I want to share with you all a very unpleasant experience I’ve had lately with Rapnet, Rapaport’s leading diamond trading platform. I work as an online marketing and sales manager for a respected company that has been a loyal member of Rapnet for the past 10 years.
This might be a little long but I encourage you to read this entirely.
I’m writing this for Two reasons:
- To warn other members from potential fraudulent acts.
- To warn other members from Rapnet management’s immoral business conduct.
A few months ago I have noticed that I stopped receiving member inquiries to my personal email. It was right after Rapnet announced they were changing the platform, and has already updated a few sections of it. I logged in to my account and saw that on the settings page (see screen shot) of the member area the email address was wrong. It was similar to mine but kind of in backwards order, which made me assume that it was some technical glitch on Rapnet. I changed it to my correct address and thought that the problem is solved.
A few days went by, and I still didn’t receive any notifications to my email. Logged in again and saw that the email there was correct.
At this point I contacted Rapnet’s customer service (both by mail and phone) for assistance.
Their representative sent me a test message in Rapnet, on March 14th, which I didn’t receive and then asked me to wait for their technical team to look into it.
It took them 16 days (until March 30th) and 3 emails from me to reply, and they said that everything seems okay and showed me the address that Is getting the notifications. I was very alarmed to see that it was again that wrong address I have encountered before and immediately told them this is not my address, I already changed it once and now it appears again and I’m afraid it’s some kind of security break or fraud going on.
Again they have not replied to this, did not advise me to take any preemptive actions (like changing passwords etc) and I waited a few more weeks (While calling them and emailing them several times to speed things up).
On April 20th, I received a message to my private email from a client that I had made a transaction with in the past. Haven’t heard from him in months. His message was that he sent funds for the bluish green diamond and asked me to check my bank if I received the funds. He also attached bank details that I don’t recognize and are not associated with my company (but the account name had a company name resembling ours)
I immediately contacted him and told him I have no idea what this about and he told me “but I contacted you about this diamond of yours on Rapnet and you agreed to sell it to me for X amount”. I felt terrible, and reluctantly understood that my client was scammed into sending money to someone else, for a stone of ours that he saw on Rapnet. Someone has broken into our Rapnet account and diverted correspondence to their fake email and by making it seem like he is me convinced this unfortunate Rapnet member who thought he was lucky to get a nice diamond for a great discount to send a wire transfer.
It was too late and impossible to reverse the transfer. I again contacted Rapnet to notify them and the client also filed a complaint in Rapnet’s European branch. The client showed me transcript of his correspondence with the fraud, which took place between April 18th – 20th. This means the fraud happened after I told Rapnet I suspect something.
Here we come to the disillusion part of the story. The Rapnet representative sounded very remorseful when I spoke with him about the incident, and was sorry he didn’t advise me earlier to change passwords and that he didn’t take the matter more seriously. He said he also thought it’s just some technical bug. From their investigation they have learned that the fraud has later changed the notification settings on our account in another, less known menu (see screen shot) in the “manage settings” tab in the inbox of Rapnet message center.
After a few days they replied to my client that it is all my fault and they are not responsible for anything because the fraud somehow logged into my account with password. How he got access to password no one can tell, it is as possible that he broke into Rapnet servers as it is that he broke into my computer/email etc. The latter doesn’t seem likely to me because in that case he would have easy access to Bank, Paypal account etc and steal money directly from us but no such thing happened.
My client accepted their side of the story, and then began to pressure me to compensate him for his losses. Needless to say we are also damaged by the fraud as it resulted in a missed sale for us! The client intended to buy our stone so essentially we lost the same amount of money (and even more as we wouldn’t have sold it so cheap as the fraud).
From there on it has been 6 weeks now that I repeatedly ask Rapnet to take responsibility for the negligence of their customer service, which by being slow and unprofessional assisted the fraud to carry out his scam. They either ignore me, or send me the same response that there’s nothing they can do. The amount of money my client transferred is a big deal to him (he is a small local jeweler) but little deal for Rapaport (especially now when they changed the subscription levels on Rapnet).
My conclusions are:
- Be careful! Switch passwords constantly and keep them safe.
- Don’t expect to be treated as a valued customer, you will need to fight hard and even then there’s little chance you will get a fair resolution.
There’s probably very small chance for us in the legal aspect to go against such a financial giant. The least I can hope is that someone else won’t get hurt.
Gidon Lev Eli.