Scam & Fraud Alert!

Top 9 Tips to avoid Scam
 

Nine pieces of advice you should know in order not to be a victim of an online fraud with classic car sales. If the deal is so perfect that you are ready to make your decision on the spot – stop! A typical situation of a fraud may take place in which you will be deceived by illegitimate seller. The cars which are proposed at low prices may not even exist or belong to him. Fraudsters will do everything to cheat on you and take your money, so watch out!

1. Think twice before you start any operations with money. Always be on the alert, especially if the purchase seems to be a bargain, doesn't matter what you buy and who is the seller. Find out the legal home address and verify the identity of the seller to get rid of a potential fraudsters and any third parties. They usually work through email and when you call them you are lucky that their phone is working, but they are always pretending to be busy and they hang the phone with false promises to call you back under any preposition.

2. A fraudster wants to mislead you and to make you believe that they have the vehicle you want to buy.

A lof of them are law offenders engaged in all sorts of crimes. If you ask them anything about the vehicle they have all the answers even with a history. This is their persuasive power, so be careful.

3. Insist on cashing out at the local bank to protect your money and to pay without difficulties. Be beware of bankers drafts and suspicious cheques, as you can refuse them. Any excuses from the side of a seller about the bank are suspicious so do not continue to deal with him. Do not pay any third party for shipping costs or anything else unless they sent you a copy of a passport, driving license or utility bill. The more documents you have the better for you.

4. If you see an email address with a lot of random characters or numbers – that must be a fraudster because that emails are easy to get. Do not believe to anyone like 65747@gmail.com, ngug5553@hotmail.com or hhizg@yahoo.com.

5. You must obtain the vehicle registration details. Always ask for a vehicle data check and vehicle history to make sure that the car is not theft. The internet comes handy in this situation.

6. Ask the seller to take some pictures of the vehicle in details and high quality and to send them to you. Scrutinize the picture to make sure that it is not edited in any way and it is real. Pay attention to the season, the weather, road signs to make sure that the owner of the car is the seller. A good way to check - ask for photos of the car with today's release of papers on the hood.

7. Remember that you are not obliged to buy this car, even if the seller hurries you up. Always think before acting, as other potential buyers may also be scammers, and they only make you pay much more for the car in an act of competition.

8. The best way is to deal with the major classic car dealer as most of the time the trustworthy business reputation speaks for itself and you won't have to worry about the honesty of the seller who may not speak about some important disadvantages just to get rid of the car. If you doubt about anything, feel free to go away and search for another variants.

9. Our Car-from-UK service does not include personal sell, any financial arrangements or transfer of funds. Storage, shipping and delivery are not arranged also. The advert text box does not include an email address or phone number or any attached photos. Any fraudsters possibilities are excluded from our service but be cautious when opening links on the website to prevent yourself from any possible danger. Beware of sham websites, our domain name is the only one - AutoMotoClassicSale.com.

Types of Scam & Fraud

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

• Long-distance buyer or seller.
• Offer includes a cashier's check, postal money order, Western Union, or escrow service (BidPay, Squaretrade, etc.).
• Refusal to meet face-to-face.

You can easily recognize a scam, if remember these types of fraud.

1. Distant seller indicates they will guarantee the transaction through the some fictitious Protection Program:

- These programs do not exist!
- Seller will request a down payment, and will provide detailed documentation of the "protection program".

2. Distant buyer offers a high-value (but fake) cashier's check in exchange for your item:

- You receive an odd email offering to buy your item site unseen.
- Cashier's check is offered for your sale item, as a deposit for a part.
- Value of cashier's check often far exceeds your item - buyer asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service.
- Banks will often cash these fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR.
- Scam often involves a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc).

3. Distant seller requests payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

- Seller often claims that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money - this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
- Common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, Ukraine, Spain, UK, Italy, Netherlands - but could be anywhere.
- Deal often seems too good to be true.

4. Distant seller offers to send you a cashier's check and then have you wire money:

- This is ALWAYS a scam, in our experience - the cashier's check is FAKE.
- Sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not.
- Scammer often asks for your name, address, etc. for printing on the fake check.
- Deal often seems too good to be true.

5. Distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service:

- Most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT, operated by scammers.
- For more info, do a Google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud".
- If you must do business with a distant seller, insist on a legitimate service, such as www.escrow.com.

6. Distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship goods:

- He says he trusts you with the partial payment.
- He may say he has already shipped the goods.
- Deal often sounds too good to be true.

Examples of Scam

Scammers advertise very rare or expensive classic cars for sale on a website with a price that seems to good to be true.

Characteristics:

1. Come from overseas.
2. Have an asking price that seems to good to be true.
3. Request a deposit be sent immediately.
4. Express a sense of urgency in making the transaction.
5. The use of free web-based email accounts, especially Yahoo, MSN, hotmail, etc.

Example:

The SCAMMER advertises a really nice car, usually for a really cheap price, but not necessarily When you contact the Seller, they insist that you place a "Deposit" with them to hold the car for you, and that the deposit is refundable if you don't like the car when you inspect it. They usually request a western union money transfer (for the "Deposit"), to a location outside the USA.

If you see any of the above symptoms in a transaction you are about to make, BEWARE, because it's probably a scam!

CAR SELLERS BEWARE:

Scammers offer to pay you by arranging to send you a check and asking you to wire some of the money back.
Characteristics:

1. Want to pay with a "cashier's check" or money order that is written for more than the car(s) they "want to purchase".
2. Asks few (or no) questions about the vehicle of interest.
3. Buyer is usually from overseas.
4. A sense of urgency is conveyed in making the transaction as soon as possible.
5. Arrangements for delivery somewhere other than the inquirer's location - to "client" etc.

Example:

The SCAMMER offers to send a cashier's check for the full asking price of one or more vehicles, plus an additional amount intended as a loan payment, or shipping fee, etc. The person responding to the ad later asks to have any excess funds, refunded to him or a third party. The original cashier's check turns out to be non-negotiable or bogus.

Most financial institutions require at least 10-15 business days before even a cashier's check will fully clear, so if in doubt..... wait it out. If it's a real buyer, they will understand.

Read the CBS News Report on this story Click Here

BUYING FROM A CLASSIC CAR DEALERSHIP, AN AUCTION WEB SITE OR INDIVIDUAL.

Keep in mind that there are people (Dealers and private sellers) who will intentionally misrepresent the condition of a car, or attempt to pass a clone off as an original, just to get a sale. Our suggestions:

1. Always inspect a car before putting a deposit on it (and know how to identify: a clone from an original, engine size, etc.).
2. Always get a bill of sale or receipt.
3. Ask to see the title: To make sure they actually have the title and they know where it is, and to verify the VIN numbers match the model, specifications, options, etc. as expected.

Actual examples of scam emails.

Hello!

Thanks for your mail back concerning the inquiry mail i sent to you.
The price, condition also the pics i viewed is okay by me .And my client confirm there is no problem about the price($975 ) ,my client do pays with a {USA}cashier check,he has agreed to mail out as bank cashiers check of $3500. to you on my behalf to cover the shippment fees.About the shippment, that we be taken care by my me & my personal assistant,my personal assistant will be using his shipper to do the quick processing of the shipping of the(1987 Toyota Celica) to my client. So all you are to do after you will received the check in your mail, Just take out your sale amount and refer the remaining money to my shipper immediately through the westernunion or the money gramm outlet so to get the money fast and start the fast arrangement for the pickup of the(1987 Toyota Celica).Since you are the original owner of this item,and I am buying the item directly from you i will like you to write your full name to be on the check,with the mailing address which my client will be using to issued out the check to you.I do wish to trust you by refering the rest balance back to my shipper and also your fast doing to this transaction. I will like to hear from you if this is okay by you and you are ready to process ,if you already to sale your item and promise referring the rest balance to my shipper immediately you received the check so can start the quick arrangement for the pickup. Any body that want to buy this item this item just tell them that it as been sold. I will like to copmplete this transaction before the new year. I be at my computer waiting to see your epky to my payment method mailed.

THANKS AND MAIL ME BACK WITH YOUR DETAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

> Good day,
> i am an auto dealer based in TAIWAN,i am interested in buying your
> (1989 Jetta GL 4 door)I will like to know if you would accept
> a certified cashier check for the payment of the,i also need to
> know the price and your full name and address including your
> phone is also needed in which payment will be sent to . i have a
> shipping company who takes cares of my shippment .So don't bother
> about the shippment.I will also like to know if is still in good
> condition and shape.urgent response is needed for procedure of payment of the (1989 Jetta GL 4 door).
> REGARD.

Scam Story by Ben.

I was browsing through Autotrader a few days ago and did a search for a 1957 Chevrolet. Among the many that popped up was a beautiful 57 Corvette with the list price of $12,900. Unbelievably low but I thought, what the heck? It could be a misprint. Maybe it was suppose to be $21,900, still a good deal. I called the listed phone (Dallas area code) and got no answer. I wrote to the email address. I received no reply to the phone messages I left or the several emails. I gave up. The listing was taken down the next day so I figured the car was sold right away.

Two days later I got an email from the "seller" saying that the car was still for sale. He said the reason it was so cheap is that it had belonged to his dad who had recently died, etc. I wrote back and told him that I was still interested (though at this point extremely cautious) and asked him how he would like to proceed. I told him that I would come to Dallas (I live nearby) and inspect the car and pick it up myself, rather than have him ship it even though he offered to ship at his expense.

He wrote back saying that he lived in Seattle and had the car up there in a shipping container. He gave instructions on sending money to Google Collect and that the car would be delivered and if I didn't like it I could send it back and be refunded.

I wrote back and asked him: if he is in Seattle, why was the car listed as being located in Dallas? Why is his email address ben777ben@hotmail.com a UK address? I never heard from him again.

Interestingly, I had sent one other email to the seller of another car, a 1957 Chevy Belair located in Alabama.

I was not interested in buying this car. I merely pointed out to the seller that his listing showed the car to be a 1955 Chevy when it was clearly a 1957.

I received an email from the same address: ben777ben@hotmail.com with the exact same, word-for-word language as was in the email regarding the Corvette. EXACTLY the same except for the vehicle and the price. What are the odds that, out of the thousands of listings on Autotrader, the only two to which I replied were part of the same Scam by the same guy? I sent copies of the emails and the Listing numbers to the Fraud desk at Autotrader but I suspect I'll never hear anything from them.

Below are the two emails I received from ben777@hotmail.com I'll not post the email regarding the Belair but remember, it was word for word the same as the one about the Corvette.

Be safe out there!

From: B B
To: xxxxxxx@yahoo.com
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 4:47 PM
Subject: RE: Lead for 1957 Chevrolet Corvette

Hello!

I am glad that you are interested in my 1957 Chevrolet Corvette. You have to know that there is nothing wrong with it and that it's exactly as you see it in the pictures.The vehicle is registered on my name and the title is clear (no lien). This is not a kit car, it is fully restored and all parts are original.It wasn't involved in any accident and has never suffered any kind of damage. The price I am asking for it , as you saw on my listing, is only $12,900. The only reason that I am selling this car is because it belonged to my father, who unfortunately died , so I am selling it nonprofit in his memory. No one from my family will use it and I don't want to see it getting rusty in my backyard.

Please let me know where are you located so I can calculate the shipping fees that will be on my expense.

Thank you.

From: B B
To: xxxxxxx@yahoo.com
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 5:34 PM
Subject: RE: Lead for 1957 Chevrolet Corvette

Hi!

I am located in Seattle,Washington and I would like to know from the beginning if you are really interested in purchase, so I can stop negotiating with potential buyers.

I had two guys promise me to buy it: one didn't show up and the other called saying he lost the money, so I can't afford to take more days off my work for that, that is why I gave to a shipping company that will ship it to the next owner, it is sealed in container, so I'm trying to sell it on-line.

The transaction will be processed through Google Checkout as I paid them the fees and they provide the most reliable and secure services in which concerns the online sales.

You will pay Google Checkout the required amount, and they will secure it until you get the vehicle. You will be given a 7 days inspection period during which you can decide whether you keep it or not. If you are satisfied with it , you will confirm that to Google Checkout so that they can unblock the funds and send it to me.
Otherwise the transaction is canceled, you get the refund and I ship the vehicle back.

Here are the four steps that we have to follow:

1. You must send me your info: name,address,phone so we can get in touch.
2. You will get an invoice from Google Checkout and there you will be further instructed.
3. You pay Google Checkout the amount, and I contact the shipping company regarding the delivery arrangements so you get the vehicle in maximum 3-4 days.
4. You decide whether you keep the vehicle or not( hopefully you will be positive as you will love it) , if not you will receive a full refund from Google Checkout.

Therefore, if you are determined in buying the vehicle, please send me an email with your name, shipping address and phone number so I can register the transaction with Google Checkout.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. If you agree my terms of sale I will call you for more details.
Thank you, Ben.

Scam Story by Mike.

A 65 GTO convertable for $11k!!! Too good to be true, but decided to have some fun anyway! Watch out for this guy...

Hello Mike!

I can't provide you any copy of the documents because all the documents of the car are sent to Google for verification and validation.

Even if I had, I don't send them over the internet. You will receive all the documents once the payment its completed to Google Checkout. Its a real GTO,runs&drives great, all parts are original, tires in good condition, 39800 miles.

The shipping company that I will use is DAS auto.

I will explain in a few steps how the process works:

1. I will open a case with Google.
2. They will send us the forms of the payment.
3. You make the payment like is state in the forms that you receive.
4. They secure the money and contact me to make the arrangement of the shipping.
5. I make the shipping and I will send you the details.
6. You receive the car and give your approval to Google to forward me the money.

Note that I will not receive any money from Google until you receive the car,inspect it and send the confirmation to them.If you are not comfortable with it you can send it back (on my expense) and Google will refund your money immediately. But I'm sure that you will love the car and keep it for you.

So please let me know if you have the money ready so I can open the case with Google.They will also provide you live support 24/7.
Keep in touch and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

From: xxxxxxxx@charter.net
To: ben777ben@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Lead for 1965 Pontiac GTO
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 12:01:29 -0500
Good morning Ben

I am very interested in the car. However, before we continue I would like to see any documentation for the vehicle..ie. PHS docs, service records, window sticker or anything else you might have. I would also still like to know if it’s an actual GTO or a replica or tribute car. And what is the mileage on the car, what is the wear on the tires? What is the name of the shipping company you will use?

Call if you have any questions….xxxxxxxxxx

Thanks, Mike.

From: B B [mailto:ben777ben@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 6:14 PM
To: xxxxxxxx@charter.net
Subject: RE: Lead for 1965 Pontiac GTO

Hi!

I am located in Seattle,Washington and I would like to know from the beginning if you are really interested in purchase, so I can stop negotiating with potential buyers.

I had two guys promise me to buy it: one didn't show up and the other called saying he lost the money, so I can't afford to take more days off my work for that, that is why I gave to a shipping company that will ship it to the next owner, it is sealed in container, so I'm trying to sell it on-line.

The transaction will be processed through Google Checkout as I paid them the fees and they provide the most reliable and secure services in which concerns the online sales.

You will pay Google Checkout the required amount, and they will secure it until you get the vehicle. You will be given a 7 days inspection period during which you can decide whether you keep it or not. If you are satisfied with it , you will confirm that to Google Checkout so that they can unblock the funds and send it to me. Otherwise the transaction is canceled, you get the refund and I ship the vehicle back.

Here are the four steps that we have to follow:

1. You must send me your info: name,address,phone so we can get in touch.
2. You will get an invoice from Google Checkout and there you will be further instructed.
3. You pay Google Checkout the amount, and I contact the shipping company regarding the delivery arrangements so you get the vehicle in maximum 3-4 days.
4. You decide whether you keep the vehicle or not( hopefully you will be positive as you will love it), if not you will receive a full refund from Google Checkout.

Therefore, if you are determined in buying the vehicle, please send me an email with your name, shipping address and phone number so I can register the transaction with Google Checkout.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. If you agree my terms of sale I will call you for more details.

Thank you, Ben.

From: xxxxxxxx@charter.net
To: ben777ben@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Lead for 1965 Pontiac GTO
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 17:55:05 -0500

Hi!

Thanks for getting back to me regarding your car. Sorry to hear you dad passed away.

I am still interested in your GTO. I live right around the Green Bay area. From the phone # you provided it looks like you are in the Illinois area…not too far away.

I would like to look over the car & take it for a spin. Let me know how you would like to proceed.

Also, could you tell me the mileage of the car? I don’t seem to remember.

Thanks & I look forward to hearing from you, Mike.

From: B B [mailto:ben777ben@hotmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 4:00 PM
To: xxxxxxxx@charter.net
Subject: RE: Lead for 1965 Pontiac GTO

Hello!

I am glad that you are interested in my 1965 Pontiac GTO. You have to know that there is nothing wrong with it and that it's exactly as you see it in the pictures.The vehicle is registered on my name and the title is clear (no lien). This is not a kit car, it is fully restored and all parts are original.It wasn't involved in any accident and has never suffered any kind of damage. The price I am asking for it , as you saw on my listing, is only $11,100. The only reason that I am selling this car is because it belonged to my father, who unfortunately died , so I am selling it nonprofit in his memory. No one from my family will use it and I don't want to see it getting rusty in my backyard.

Please let me know where are you located so I can calculate the shipping fees that will be on my expense.

Thank you.

Scam Story by Chris.

I have had the same experience with two separate responses from the Autotrader Site.

1st Car - Classic Car ID: bc33b (a 1966 Corvette from Barron, WI)
Response email I received from "Maryann Hensen [maryannhensen56@gmail.com]":

Hello!

I am glad that you are interested in my 1966 Chevrolet Corvette. You have to know that there is nothing wrong with it and that it's exactly as you see it in the pictures.

The vehicle is registered on my name and the title is clear (no lien). Comes along with all original documentation. This is not a kit car, it is fully functional and with all parts are original with absolutely no rust-spots.

It wasn't involved in any accident and has never suffered any kind of damage.

The price I am asking for it, as you saw on my listing, is only $13,200.

The only reason that I am selling this car is because I divorced with my husband and after the divorce I own this car, now as a woman I don`t need it...

Also, I can send you the pictures and more details too. Just let me know if you are still interested.

Thank you very much.

2nd Car - Classic Car ID: bd07b (a 1967 Camaro from Great Neck, NY)
Response email I received from "Allison Brown [alison.brown943@gmail.com]":

Hello!

I'm sorry for the delay,the car is still for sale. Thanks for being interested in buying my 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. It is in a good condition, no scratches, no damages, never been implicated in any accidents, no problems at the engine, runs very well. It has an 8 Cylinder engine, 798 miles, clear title, a perfect car. The price is negotiable, $15,960.The only thing I am selling its because I divorced with my husband and after the divorce I own this car, now as a woman I don`t need it...

I can provide VIN # to check on your own. Also, I can send you the pictures and more details too. Just let me know if you are still interested.

Thank you very much, Allison Brown.

The similar wording tipped it off. No creativity from this scammer.

Advice for Sellers

Selling a car you find online is a lot like selling a car through a classified ad in the newspaper. In either case, use your best judgment.

1. Confirm contact information.

Be particularly wary of buyers willing to purchase your car sight-unseen, especially buyers located overseas. Always verify the buyer's street address and phone number.

2. Secure payment first.

Do not transfer the title until you have payment in hand at the agreed upon price.

3. Verify that a certified check is genuine.

Before you deposit a certified check, verify authenticity with the issuing bank-not just your bank. Make sure the account contains sufficient funds and the issuing bank guarantees payment on the check. It may take a week or more for the check to clear. It hasn't cleared just because your bank has accepted it and credited your account.

4. Beware of overpayment or other complicated payment schemes.

Don't agree to any plan where the buyer asks to send a check for more than the sale price and requests that the seller refund the difference. And be suspicious of any buyer who proposes making payment through a friend or agent of the buyer.

Advice for Buyers

Buying a car you find online is a lot like buying a car through a classified ad in the newspaper. In either case, use your best judgment.

1. Know the car's market value.

Be suspicious of a vehicle priced significantly below market value. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

2. Obtain a vehicle history report.

A vehicle history report can provide useful information, such as who holds the title to the car and whether the car has been in an accident reported to authorities. You'll also find out whether the car was ever reported stolen, salvaged or damaged.

3. Inspect the car.

Schedule an inspection with a professional mechanic or an inspection service if the car is not in your area. An early inspection can help you identify problems. However, keep in mind that an inspection isn't a warranty and won't guarantee a car is free from defects or that inspectors have identified all existing problems.

4. Confirm contact information.

Before you send payment, verify the seller's street address and phone number- an email address is not enough. ZIP codes, area codes and addresses should match up. Be wary if the seller is located overseas.

5. Use email wisely.

Avoid sending sensitive personal or financial information (such as your social security number, credit card number or checking account number) to a seller via email. Remember that email communications are not secure and can be easily forwarded to others.

6. Get a detailed receipt.

Ask the seller for a receipt that states whether the vehicle is being sold with a warranty or "as is."

7. Get title to the vehicle.

Make sure you know what's required in your state to transfer title to the vehicle you're buying.

Where to Complain?

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on AutoMotoClassicSale.com may be part of a scam, please email the details: Contact us (Subject - Report advert). Be sure to include the URL in your message.

Who should I notify about fraud?

In United States (USA) and Canada:

• FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).
• FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov).
• Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
• Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ifccfbi.gov).

In United Kingdom (UK):

• Report a fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk
• ACPO Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service www.avcis.police.uk
• UK Government advice on buying and selling a vehicle www.nidirect.gov.uk

In European Union (EU):

• Report a fraud via European Cybercrime Centre.
• Get some help at the local European Consumer Centre.
• If you have already sent the money and were scammed, then contact the local police department. They'll tell you what steps are necessary to return the money.

 

 


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