Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
atikovi
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Location: Suburban Washington DC

Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by atikovi »

New message from scammer #1 after my message,

On Sep 16, 2020, at 13:02, atikovi@t wrote:
I asked my bank what their policy is for out of state bank checks. While some of the funds would be available next day, it could take up to 3 weeks until the issuing bank clears and pays the check, until which time, I could be liable for any issues that may arise and for the entire amount. So unless you can wait 3 weeks to pick up the car, payment would have to be in cash, or alternatively, by bank to bank wire transfer.

I understand your position. Although I said a certified check, I meant a cashiers check, which is bank check, in their name, drawn on their account. Generally, banks are required by law to make the money from official bank checks available to you within one business day after you deposit them into your account. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not, only my experience and my banks.

This is not deal breaker, the wire can happen, although only Monday - Friday, 0800 - 1600. Ideally, Friday afternoon would minimize my departure from project. As stated, I am the project construction manager, which is basically herding cats…to mitigate inevitable hazards, I try to minimize my time away.

One of my banks has a branch just East of Pittsburgh, a 2.5 hour drive from Frederick. I asked about a cash withdrawal, > 6k requires 5 business days notice so they can order it. I found that to be rather ridiculous, what do I know?

Options are as stated, Cashiers Check from Huntington Bank or wire transfer. This way, neither of us must wait for funds or product, which makes for good business, the object of the exercise. Everyone goes home happy.

Check it out, let me know what I need to do. Again, I appreciate you working with me.

Mike


Then he writes,

New plan. Cash money. I am driving to Pittsburgh in the morning, be there at 0900 when they open. Withdraw the 6k limit, wire the balance to my friend in Baltimore. I’ll send you a note when all is done. We are still in play for my availability on Saturday and Sunday. Let me know if this is agreeable to you.

Thanks again for your patience and assistance.

Mike


I hope you guys are right (well not really as I do hope they are legit buyers) as I don't want two people coming a long way with cash thinking they will both get the car.
S4C5
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by S4C5 »

Jeez the replies on this forum make me wonder how private party vehicle sales ever happen!

I realize the vast majority of people acquire their vehicles from dealers and this is a totally foreign process for them, but all but one of my cars I have bought private party, and every car I have sold has been private party. Every single one has been at night or on a weekend.

For some perspective, all of the purchases I can remember off the top of my head:

Car #1. Bought Audi from an audi mechanic. Showed up to his workplace (dealership after hours) around 9PM on a Sunday night and paid him $17k with a cashier's check. He was even nice enough to let me use his plates (you're not supposed to do this).
Car #2. Bought Corvette from a private party on a weekend. Showed up to his house and brought a 10k cashiers check and 12k in cash. He counted it and were on our way. His wife was there and was glad to see it go.
Car #3. Bought Audi from a private party. Flew halfway across the country with 7k cash. He picked me up at the airport at night, I drove him back home in the car, gave him the cash and drove it back home.
Car #4. Bought Aston Martin. Paid a paypal deposit and flew to get it with a 35k cashiers check. Picked it up from a warehouse around 10pm or so and drove home overnight. By far the sketchiest deal and really the only time I was worried. Turned out fine.
Car #5. About to buy a 17k car in cash. Driving a rental car down to get it. Hopefully goes well!
Motorcycle #1. Drove to south carolina after work one night, paid 3k cash at his home, loaded it into the truck and drove back overnight.
Motorcycle #2. Drove to georgia one weekend and paid 10k cash at his home. Again, wife was present and glad to see it go!
Motorcycle #3. Bought locally after work at nighttime. Paid 3k cash at his home

Nobody ever checked bills with pens, held up to light, called in checks, required me to meet them at the bank, etc.
Maybe I just look trustworthy?
S4C5
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by S4C5 »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm As stated, I am the project construction manager, which is basically herding cats…to mitigate inevitable hazards, I try to minimize my time away.

There is a LOT of weird stuff going on with this guy. However, based on the above alone I would be shocked if this dude turned out to be a foreign scammer. Using an American idiom like "herding cats" is not something I would ever expect from them. "Cash money" supports this as well.

I think the more likely scenario here is that this guy is super weird and just full of it and a time waster with no intention of buying your car.

The 6k withdrawal limit is bizarre. I've never heard of that. I just withdrew 17k in cash from the counter unannounced. They didn't even have to go into the vault to get it, they had enough in the machine. Ordering currency is typically required for like 6 figure withdrawals. It could just be a super sketch bank, but that's a stupid low limit.
snailderby
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by snailderby »

Sounds fishy to me. I have bought and sold cars on Craigslist without ever receiving such a long, flattering email...from anyone. Usually, people just want to know more about the car's condition or ask when they come and test drive it. The fact that this guy is discussing payment options extensively before he has even seen the car just makes the whole thing even more suspicious. And I don't buy the notion that he can't withdraw that money from his bank in cash.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by cchrissyy »

S4C5 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:07 pm
atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm As stated, I am the project construction manager, which is basically herding cats…to mitigate inevitable hazards, I try to minimize my time away.

There is a LOT of weird stuff going on with this guy. However, based on the above alone I would be shocked if this dude turned out to be a foreign scammer. Using an American idiom like "herding cats" is not something I would ever expect from them. "Cash money" supports this as well.
i had the same positive reaction to his use of "herding cats" but found the next part very unnatural. I googled the phrase "mitigate inevitable hazards" because it struck me as strange and it returned only 2 matches, one of which is this forum.
bluebirdy
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by bluebirdy »

100% scam. Very obvious to people familiar with such scams.
Keenobserver
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Keenobserver »

Im starting to think that this guy is not a scammer, but an Engineer. Makes sense now
Whakamole
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Whakamole »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm Then he writes,

New plan. Cash money. I am driving to Pittsburgh in the morning, be there at 0900 when they open. Withdraw the 6k limit, wire the balance to my friend in Baltimore. I’ll send you a note when all is done. We are still in play for my availability on Saturday and Sunday. Let me know if this is agreeable to you.

Thanks again for your patience and assistance.

Mike
So his plan is to wire money to his "friend", then his friend takes out the remaining $7K cash from their bank?

Issues: (1) that's one trusted friend; (2) they've already made sure that this bank in Baltimore will have that much cash on hand even though the bank in Pittsburgh does not?; (3) driving all the way to Pittsburgh?; (4) they're managing construction in Maryland but apparently their closest bank branch is three hours away; (5) they have multiple banks which, I imagine many of us do, but I think in nearly all cases, one of them is going to have local branches or offer "shared banking" like credit unions; (6) nothing about wanting to get the car inspected.

Someone speculated engineer, but I'm an engineer; I would already have insisted on an inspection from a trusted local mechanic and would have made arrangements to meet there.
S4C5
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by S4C5 »

Keenobserver wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:27 pm Im starting to think that this guy is not a scammer, but an Engineer. Makes sense now
If you have ever made the unfortunate mistake of spending any time on swipe-based dating apps (tinder, bumble, etc), you will quickly learn that there are a LOT of people who have no intention of ever going on a date with anybody and use it for entertainment just to act weird and screw with people. It was actually quite eye-opening to see how nuts some people can be. They will string you along for weeks, start saying all sorts of weird stuff to see what you'll go along with, then block you for no reason.

I have little reason to believe that buying a car would be anything different, especially with rare and high end cars.

People want to live in these fantasies they create in their heads sometimes, whether it's a girl who wants to believe she can make any guy do whatever she wants based on some filtered photos or a guy who believes he can whatever car he wants but will decide he didn't really like it that much anyway at the last moment and decide not to withdraw his 12k life savings to buy it.
Samosa22
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Samosa22 »

Potential Buyer# 1: I agree with the majority, its most likely a scam
Potential Buyer#2: Based on the posted exchange, I wouldn't call him a scammer straightway...but may be I'm a too simple.
Lesson learned from 2008 financial crisis: "In the fury of the final hour, all correlations went to 1".
squirm
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by squirm »

Have you spoken to him?
Do that and ask the name of the construction firm too.
I wouldn't do anything unless speaking by voice.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by cchrissyy »

My biggest red flag here is the sheer volume of unnecessary detail. This guy has disclosed FAR too much about his personal locations and scheduling habits, his job role and locations, his banking, etc. You didn't ask for any of it and these things are not normally disclosed to strangers.

I'm not sure what his scam is. The introduction of a friend holding money for him is interesting. So is the continued push for Sunday so you can't be at a bank to verify the money. I suppose if you keep communicating with him, one of those paths will blossom to reveal where this is really going.
BogleMelon
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by BogleMelon »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm New message from scammer #1 after my message,

On Sep 16, 2020, at 13:02, atikovi@t wrote:
I asked my bank what their policy is for out of state bank checks. While some of the funds would be available next day, it could take up to 3 weeks until the issuing bank clears and pays the check, until which time, I could be liable for any issues that may arise and for the entire amount. So unless you can wait 3 weeks to pick up the car, payment would have to be in cash, or alternatively, by bank to bank wire transfer.

I understand your position. Although I said a certified check, I meant a cashiers check, which is bank check, in their name, drawn on their account. Generally, banks are required by law to make the money from official bank checks available to you within one business day after you deposit them into your account. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not, only my experience and my banks.

This is not deal breaker, the wire can happen, although only Monday - Friday, 0800 - 1600. Ideally, Friday afternoon would minimize my departure from project. As stated, I am the project construction manager, which is basically herding cats…to mitigate inevitable hazards, I try to minimize my time away.

One of my banks has a branch just East of Pittsburgh, a 2.5 hour drive from Frederick. I asked about a cash withdrawal, > 6k requires 5 business days notice so they can order it. I found that to be rather ridiculous, what do I know?

Options are as stated, Cashiers Check from Huntington Bank or wire transfer. This way, neither of us must wait for funds or product, which makes for good business, the object of the exercise. Everyone goes home happy.

Check it out, let me know what I need to do. Again, I appreciate you working with me.

Mike





I can't decide if he is a scam or not. But as a non-native English speaker, I can confirm that the above words in red are not commonly used by people with English as second language. This guy is either an English- language native scammer, or English- language native legit! He is not a Nigerian prince.
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather
Samosa22
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Samosa22 »

tyrion wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:51 pm
atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:03 pm To keep things straight lets call the original scammer, scammer #1. Now I have scammer #2 as my conversation with him follows. Note that he is ok with cash now. His replies in italics.

Thank you for the photos and information. I have a budget of $12,000 but I really like the car and am willing to go a little extra even. Could you do $12,500? I am ready to proceed right away and already have financing through my credit union so would give you a certified check from them. I live in South Carolina but would pick up the car in person, most likely would need to be on the weekend. Please let me know.

Thanks,

Simon.


On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:25 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
I would agree to that,

Great. I will contact my credit union tomorrow and be back in touch.
What is your title situation, clear or payoff?


On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:55 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
Clear title.

Waiting on the credit union today. I will try to hurry them up tomorrow.

Ok sir. Can you tell me who to make the check payable to? It will be a check from Founders Federal Credit Union.

Thank you.


On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 12:26 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
Cash on pick up or wire transfer. No checks.

It would be a cashiers check from the credit union.

On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 12:59 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
If you're willing to wait 3 weeks to pick up car until the check is paid by the issuing bank, ok. Otherwise you can cash your check and bring cash when picking up.

Ok no problem. I can bring cash.
Are you available this weekend? I think we would just need to sign the title over and sign a bill of sale which I would need for temporary registration until I can get to the dmv. I can provide that.

Thanks,
Scammer #2 is much better at this than Scammer #1. I think there's even a chance he could be legitimate. Offered less than the 13k car list price. Getting a loan from the credit union. Willing to bring cash instead. Asked about the title and bill of sale.
If after all this there is still only "even a chance he could be legitimate", then I am genuinely interested in understanding how emails from a legitimate party would look like. Th only thing that might be of concern here is that "scammer#2" hasn't asked questions about the car....but its not totally unusual.
Lesson learned from 2008 financial crisis: "In the fury of the final hour, all correlations went to 1".
drk
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by drk »

BogleMelon wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:06 pm I can't decide if he is a scam or not. But as a non-native English speaker, I can confirm that the above words in red are not commonly used by people with English as second language. This guy is either an English- language native scammer, or English- language native legit! He is not a Nigerian prince.
Up-thread, people were convinced that Mike the Construction Manager was a non-native speaker. Now, others are convinced by his idiom usage that he's a native speaker. Having reached a contradiction, any conclusion works.
Last edited by drk on Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Whakamole
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Whakamole »

drk wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:22 pm
BogleMelon wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:06 pm I can't decide if he is a scam or not. But as a non-native English speaker, I can confirm that the above words in red are not commonly used by people with English as second language. This guy is either an English- language native scammer, or English- language native legit! He is not a Nigerian prince.
Up-thread, people were convinced that Mike the Construction Manager was non-native speaker. Now, others are convinced by his idiom usage that he's a native speaker. Having reached a contradiction, any conclusion works.
Maybe they are using Mechanical Turk or another service to outsource the scam emails and got a different person for the most recent emails.
denovo
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by denovo »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 pm New message from scammer #1 after my message,

On Sep 16, 2020, at 13:02, atikovi@t wrote:
I asked my bank what their policy is for out of state bank checks. While some of the funds would be available next day, it could take up to 3 weeks until the issuing bank clears and pays the check, until which time, I could be liable for any issues that may arise and for the entire amount. So unless you can wait 3 weeks to pick up the car, payment would have to be in cash, or alternatively, by bank to bank wire transfer.

I understand your position. Although I said a certified check, I meant a cashiers check, which is bank check, in their name, drawn on their account. Generally, banks are required by law to make the money from official bank checks available to you within one business day after you deposit them into your account. I don’t know if that makes a difference or not, only my experience and my banks.

This is not deal breaker, the wire can happen, although only Monday - Friday, 0800 - 1600. Ideally, Friday afternoon would minimize my departure from project. As stated, I am the project construction manager, which is basically herding cats…to mitigate inevitable hazards, I try to minimize my time away.

One of my banks has a branch just East of Pittsburgh, a 2.5 hour drive from Frederick. I asked about a cash withdrawal, > 6k requires 5 business days notice so they can order it. I found that to be rather ridiculous, what do I know?

Options are as stated, Cashiers Check from Huntington Bank or wire transfer. This way, neither of us must wait for funds or product, which makes for good business, the object of the exercise. Everyone goes home happy.

Check it out, let me know what I need to do. Again, I appreciate you working with me.

Mike


Then he writes,

New plan. Cash money. I am driving to Pittsburgh in the morning, be there at 0900 when they open. Withdraw the 6k limit, wire the balance to my friend in Baltimore. I’ll send you a note when all is done. We are still in play for my availability on Saturday and Sunday. Let me know if this is agreeable to you.

Thanks again for your patience and assistance.

Mike


I hope you guys are right (well not really as I do hope they are legit buyers) as I don't want two people coming a long way with cash thinking they will both get the car.
Stop engaging with the scammer
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln
Topic Author
atikovi
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by atikovi »

denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:28 pm Stop engaging with the scammer
That is yet to be determined.
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tyrion
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by tyrion »

Samosa22 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:09 pm
tyrion wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:51 pm
atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:03 pm To keep things straight lets call the original scammer, scammer #1. Now I have scammer #2 as my conversation with him follows. Note that he is ok with cash now. His replies in italics.

Thank you for the photos and information. I have a budget of $12,000 but I really like the car and am willing to go a little extra even. Could you do $12,500? I am ready to proceed right away and already have financing through my credit union so would give you a certified check from them. I live in South Carolina but would pick up the car in person, most likely would need to be on the weekend. Please let me know.

Thanks,

Simon.


On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:25 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
I would agree to that,

Great. I will contact my credit union tomorrow and be back in touch.
What is your title situation, clear or payoff?


On Mon, Sep 14, 2020 at 5:55 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
Clear title.

Waiting on the credit union today. I will try to hurry them up tomorrow.

Ok sir. Can you tell me who to make the check payable to? It will be a check from Founders Federal Credit Union.

Thank you.


On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 12:26 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
Cash on pick up or wire transfer. No checks.

It would be a cashiers check from the credit union.

On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 12:59 PM <atikovi@t> wrote:
If you're willing to wait 3 weeks to pick up car until the check is paid by the issuing bank, ok. Otherwise you can cash your check and bring cash when picking up.

Ok no problem. I can bring cash.
Are you available this weekend? I think we would just need to sign the title over and sign a bill of sale which I would need for temporary registration until I can get to the dmv. I can provide that.

Thanks,
Scammer #2 is much better at this than Scammer #1. I think there's even a chance he could be legitimate. Offered less than the 13k car list price. Getting a loan from the credit union. Willing to bring cash instead. Asked about the title and bill of sale.
If after all this there is still only "even a chance he could be legitimate", then I am genuinely interested in understanding how emails from a legitimate party would look like. Th only thing that might be of concern here is that "scammer#2" hasn't asked questions about the car....but its not totally unusual.
Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. I would not further engage with potential buyer #1. He's all over the place in terms of language, plans, etc. It's entirely possible it's more than one person running the email account, which would explain the change in language.

I would continue to work with potential buyer #2. In fact I would cut to the chase and call him on the phone.
denovo
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by denovo »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:31 pm
denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:28 pm Stop engaging with the scammer
That is yet to be determined.
Well keep us updated at least.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln
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Random Musings
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Random Musings »

What is the upside of still dealing with #1?

Starting to wonder if this is a true story and who is being scammed.

RM
I figure the odds be fifty-fifty I just might have something to say. FZ
lovetalkingnumbers
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by lovetalkingnumbers »

Run Forrest, Run. Scam! Would YOU buy a car without asking any particulars about it? Additionally, as others have said, he asked if you prefer cash or certified check, to which you answered "cash". He ignored you and started talking check.... tell him the car has been sold. You don't owe him an explanation.
luckyducky99
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by luckyducky99 »

This thread is my new favorite show. Can't wait to see how it ends. I think they're both legit. Buyer #1 sounds kinda weird, but his writing to me reads like he's a native speaker, smart guy, but without a lot of formal higher education.

I'd try to get him on the phone, I bet it would become obvious immediately if here were legit or not. Spoken communication is high bandwidth in so many ways. But I've never done a private auto sale before. Maybe these things always arranged 100% over email?
Saving$
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Saving$ »

What are you going to do if one of them shows up with a friend to buy the car and insists on taking it for a test drive before meeting you at the bank with the money? Your choices:
- Let a complete stranger drive away with your car
- Get into a car with a complete stranger who could "test" drive the thing to a remote parking lot and force you out at gunpoint and drive off with your car.

I've also sold cars on Craigslist but it has been 15 years. They came and looked at the car - looked only, and reviewed the paperwork. When they decided to proceed, they made an appointment with a local mechanic shop near my house that I was able to verify had been around for quite some time. I drove the car there one morning and the shop gave me a ride home. Buyers called that night agreeing to buy it. The shop parked it in the bank parking lot down the street from the shop two mornings later. I met the buyers at the bank mid morning and received a cashier check directly from the teller. We signed the title and I handed them the second key. I learned they had test driven the car with a guy from the shop which probably violated the shops insurance policy, but it all turned out fine.

I'm not sure I would do such a transaction again. Things have changed in 15 years and I don't think I would want strangers coming to my house to see the car.
abracadabra11
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by abracadabra11 »

jbmitt wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:19 am
denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:39 am Americans dont use 24-hour clock time.
We do if we’re pilots! :happy. Military or healthcare folks might as well. I agree with your point that it’s fairly uncommon.
He says he works at Fort Detrick, so the use of 24-hour time is at least consistent with his stated workplace.

I'll dissent from the majority here and say that I don't necessarily think it's a scam. Weird, sure. I would specify a payment method that protected me during the transaction and specific a time window for finalizing the deal. If he's really that interested in your vehicle, then he should be willing to find a way to make it work. If he can't comply with those requirements then I'd walk away.
bampf
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by bampf »

I don't understand all the drama and back and forth. I have sold a number of cars on Craigslist etc. Its quite simple. Meet me at the bank with cash. Give me the cash. Drive away. Can't do that? Ok. Have a nice day. Move on. The amount of time and effort on this boggles my mind. If you can't meet at the bank, meet in the lobby of the police station. Close to your house so when they don't show, you don't have to waste a lot of time. Cash. Move on. I could care less about how you intend to get the cash, your financing or anything else... Cash for title. You are doing a disservice to someone that may actually be trying to buy the car by dealing with this back and forth. And you are wasting your time or putting yourself in danger if they are a scammer.

Cash for the car. Move on.
Regards,
Bampf
SR II
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by SR II »

MDfan wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:23 am
TheLaughingCow wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:31 pm 1) strange wording in the messages

2) convoluted story

3) out of state bank

4) paying by check, even when you requested cash

5) no price negotiation or questions about the car

There's a 95% chance it's a scam.

That's what I think, too. I'd run.
Yep! TMI! And. no questions about the car? You've never actually talked to this guy on the phone? Was this ad on facebook or eBay? I didn't see the ad but, what was in your "essay" on eBay? And, what "due diligence" did he do? Whole thing is fishy!
JaeJones
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by JaeJones »

Agree - stop communicating with this person. There are plenty of good people to buy your car. Not worth the risk in working with someone that gives you a red flag. Listen to your senses... and the fact you asked this question should be enough for you to understand that it would be best to move on. Selling a car is easy if you continually listen for clues to help you determine if the relationship is improving or deteriorating. If it deteriorates more than you are comfortable with, then move on.
likegarden
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by likegarden »

All this is very complicated and not a sure thing. I sold a $4,000 Buick several years ago via Craigslist. The buyer was a lady who used the same bank I use. So we drove to her bank branch and transferred the 4k right there at the counter from her account to my account.
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atikovi
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by atikovi »

lovetalkingnumbers wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:27 pm Run Forrest, Run. Scam! Would YOU buy a car without asking any particulars about it?
Well, I've sold cars on Ebay just like that a few times, but of course I have over 100 pictures and a detailed description like I do for this car on a webpage they have already seen.
barnaclebob
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by barnaclebob »

Whakamole wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:48 pm I've never heard of someone offering over asking price for a car. Maybe a house in a hot market.
People will offer over asking for the kind of boat I bought. Its because they are very popular on the secondary market and fairly often they come up on Craigslist mispriced too low by sellers. The seller will get 20 calls/emails from legit buyers in the first day its up and somewhat of a bidding war starts. I assume this can happen to cars as well.

But since OP has had his car listed for a week, anyone offering over asking at this point is likely a scammer.

FWIW I think "scammer # 2" could be legit. His conversation is very similar one I had except without the financing and I offered to pay either cash or cashiers check. The guy didn't ever answer that question so I brought cash. He was very surprised and thought I was bringing a check. I told him that there are fake check scams and didn't want to risk him refusing the check. He said that he didn't know about that kind of scam. Handling an inch thick stack of hundred dollar bills was uncomfortable for both of us because most people rarely handle that much cash.
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Kenkat
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Kenkat »

Samosa22 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:09 pm If after all this there is still only "even a chance he could be legitimate", then I am genuinely interested in understanding how emails from a legitimate party would look like. Th only thing that might be of concern here is that "scammer#2" hasn't asked questions about the car....but its not totally unusual.
My son recently bought a motorcycle on Facebook marketplace and here’s how their email exchange basically went:

Son: Hey I’m interested in the Kawasaki 650 you have listed for sale
Seller: Ok, I have someone coming Monday to look at it so they are first in line but I will let you know
Son: Ok - I’m off work on Tuesday so let me know if Monday falls through and I will drive down to see it (it was about 45 minutes away)
Seller: Well, the guy Monday didn’t show so I’m still good on Tuesday if you are
Son: Ok, we will see you around 9:30

Son went to the bank, took out $5500 in cash (they only had about $2000 in hundreds so he had two fat PNC Bank envelopes). He and a friend drove down, looked at it, did a little negotiating and handed over some cash and loaded it into friend’s truck and exchanged the title. Done.

All the extra embellishment, declaring I want it without even looking at it and all the payment details seems bizarre to me. Maybe the response should have been “slow down there, why don’t you come and look at it and we can go from there”.
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JupiterJones
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by JupiterJones »

bampf wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:14 pm I don't understand all the drama and back and forth. I have sold a number of cars on Craigslist etc. Its quite simple. Meet me at the bank with cash. Give me the cash. Drive away. Can't do that? Ok. Have a nice day. Move on. The amount of time and effort on this boggles my mind. If you can't meet at the bank, meet in the lobby of the police station. Close to your house so when they don't show, you don't have to waste a lot of time. Cash. Move on. I could care less about how you intend to get the cash, your financing or anything else... Cash for title. You are doing a disservice to someone that may actually be trying to buy the car by dealing with this back and forth. And you are wasting your time or putting yourself in danger if they are a scammer.

Cash for the car. Move on.
Regards,
Bampf
Cash for the merchandise, cash for the button hooks

Cash for the cotton goods, cash for the hard goods

Cash for the soft goods, cash for the fancy goods

Cash for the noggins and the piggins and the firkins
Cash for the hogshead, cask, and demijohn
Cash for the crackers and the pickles and the flypaper
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

S4C5 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:40 am
The other thing that makes me think this might be legit is that he mentions working at a military base (Fort something), uses military time, sends emails the same way military people do, and has his geography correct regarding the Maryland area mentioning something like Glen Burnie and Frederick.
I've had a scammer use this ploy. He said he was on base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I looked up the CO's name (this is public information) and then a towing company in a nearby town and the owner's name. I responded that the CO (who I named) is my uncle and has agreed to pay him in cash and my cousin (I used the tow company owner's name), who owns the towing company will collect the car.

Silence followed.
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inmymind
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by inmymind »

Perhaps I don't have as much faith in people as some of you, but this is a scam. Kind of amazing that this thread is going as long as it is. Even if it's not a scam, you've already engaged this person more than 99% of people would.

Price the car where you get enough interest, you'll know when you've hit the sweet spot when you get multiple people contacting. Weed out the time-wasters and scammers by not engaging individuals with strange requests. It's not that difficult.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by bloom2708 »

I've found some scammers simply want to occupy/use your time. It is almost a hobby/game to just waste time.

I would stop all communication and block anything you can.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by michaeljc70 »

atikovi wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:14 pm I listed a $13,000 car on Facebook for well above book value because of very low mileage and its a low production Mercedes stick. First thing he asks is for my email because he "can't type well on his phone". I give him a throwaway email. Then he emails me this message,

Sir,

First of all, I want to compliment you on both, your automobile and the essay that accompanied it. I spent several hours researching, and other than the Ebay write up, I was unable to find another like it. A rare bird indeed.

I am a Construction Manager working a project at Ft. Detrick, in Frederick, MD. I work Monday though Friday, and most Saturdays. I usually know about scheduled work by Friday noon. I could be available Friday, afternoon, or anytime on Sunday. My next question concerns payment. As both of my banks are located out of state, I would need to know in advance, what you would prefer…cash or certified bank check. The check would come from my brokerage account at Charles Schwab Bank, a known and respected financial institution.

As I have stated, I have performed my due diligence. It is a well maintained machine, and based upon the data I have collected, it is worth your asking price. I have a BMW 330XI, the third I have owned. This not my first rodeo. Think about my schedule and payment options, let me know what is convenient and safe for you. I am open for compromise to ensure we make good business. I am very excited about this.

I look forward to meeting you and your fine automobile.

Best regards,

Mike


I told him cash preferred but bank check ok. 1st clue is he's not negotiating on the price. 2nd clue is his last name is a common first name. His next message says,

Just an update, I will have the certified check Friday morning. I will email you a photo with all the particulars, inclusive of supporting documentation for you to validate with your financial institution. I am working Saturday until 1300, then driving to Baltimore, Glen Burnie area, to deliver my BMW to it’s new owner. That being said, I will be available from 1500 on Saturday, or anytime on Sunday, whichever is convenient for you. I will be spending the night in Pasadena, so I will be somewhat closer than Frederick, based upon Marketplace stating that Frederick was 40 miles from your location.

Give it some thought, we have the week. Again, I appreciate your time.

Mike


Ordinarily I would blow off such messages as being from a scammer, but because his email is xxx.AOL and not a gmail or yahoo, I've gone along so far. I was going to tell him a non-local bank check will be held 2 weeks until paid by the issuing bank. Is that good enough, or could a forged check still come back after that?
Since everyone else chimed in on it probably being a scam, I'll say something else. Doesn't the book value take into account mileage and the supply/demand of the vehicle? When I put something in Kelly or Edmunds or wherever it asks the mileage and takes that into account in the value.
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8foot7
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by 8foot7 »

For this kind of money you're talking here, it is easy enough for a would-be buyer to open an account at a national bank with a branch nearby you, deposit the money for purchase, and withdraw it on site with you.

I suggested this approach years ago when someone moving from Las Vegas to my town on the east coast wanted to buy a Volvo I had listed on Craigslist. It had all the hallmarks of a scammer, but I told him if he wanted, he could open a Wachovia account online, deposit money into it at his leisure from wherever he was, and then when he arrived in my town we could meet at the branch a couple of miles from me and they could withdraw the money in cash from his account and deposit it into mine - then I would sign over the title using the branch's notary. I thought it was 90% likely to be a scam, but sure enough one morning this guy arrived and we did the deal, no problem. The only risk I took was 10 minutes to drive to the bank that morning and sit in the parking lot waiting for him. I walked back home.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by BackOfTheNet »

Have you tried getting an offer from either Carmax or Carvana lately? I just sold one to Carmax for what I thought was a pretty high offer.
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atikovi
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by atikovi »

michaeljc70 wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:38 am Doesn't the book value take into account mileage and the supply/demand of the vehicle? When I put something in Kelly or Edmunds or wherever it asks the mileage and takes that into account in the value.
Somewhat but some cars bring considerably above that. You should watch some BaT auctions. '98 Mercedes S600 that shows around $6,000 by the book did $37,000 a few weeks ago. https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1998- ... nz-s600-2/
makingmistakes
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by makingmistakes »

1. Definite scammer.
2. Be careful selling a car. Do a web search of “Andy Banks Craigslist homicide”. This happened just within the past week.
Last edited by makingmistakes on Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by dowse »

BackOfTheNet wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:52 am Have you tried getting an offer from either Carmax or Carvana lately? I just sold one to Carmax for what I thought was a pretty high offer.
+1. Carmax! Even if the offer seems low. Takes all risk off the table. You can also get an offer from Carvana.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by Auream »

dowse wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:42 am
BackOfTheNet wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:52 am Have you tried getting an offer from either Carmax or Carvana lately? I just sold one to Carmax for what I thought was a pretty high offer.
+1. Carmax! Even if the offer seems low. Takes all risk off the table. You can also get an offer from Carvana.
My experience with Carmax was bad. I had a low-mileage Mazda 3 I was going to sell online. Wanted to check out Carmax first since I had heard good things. They offered $3500. Carvana online quote was close (maybe $4000, can't remember). I sold it the day after I listed it on Cragslist for $6500. Zero hassle, buyer met me at their bank and withdrew cash, I signed over the title.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by alfaspider »

BackOfTheNet wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:52 am Have you tried getting an offer from either Carmax or Carvana lately? I just sold one to Carmax for what I thought was a pretty high offer.
Something like Carmax or Carvana is a decent option if you are looking to sell a relatively common late model vehicle. A unicorn car like a manual transmission Mercedes is not going to get fair value.

Book value likewise is often not accurate for vehicles with particularly rare/desirable options and vehicles that have a collector's market. Bluebook likely isn't distinguishing between manual and automatic transmissions, but the manual is worth much more because it is extremely rare and desirable to the type of person interested in an older Mercedes. That's why sites like bringatrailer exist- they connect rare vehicles with the enthusiast/collector market specifically looking for such vehicles.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by wfrobinette »

PoppyA wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:45 pm How did you see this playing out....the sale of your vehicle on Facebook?
Facebook marketplace is quite popular for lots of things. Even cars.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by wfrobinette »

denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:39 am Americans dont use 24-hour clock time.
I do.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by wfrobinette »

jbmitt wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:19 am
denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:39 am Americans dont use 24-hour clock time.
We do if we’re pilots! :happy. Military or healthcare folks might as well. I agree with your point that it’s fairly uncommon.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by BrandonBogle »

anoop wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:23 pm
keanoz wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:19 pm I would not take a check unless I went with him in person into his bank and was handed the check right there.
+1

If taking cash, I would want that to happen at the bank too to make sure the currency wasn't fake, unless you have a way of testing it yourself.
rich126 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:21 pm Don't know but there has been more than a few certified check scams. You can easily google that.

I find the opening paragraph very strange. Not something I would ever write and it seems written to play up to you and make you feel good about yourself.

Unless I got cash I sure wouldn't hand over the car but I'm not the trusting type. Once burned (eventually got the money back via legal means) you are very careful.
A car a sold a few years ago the buyer brought a Bank of America certified check. I told them we need to notarize the bill of sale and I’ll meet them at a bank branch of their choice. We went over everything and then went into the teller line and I said I would like this check reissued. I told them if there is a fee, that is fine and I’ll pay it. They happily did their verification and issued me a new check so I can witness it being created. I was not a customer of Bank of America. I handed over the keys, the doc was notarized, and we left assured of a good transaction.

So even with a big bank’s certified check, I would push to watch it being cut by the bank.

For another one I did just take the bank check, but the buyer and I both banked with the same company and the loan officer he got the check from is someone I knew personally, so I accepted that after calling my buddy. Otherwise, I would have done the same as the sale above.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by wfrobinette »

makingmistakes wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:22 am 1. Definite scammer.
2. Be careful selling a car. Do a web search of “Andy Banks Craigslist homicide”. This happened just within the past week.
And they found the body today.
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Re: Is this guy trying to scam me on a car I'm selling?

Post by squirm »

luckyducky99 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:00 pm This thread is my new favorite show. Can't wait to see how it ends. I think they're both legit. Buyer #1 sounds kinda weird, but his writing to me reads like he's a native speaker, smart guy, but without a lot of formal higher education.

I'd try to get him on the phone, I bet it would become obvious immediately if here were legit or not. Spoken communication is high bandwidth in so many ways. But I've never done a private auto sale before. Maybe these things always arranged 100% over email?
Yes, it's like a daytime soap but only better. Hope op isn't getting scammed. I would make a phone call to #2, you can tell a lot from voice.

With cash make the transaction at the cop station.
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