Help, Buying Used Car, Is She Scamming Me???

Lounge By three_sets_of_twins Updated 8 Jan 2010 , 9:45pm by _Jamie_

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:18pm
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I came across an online ad for a woman selling her car. The price seemed a little too good to be true, but if it was a legit add a great deal. So I emailed her asking some questions and this is what she said:
"Sorry for the delayed response, but I'm in Toronto , Ontario ( Canada ) right now and I have been very busy..Anyway,thank you for your interest in buying the car. The car is located in US right now and has US papers.Why is the price so low? I am going trough a divorce, and I had to move out of USA I cannot register the car here, as it is made for USA , according to USA standards.. So all that I want to do now is to sell the car at this price, because I need to sell it fast(I already made a deposit here to buy me another).The title is clean and you will have absolutely no problems to register the car in the States..I will tell you a few words about the car :

My 2007 Cadillac Escalade with automatic transmission it is in perfect condition with 79,280 miles , rust free , no scratch and hasn't been involved in any accident. The motor runs very well..The interior looks great(NO SMOKING)..This car needs nothing,the title is clear ,it is not a salvage one. I want this transaction to go smoothly enough as I am caught in the middle of some very important events and have little time at my disposal. I already have tons of emails so I hope you understand that I need to sort them out. The car is like new, in perfect conditions,accident free, no scratches, no special marks, no need for additional repairs what so ever. a genuine road runner ready to be yours, but only if you shall understand and you won't make me loose time as it has already happened to me...

The price is $5500 USD and I will take in consideration only those buyers who are really interested in buying the car ,to be sure that I don't waste my time with endless discussions.This way,I shall be assured of the serious intentions ...

So if you are interested please email me back for next step.

So I email her bacl:
I am very interested in the car. Yes it is a great deal but it never hurts to ask.
I am currently out of state but my father is in xxxxxxx.
If you want, by the end of this week if not before since you are in a rush and also in a predicament ( I have been there myself!), If you don't mind meeting with my father someplace so he might see the car for me in person. Yes of course it is a good deal, but an extremely good deal and I'd be more comfortable with my father seeing it in person before money exchanges hands.. I will have my father call me on the spot or soon then after just to verify all that has been said, and if all is good to go I will western union him the money in full for your car. He can give you the cash in full, and he can give it to me when I'm back in town in a couple of weeks.
If you are ok with this and it's a deal, please give me your contact info. My father's contact info is xxxxxxxx.

She sends me back:

Look how we will do this step:

Before leaving I had prearranged shipping and also the payment with MoneyBookers so my presence in USA isn't necessary. (The car is locked in a MoneyBookers warehouse Denver Colorado and ready for delivery).. The price of the car is $5500.00 which includes all the shipping costs and insurance, so you won't have to pay any extra charges.Those were the last pictures taken
Here is what I suggest: we will use MoneyBookers which acts like an escrow service , you make a deposit Of %28 in a MoneyBookers managed trust fund ( they hold the money until you receive the car ), They will sent the car over to you ( the car will be delivered with the title, owner's manual, 2 sets of keys, service records, and of course the bill of sale authorized and signed by me), I will offer a 5 day period from the day you receive it from the shipping company, you can inspect it, take it to a mechanic to check it out, drive it and then if you decide to keep it, you will confirm to MoneyBookers the sale, and they will send the payment to me... If, by any reason, you will not be satisfied with it ( even though I can assure you that it is exactly as described), you can return it at my expense for a full refund of your money, no questions asked. I think this is more than fair for the both of us..
NOTE: The deposit (down payment) is refundable, and is just a security measure, to make sure that you are serious, and that I am not going to ship the car, and loose time and money.

If you are interested to go ahead with the deal, please reply with your Full Names, Shipping Address and Contact Number so I can ask MoneyBookers to open a case! After, they will contact you explaining all the details regarding the payment...
I'm looking forward to hear from you.

I sent her back an email saying I wasnt comfortable with putting down any type of deposit on something I had only seen a picture of and if she could tell me where this place is and my father can go look at it then I dont mind paying her any way she wants to be paid. She hasnt replied to me yet.

I'm not living in the states and I'm not familiar with things being done this way. Is this a scam or..?

23 replies
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three_sets_of_twins Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:21pm
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**** something I just noticed****
She posted her origional add in the san antonio section, now she is saying it is in a warehouse in colorodo..??

Also, in the photos she sent me, the car seems to be in some sort of show room (not in her garage or a storage facility) and there is no licence plate on the car. she says those were the last pictures taken of the car however it looks like the pictures were taken of a car in a showroom..?? icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

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_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:29pm
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Probably, usually a giveaway is that they are conveniently currently out of the country.

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Loucinda Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:29pm
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There is an old saying......if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. My DH is a Police Chief, and I cannot tell you how many people are scammed out of money over things such as this.

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_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:31pm
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Oh yeah...scam. I can smell it from here and is stinks, bad.

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Texas_Rose Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:34pm
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That's a total scam.

My sister got identical emails when trying to buy a car off of craigslist last summer. We found the car pictures on other sites...the "seller" had just copied the pictures and put them in his ad.

One giveaway is an impossible price for something...$5500 for a 2007 Escalade is just not going to happen. $5500 for a 2001-2002 Suburban or Tahoe is probable.

If you did get the ad from Craigslist, there's a reason that they've got a banner ad across the auto listings pages an inch high that reads "Offers to ship cars are 100% fradulent"

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_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:36pm
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MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 8:48pm
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I say there's most likely something VERY wrong with the vehicle. If it was a matter of a quick sale, I still think she would place the price higher & say in the ad that any offers are welcome. (She already said she has "tons" of e-mails about it.) This doesn't sit well with me. Be careful. Please! Also, the fact that she states the price INCLUDES shipping, etc.??? .... Oh please be careful! Everytime I scroll back up to look at what she wrote, I find more and more suspicious about this. My DH was a used car dealer, and I cannot see him EVER - EVER - EVER selling a 2-3 year old high-end luxury vehicle for a small fraction of its' value, even considering the mileage. Doesn't make sense, even for a short sale as I mentioned earlier. IF it is a legit deal AND everything she said was true, she could have someone run the vehicle through any auto auction (public or dealer only) and it would bring in way more $$$ than she's asking. EVERYONE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU SEE ADS LIKE THESE!

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Texas_Rose Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:00pm
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The other thing is, if you're trying to buy the car before you get here, then legit sellers on Craigslist are not going to think you're for real. Your best bet is to rent a car for a week when you get here and then look for a car to buy locally that you can drive out to see (and take your husband with you and meet in a public place and all that, because people have been known to advertise something on Craigslist, then meet a buyer and beat and rob them instead of selling them something).

Also, depending on how much driving you'll be doing, you might want something more fuel-efficient than an Escalade. Last I heard, they're gas guzzlers and San Antonio is a pretty spread out place, so you may be doing more driving than you think.

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_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:01pm
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There's something wrong with it for doesn't even exist.

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:29pm
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She just emailed me back. ( I emailed her saying i was not comfortable paying a deposit on something I have only seen a photo of especially a CAR, just let my dad see the car and I'll pay you whatever way you want to be paid.

"the trued is i am not really interested in the money right away.what i am interested in,is some one that is more concerned and serious.So that is why i am asking for the percentage deposit before i can proceed.If you feel that the 23% is too much you can pay %10 so that i understand that you are sincere.i don't want to waste my time as you don't want to waste you time. that is why i am trying to put every one in a comfortable situation.After making the %10 your father can see the car and i will be assured that he will buy the car.
Thank you"

biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttccccccchhhhhhhhh scammer.
if its even a WOMAN
Thanks everyone for the input. Special thanks to tx rose and also jamie for that link THAT MATCHED LIKE EVERYTHING SHE WAS SAYING.
And yeah thats why i posted it. its all so fishy. why not sell it to the dealership for way more? why even deal with me if she has had "tons" of emails about it? Sick person SICK PERSON. I'm sending her a last email giving her a good piece of my mind the scamming *&$#$ *#*&$*$(# (#[email protected](@)@)!!!!!!!!!!!

Since we will be in san antone for a year we figured it would be cheaper for us to buy a used car and sell it when we leave rather than pay for a year of car rentals.

Thanks everyone for all your replies and advice. Never dealt with this kind of thing before. I'm selling all my furniture for DIRT cos i have to leave the country in like 2 weeks so I guess I thought maybe she was in the same boat. Our plan yes is to rent a car for a week or two while looking for a local used car, just came across that online and thought "wow!".
DUH!! *hits forehead*

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_Jamie_ Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:38pm
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Yeah, unfortunately, that's the world we live in today. Can't trust stuff like this unless you are face to face, physically looking at the item, and speaking in person. It's a shame, but it's the way it is.

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 9:39pm
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"Dear Leslie,
It is very kind of you to offer to let me only put down 10%! How sweet of you! To prove to you that I am serious about my offer, PLEASE!, allow me to send you the amount IN FULL to your moneybookers account! I am very serious and I really want this car! I insist. Just hold it for me and please dont give it to anyone else! Please give me your account info ASAP."

THERE. Let the evil scammer get all happy thinking theyre about to get 5500 dollars. lol. Let them be on a DAMN HIGH for the next couple of days anxiously checking the account every 2 minutes. Then when she asks me where it is I'll tell her to go to hell.

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Texas_Rose Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 11:00pm
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Even once you're here, be careful buying a car from someone on Craigslist. Tell them that you'll meet them somewhere to look at the car, preferably at an auto repair shop where you'll have a mechanic take a look at the car (you'll have to pay for an inspection but that's better than buying a lemon) and then if you decide to buy the car, they can go with you to your bank and you'll withdraw the money for them and they can sign over the title to you there, along with a reciept that you and they will sign in front of a bank employee who can notarize the receipt for you. (Your bank will have a notary who will notarize it for you for free, at least most banks do. I know Security Service does but not sure about USAA, they're very unhelpful anymore). Then you get in the car you just bought and drive it away while your husband drives the other car don't want to leave it parked there and get a ride back to drive it home later because the person who sold you the car might have an extra key and decide to take it if you left it there.

Another idea might be for your husband to ask around and see if anyone on base is trying to sell a car (maybe they're being deployed or transferring overseas, etc) because that would be someone more trustworthy than a random person on Craigslist.

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Kayakado Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 6:20pm
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I saw a news item recently where someone was selling a car and had "borrowed" a photo of a guy's collector car from his website and were selling it on ebay. How did he know it was his car--it was parked in front of his house in the pic. He notified ebay of the scam and supplied proof but they still did not pull the ad.

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Auryn Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 6:46pm
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Before you buy a used car, make sure you get a carfax report, it might cost you a couple of bucks but its worth it.
It will show if the owner ever made any claims for repair with their insurance- like for flood or collision or anything.
Sometimes you can fix the aesthetics of a car to cover up major internal issues.

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sadsmile Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 8:36pm
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Wow first she need the money right away then she isn't interested in the money only serious persons who want the car...haha what a load of malarky. Ask her for the VIN # after you have said you wired the money.

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three_sets_of_twins Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:00pm
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LOL what is a VIN number?

She has replied telling me to give her MY info so that she can make the account FOR ME (Bless her little heart, how sweet of her to take the time to do that) and then she will do all the work.
Oh well, I had her all excited for 24 hours, now im rippin her a new one then blocking her.
And yes it is sad people fall for this.

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Texas_Rose Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:13pm
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A VIN number is the number on the car's frame and on some of the different parts. Sometimes it's etched on the windows so you can get an insurance discount. It's an identification number so that if someone stole a car and painted it, or took it apart and sold the parts, they can still tell it was the original car. It's on the title, and if you get a Carfax report then you need the VIN number to order the report.

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Kiddiekakes Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:14pm
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VIN is the Vehicle identification number ..Every vehicle has one..a small metal plate screwed to the inside of the dashboard to track that vehilce for theft, damage etc...

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_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:15pm
post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by three_sets_of_twins

LOL what is a VIN number?

She has replied telling me to give her MY info so that she can make the account FOR ME (Bless her little heart, how sweet of her to take the time to do that) and then she will do all the work.
Oh well, I had her all excited for 24 hours, now im rippin her a new one then blocking her.
And yes it is sad people fall for this.

Oh goodness....the heart and soul of information about your vehicle. It tells me where your car was made (US, Japan, Mexico, the major three), what year it was born, what engine size it has, whether it is dual overhead cam, single overhead, flex fuel.....ok, I'll stop. Yeah, it's my day job!

Best best....BEST thing you can do when thinking about buying a used car, is ask the owner if you can take it to an ASE certified repair facility for a "checkout to buy" inspection. Costs about $30 to $50, and can be the difference between you buying a lemon, and saying "no thanks, I'll pass". Please don't ever buy a car without having a good mechanic give it the once over. And...if the owner has nothing to hide, he won't have a probem doing this. Because he can say it was checked over when the next person comes to look at it.icon_wink.gif

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_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:19pm
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Carfax=USELESS information when it comes down to it. It will tell you if the car has been issued a salvaged title, or had body damage, was involved in a flood.....but will not tell you about repairs needed. Carfax ain't gonna tell you the knocking noise the engine is making is a rod bent out of shape that could blast through the cylinder wall at any minute and stick you with $3,000 worth of work on the $2000 car you just bought.


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Texas_Rose Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:42pm
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You wouldn't want a Carfax report instead of having a mechanic check it out, but it is helpful to know if it's been in any accidents. Sometimes accidents can weaken stuff under the hood but not cause it to fail for a couple of years...someone hit my car right after I got it, and two years later at 70,000 miles the transmission went out because the motor mount and engine mounts had failed...but they were checked after the accident and were fine then.

Also, for a while people were having trouble with the Katrina cars...buying it not knowing it had been flooded and then having all sorts of problems with them. And in San Antonio when it rains we get tons of dummies having to be rescued from low water crossings so there is a chance of getting a car that's been in a flood icon_biggrin.gif

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_Jamie_ Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 9:45pm
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The Katrina cars are STILL wreaking havoc in the used car market. We've seen several. Ugh. Yeah, Carfax is helpful to a point, shouldn't have dissed them entirely, but ya can't rely on it to clear a used car for sure.

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