If you’re going to brick expensive devices, I think at least a little transparency is in order. If you’re so concerned with the justice of it all, please tell me where to return this stolen device so the party who’s missing it can have it back.




And for those playing along at home and want to avoid being scammed by Glowforge, this is what it looks like when you add a “stolen” printer to your account:



I apologize that I was unclear. Unfortunately, we can neither share information about past customers, nor about our communication with law enforcement.

I shared the example of a late theft report only to answer your question about why the software can’t be relied upon to indicate if the unit was stolen or not. No matter how the software works, it can never guarantee that a second-hand Glowforge isn’t stolen.

Speaking of no particular case: many stolen units are stolen on delivery, in which case we mark them as stolen and replace them. In those cases, the party that’s missing the unit is us.



That’s bull. Sure, it can never guarantee a device is not stolen, I won’t dispute that. But that’s not the point here. The point is that it sure can guarantee it was. If Glowforge knew this device was stolen before the OP accepted ownership, the software better have information about that. We shouldn’t have to wait for a reply from support telling us “yes or no” about the state of a device, because the device already has that information. It’s all in the cloud, because that machine has to contact the “blacklist” somehow. So why doesn’t the device contact that list BEFORE finishing setup and report error on finding itself marked as stolen?

I find it highly unlikely the device was reported stolen in the time between the OP accepting the device, and them receiving the email from support that the device was stolen. If that was indeed the case, then I’ll stand corrected. Assuming there’s proof of that, which we the public will never see.




Since your reply style seems to be to chase only the rabbit you want, I’ll make this a simple feature request:

No reasonable person could expect Glowforge to be clairvoyant about a device you don’t know is stolen already. But a reasonable person absolutely would expect you to tell them programmatically when you know it is.

When a user registers a device, check the blacklist before allowing it. You have a blacklist in your database, you have an api call internally to check it, I’m just asking that you make that call during setup. It will cost Glowforge next to nothing to implement and it would have prevented precisely the type of obvious abuse I (and since there’s an FAQ I’m guessing a lot of others) have suffered.





I have to say I am in Josh’s camp on this. you log that sucker in and register it. it should NOT under any circumstances come back with a happy message. Also any time a unit is reported stolen there should be verification of the identity of the person reporting it stolen. to prevent somebody from ordering one, claiming it is stolen. getting a replacement and selling the “extra” one for cash.

as a side note in a transaction of this magnitude, I would damn sure take a picture of their car’s license plate. and use a cashier’s check.