It's my own fault, I guess. I should have used more common sense; and not have relied on "good faith" or the honesty of others.
About a month or so ago, I saw on one of the e-mail reflectors that a Ham was looking to swap for a 40 Meter Rockmite. In exchange, he was offering a straight key in trade. My 40 Meter Rockmite has been laying dormant; and I never mind having an extra straight key hanging around, so I agreed to the trade.
I got the Rockmite out the next day via UPS Priority mail; and my trade partner had it in just a couple of days. I got an e-mail that he was happily making contacts with it; and that, by the way, he had mistakenly mailed out the straight key to another Ham he was trading with. That should have set off the alarm bells; but the "good news" was that the key was on its way back to him and it would be shortly mailed to me.
That's the last I heard from him; even after about 4 or 5 inquiries on my part since. The e-mails to me have ceased; and ever since, all I've been hearing is the chirping of crickets.
I guess P.T. Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute; and I guess I'm one of them. The downside is that the next time a perfectly honest opportunity for a trade comes along; I'll probably never pull the trigger - you know that old adage about "twice bitten".
73 de Larry W2LJ