A Scam to watch for....
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Thread: A Scam to watch for....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    A Scam to watch for....

    Hey all, I just thought I'd post what just happened to my DH and I to help make sure none of you get caught in a scam. We didn't get completely caught, but it was a fairly well thought out one, so I could see how many might.

    We are selling our truck (btw, anybody want to buy a 2006 Honda Ridgeline? lol), so we posted it on Kijiji and AutoTrader. We received an email from a woman asking lots of sensible questions about it, and we got pretty excited. She wasn't going to ****er, but she wanted to know the best price we'd be willing to give. Ok, cool. Once we sent her all of the information (she basically wanted to know the no BS version, what is wrong with it, and we were completely honest) she emailed back and said awesome. She explained that she is working away at the moment in a fairly remote location so her phone service isn't the best and she would be back on the 20th of September, but wanted to buy the vehicle now and would have it picked up. A little odd, but fine. She asked for the basic information to pay through PayPal, Name and Email basically. Fine.

    This is where it starts getting really odd and flags REALLY went up for us. We got an email from PayPal, that on first glance looked completely legit. It was for $1000 more than the cost of the truck. We also got an email from the lady saying her courier who was going to get the truck doesn't take paypal and she wanted us to send the extra $1000 through Western Union to the courier. Hmmmmmmm. We looked at the PayPal email again and it said that the funds would be deposited in our account once they received the Western Union confirmation number, and on closer inspection it was FULL of spelling mistakes and awful grammar. Oh my. Oh, and if you look over the terms of using PayPal (Real PayPal) they specifically state that they do NOT EVER place such stipulations on payments. The courier information was in both emails, the courier is located in China (HUH!). The "buyer" also mentioned something about Manchester (WHAT?!).

    Needless to say, we shut the entire thing down. The basics of the scam is that there is never any intention to buy a truck (or whatever the scam is associated with, though apparently these guys troll AutoTrader and EBay Motors), they just say they will and hope the person doesn't actually check that the funds are really deposited before they send cash through Western Union.

    We changed all of our passwords to everything, pulled the ads for the truck. We reposted them and within a day we had no less than 6 emails and texts which (now that we could see how it works) were obviously about to try the same scam. It is a good thing my DH and I are a bit less trusting than some and a bit more computer savvy. We were actually going to mess with them a bit, but looking up this scam online apparently some of them get pretty angry and will go out of their way to hack you, commit identity theft etc, so we shut things down pretty nicely (basically telling them we weren't born yesterday).

    I'm sure this scam gets applied to tons of stuff, vehicle sales, more expensive pets, etc. I just wanted to share it with everybody just in case some of you are a bit more trusting than us. We're not actually very trusting people (often to our detriment honestly), but it wouldn't have even gotten as far as the fake PayPal email if we didn't need to sell the truck so much. So, watch out everyone, and don't forget, if you are receiving a PayPal payment, ALWAYS check your actual bank account to make sure it got deposited!

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

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  3. #2
    Senior Member reynosa_k9's's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    I'm truly happy to know you didn't fall for this scam. Unfortunately you know there's someone out there that has been taken in by it.
    It is so sad that there are some people who deliberately set out to rip-off and hurt another human being. This is why I prefer to stay on the ranch with just the critters. I know they aren't going to try to scam me. Well, unless it's for extra treats or hugs. That type of scam I can deal with. lol
    Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness." never paid an adoption fee.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Glad you didn't get taken in by it.

    That is a classic scam that has variations; some very low-tech even. Someone brings a check to pay for a car or whatever expensive item and the check is already made out but "oops" the price is higher than the sale price. So they say, "hey, just deposit this and give me the difference back in cash"
    The seller thinks that since the check is deposited at the bank that they have their money so they give the buyer the cash back AND the item. A few days later, the seller finds out the check is bogus which means they have lost both the item they were selling, the cash they gave back and probably have some bad check fees assessed by their bank.

    Here's an example of a variation on the check scam in the Cleveland news

  5. #4
    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    AH, I'd never thought of the check version of the scam, but it makes complete sense.
    I was just surprised with the scam how legit it seemed because of the detailed, and truly sensible questions that were asked about the truck. I was worried about the purchase sight-unseen but I figured the questions were butt-covering ones, wanting to get full disclosure, and if we didn't disclose something obvious (like the one break that squeals a little bit), they could cancel the sale and come back on us.
    It may be classic, but it is still far more clever than the "Your long lost relative has died and you have inherited....just send $XXX and you will receive it".
    All I know is anyone who wants to buy the truck, or anything else in the future, I either meet them face to face, or I talk to them on the phone and Google them extensively (and there had better be a good reason I'm not meeting them!).

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

  6. #5
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Do you have something like CarMax where you are? Selling to an auto store usually gets you a lower price than selling to a private party but there is basically no risk and it is quick.

    Heck, even if you meet the person, about the only way you can be sure that the transaction is clean is getting cash in hand (going to the bank eve and having the bank hand you the cash if you're really cautious) and going with the buyer to transfer title at the motor vehicle office.

  7. #6
    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Glad yall are ok and didn't caught up in the scam... I always take a close look at the email addresses that look like they officially came from a company I am familiar with there is usually some difference (spelling,different name display'd)

  8. #7
    Senior Member SydTheSpaniel's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Yep, I've heard scams like this. My husband and I are trying to sell our Saturn L200 and we haven't wanted to advertise on sites like that for this very reason. It's just so risky.

  9. #8
    Junior Member asalley's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    I almost got scammed the same way. Paypal is safe but just offer to send an invoice don't send them your paypal info as this is how they set up the false email. Its the false email that makes you think you've been paid but you haven't. Mannnn I almost shipped out a free cell phone to someone this way.

  10. #9
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    We have posters up at the Post Office warning people to never wire money to anyone ever (except, ya know, your mom who lives in another country or someone else you know for sure). There's just no reason for it; almost all reasons for wiring money are illegal or fraudulent. Because you can't get it back.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    Do you have something like CarMax where you are? Selling to an auto store usually gets you a lower price than selling to a private party but there is basically no risk and it is quick.

    Heck, even if you meet the person, about the only way you can be sure that the transaction is clean is getting cash in hand (going to the bank eve and having the bank hand you the cash if you're really cautious) and going with the buyer to transfer title at the motor vehicle office.
    We don't have a CarMax, but there are a lot of used dealers around. We have been considering doing that, but we figured we'd list it ourselves at least for a little while since it is true, we'd get more in a private sale. Out here in NB not a lot of people have the cash on hand though....so it's more likely to get sold through a dealer of some kind that might be able to help offer financing.

    We were going to only accept a cashier's check, interac email money transfer or cash (which is unlikely, we were asking $18900, expecting to be haggled down to 17000, not many people can get that in their hands often). I think we're going to start calling around to see if any of the dealers will buy it.

    It just makes me sick that people do this, and that they'll never get caught since it is in another country. We're reporting it to every agency we can think of....not that it'll do any good other than to add to the statistics.

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

  12. #11
    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    The same thing happened to me and my husband when we lived in Australia and were trying to sell our vehicle. This one claimed that they were in the Navy and were out at sea, but someone else would pick it up. We got suspicious and called it off. A few days later we got the exact same initial email but from a different email address. I politely told them where to go :-)

  13. #12
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    We were going to only accept a cashier's check, interac email money transfer or cash (which is unlikely, we were asking $18900, expecting to be haggled down to 17000, not many people can get that in their hands often).
    If someone can get a legit cashier's check, then they can get cash. Cashier's check (and postal money orders) can be forged pretty easily. Even depositing the cashier's check into your account and waiting for to clear doesn't mean much.

    Cash handed to you at the bank and promptly deposited into your account in exchange for the title is secure. You can even have the bill of sale notarized while you are at the bank to prove transfer (so no one drives off in a car titled to you and then crashes it or commits a crime etc)

  14. #13
    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    I was almost duped by a similar scam about 8 years ago. Mine was a housing thing and involved a fake money order. Their scam didn't work on me.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Greater Swiss's Avatar
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    Re: A Scam to watch for....

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    If someone can get a legit cashier's check, then they can get cash. Cashier's check (and postal money orders) can be forged pretty easily. Even depositing the cashier's check into your account and waiting for to clear doesn't mean much.

    Cash handed to you at the bank and promptly deposited into your account in exchange for the title is secure. You can even have the bill of sale notarized while you are at the bank to prove transfer (so no one drives off in a car titled to you and then crashes it or commits a crime etc)
    Good point Shell, I hadn't thought about forgery. There is still interac email money transfer. When we bought our car (a little echo), we were going to do the transfer right in front of the seller on our cell phone, and get them to check their account. No cell service at that spot was one problem, so we came home and did it, but that is at least a fairly reliable way.

    It sucks having to be so suspicious :P

    Some people say that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, I call it training my dog

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