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
S4C5
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 11:49 am

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

Post by S4C5 »

I'm going to provide a slightly different opinion.

Yes, this person could be trying to scam you.
However, I think there's a decent chance they are not.

I ran a business for 10 years or so and the language and style the person is using immediately strikes me of someone with a strong military background, usually career military. I had multiple customers who talked and communicated in the same bizzare way. Many people who did not receive formal education beyond high school but who spent a lot of time in the military talk and write like this.

The fear here seems to be he is like a NIgerian scammer. If it were a Nigerian scammer, he would not meet you in person with a check. He would try to send you money before a supposed meeting that never happens and then have you wire some of that money back to him before the never-to-be-had meeting.

If someone physically shows up with a check, they probably aren't a scammer.
Regardless, this is easily resolved. Just do it at the bank and verify funds and get everything notarized.
Or just have him bring cash. I am buying a car after hours rom a seller next week and am bringing $20k cash per his request. Never be alone for a cash transaction like this and do it in a public place.
Turkishcoffee
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 5:16 pm

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

Post by Turkishcoffee »

S4C5 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:07 am I'm going to provide a slightly different opinion.

Yes, this person could be trying to scam you.
However, I think there's a decent chance they are not.

I ran a business for 10 years or so and the language and style the person is using immediately strikes me of someone with a strong military background, usually career military. I had multiple customers who talked and communicated in the same bizzare way. Many people who did not receive formal education beyond high school but who spent a lot of time in the military talk and write like this.

The fear here seems to be he is like a NIgerian scammer. If it were a Nigerian scammer, he would not meet you in person with a check. He would try to send you money before a supposed meeting that never happens and then have you wire some of that money back to him before the never-to-be-had meeting.

If someone physically shows up with a check, they probably aren't a scammer.
Regardless, this is easily resolved. Just do it at the bank and verify funds and get everything notarized.
Or just have him bring cash. I am buying a car after hours rom a seller next week and am bringing $20k cash per his request. Never be alone for a cash transaction like this and do it in a public place.
+1

At a bank, with witnesses, and I wouldn’t spend two minutes traveling anywhere to accommodate him. English may not be his native language.

Having said that, if it were me I would stop communicating with him immediately,
boomer_techie
Posts: 423
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:47 am

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

Post by boomer_techie »

atikovi wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:14 pm The check would come from my brokerage account at Charles Schwab Bank, a known and respected financial institution.
The brokerage accounts are at Charles Schwab. The "Bank" is a subsidiary. I doubt anyone would say their brokerage account is at the "Bank".

A personal check would be branded with the "Bank". I suspect a cashier's check would say just "Charles Schwab".
mptfan
Posts: 6217
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 am

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

Post by mptfan »

boomer_techie wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:38 am The brokerage accounts are at Charles Schwab. The "Bank" is a subsidiary. I doubt anyone would say their brokerage account is at the "Bank".
I'm not going to criticize the scammer for getting that wrong since I have read many Bogleheads refer to the Fidelity CMA account as a "bank account," not understanding that the CMA account is a brokerage account, not a bank account.
goldendad
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:29 pm

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

Post by goldendad »

Probably a scam. My wife and I ran into a similar situation with a wedding dress. The check was counterfeit.
ensign_lee
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:03 am

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

Post by ensign_lee »

100% a scam. He's going to send you a check for above the selling amount and then ask you to send back the difference.

Weeks later, his original check is going to bounce and you'll be out the difference you sent him.
bugleheadd
Posts: 340
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:25 am

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

Post by bugleheadd »

I'm surprised he didnt just say he would give you a check for $20,000 and you can just pocket the difference for going out of your way to deal with him
BrooklynInvest
Posts: 277
Joined: Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:23 am

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

Post by BrooklynInvest »

I can't get past the no negotiation on price.
ScubaHogg
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:02 pm

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

Post by ScubaHogg »

atikovi wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:02 pm
jibantik wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:58 pm You can tell it's a scam one sentence into the email. Even the "Sir" opening is already a red flag.
Isn't that a common salutation from someone that was in the military?
Yes. And it's weird to me people find it weird to refer to someone they don't know as sir or ma'am. At a minimum recognize there are parts of the country (both physically parts and institutionally) where that is how people talk. Doesn't mean they are a scammer.

I'm curious what would have made people happy? "Hey dude, nice ride!" :oops:
“Unexpected Returns dominate the Expected Returns” - Ken French
User avatar
midareff
Posts: 7144
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:43 am
Location: Biscayne Bay, South Florida

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

Post by midareff »

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.
+1 and not anywhere else so he doesn't have three buddies ready to mug you before it is deposited.
smitcat
Posts: 6533
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:51 am

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

Post by smitcat »

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?
Did you get his full name, address and searchable phone number? Did you get his companies full name so you can search and/or call and confirm that he works there? Did you get each of his banks names where he has an account so that you can confirm he has drawn any bank checks and that your bank can also confirm the numbers prior to releasing the car/truck/boat/RV whatever?
Nicolas
Posts: 2231
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am
Contact:

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

Post by Nicolas »

It sounds like a letter from Kim Jong Un.
alfaspider
Posts: 3046
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

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

Post by alfaspider »

I would generally assume scam based on the language, but if the supposed buyer is open to meeting in person, it may not be. I generally try to do private car transactions at the bank. It provides a level of security, and also allows for validation- they are more likely to spot a fake certified check than you are. You may be able to make a better assessment in-person.

Most car-sale related scams involve someone sending you a check sight unseen. If he doesn't, that's a good sign. Perhaps you suggest he look at the vehicle first before discussing payment terms? Someone who does a true inspection of the car before coming back with the money is less likely to be a scammer.

Failing that- put it on bringatrailer.com. A manual Mercedes is indeed a rare bird.
Keenobserver
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:05 pm

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

Post by Keenobserver »

Red flags flashing everywhere for me
Topic Author
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

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

Post by atikovi »

alfaspider wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:17 am Failing that- put it on bringatrailer.com. A manual Mercedes is indeed a rare bird.
They wanted me to sell with no reserve. Hell no. I did sell it on Ebay with $13K Buy It Now three weeks ago, but after I got a $500 deposit, the buyer said he was having some financial problems and won't be buying it. At least I'm $500 ahead and will relist on Ebay soon.
MDfan
Posts: 389
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:32 am

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

Post by MDfan »

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.
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 6678
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

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

Post by Kenkat »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:21 am
alfaspider wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:17 am Failing that- put it on bringatrailer.com. A manual Mercedes is indeed a rare bird.
They wanted me to sell with no reserve. Hell no. I did sell it on Ebay with $13K Buy It Now three weeks ago, but after I got a $500 deposit, the buyer said he was having some financial problems and won't be buying it. At least I'm $500 ahead and will relist on Ebay soon.
If you still have it listed on eBay, tell him to just buy it through that channel. Yes, it will cost you some fees but will ferret out if he is legit or not and you will be protected.
User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

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

Post by JupiterJones »

My wife, who has Facebook page for her business (involving contracted services), gets scams like this about once every year.

They're always written in this almost-but-not-quite-normal style of English. They always toss in that weird degree of uncalled-for specificity and those awkward attempts at flattery.

They'll quickly agree to whatever price you quote, even if it's absurd. And there's usually some sort of goofy twist to the story--like they have to go work on an oil derrick for six months starting next week or something like that.

I made up a fake email account an strung one of them along for a bit, for sport. It's never gone to the conclusion, but as near as I can figure, the scam is that they'll send you a bad check for more than the amount "by mistake", then ask you to refund them the difference. They're not actually interested in what you're selling, and don't even live in the country. They're just trying to trick you to send them $$$ before the check bounces.
Stay on target...
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4774
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

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

Post by EnjoyIt »

Please update us what happens when you ask for cash and meet at your bank during business hours.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 11768
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona

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

Post by Sandtrap »

keanoz wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:28 pm
rich126 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:21 pm 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.
This.. this message feels fishy... Either pass on this guy or be extremely cautious with the payment
+1
This is not passing the smell test.

Salmon or Tilapia.
j🌺
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
FoolMeOnce
Posts: 985
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:16 am

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

Post by FoolMeOnce »

denovo wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:39 am Americans dont use 24-hour clock time.
I agree this is sounds like a scam, but the buyer maybe not being American has nothing to do with it. Is there a false representation that the buyer is American?

In addition to all the reasons in this thread, I think the bit about selling the BMW before meeting the OP is an excuse to show up in something other than a BMW (with a second driver). I suppose one might just Uber or get a ride from a friend, but still...
coalcracker
Posts: 605
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:25 pm

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

Post by coalcracker »

I can't imagine meeting somewhere (presumably in public: a parking lot?) with a bag filled with $20k, both parties bringing "muscle" along in case things go south.

"You throw me the keys first!"

"No, let me see the cash!"

Guess I grew up in a post-cash era, and watch too many gangster movies :D
S4C5
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 11:49 am

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

Post by S4C5 »

alfaspider wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:17 am I would generally assume scam based on the language, but if the supposed buyer is open to meeting in person, it may not be. I generally try to do private car transactions at the bank. It provides a level of security, and also allows for validation- they are more likely to spot a fake certified check than you are. You may be able to make a better assessment in-person.
It's weird for sure, but there are a lot of weird people.
If it is a scam, it will declare itself before they get to the in person meeting. Or he will show up with a check greater than the asking price. Although I don't think I've ever heard of a Nigerian scam happening in person, but I guess stranger things have happened.

You can call Schwab and tell them what's going on and ask them how you can verify the check in person before you hand over the keys. I would think they have a way they could do this over the phone.

Better yet just tell him to bring cash (like I'm doing next weekend because the seller wants it -- I've got two strapped bundles of 10k).
If he's legit and wants the car, he will comply. Get a counterfeit testing pen if you're paranoid. I think that's way overkill though.

Curious if I end up being right, that this is just some really weird career military dude.
S4C5
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 11:49 am

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

Post by S4C5 »

coalcracker wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:05 am I can't imagine meeting somewhere (presumably in public: a parking lot?) with a bag filled with $20k, both parties bringing "muscle" along in case things go south.

"You throw me the keys first!"

"No, let me see the cash!"

Guess I grew up in a post-cash era, and watch too many gangster movies :D
This happens literally all the time. I have done it at least 4 times for amounts around 10k-20k. It takes a while to count, but people like cash.
S4C5
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 11:49 am

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

Post by S4C5 »

Reading it again, this seems unusually specific and accurate for a Nigerian scammer:

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.

He mentions owning a BMW 330Xi. It's unusual that a scammer would know what this car is, and furthermore if he is buying a rare Mercedes, it makes sense that he has some automotive background knowledge. In other words, he is acting like the type of person who would be interested in this car. Scammers usually talk about being interested in your "item" and using generic non-specific information regarding what you are selling. For instance, saying that they will arrange for someone to freight ship your jetski via FedEx and will send you a shipping label or something absurd like that. If he was asking for a pre-purchase inspection, I would feel much more confident this is real, but the fact he is not doesn't mean that much (I never get PPIs).

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. Maryland is a small state and lots of people live and work out of state (W Va, DC, DC, VA, etc), so it's not unusual that he would have an out of state bank. Most scammers in Nigeria would have no idea how to converse about geography in Maryland. If he is a scammer, he is unusually good.

Very curious how this turns out now...
Keenobserver
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:05 pm

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

Post by Keenobserver »

Had a guy try to scam me.on Craigslist. Sais he can't show me the car since he is in the military and being transferred overseas. This guy is being a little too specific in my.opinion.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 10698
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

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

Post by ResearchMed »

Keenobserver wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:44 am Had a guy try to scam me.on Craigslist. Sais he can't show me the car since he is in the military and being transferred overseas. This guy is being a little too specific in my.opinion.
This is a huge problem for me, about this.... all of the extraneous details.

Sort of like when someone is giving an excuse for not getting some work done, by mentioning the sick dog, the visit to the vet, the actual diagnosis and which tests, and then complains about the specific cost and how expensive it is... none of which is relevant to the work situation. It's a distraction, or perhaps over-compensating somehow.

I think this is a known issue with lies:

https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
barnaclebob
Posts: 4223
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

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

Post by barnaclebob »

lgs88 wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:16 pm
PoppyA wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:45 pm How did you see this playing out....the sale of your vehicle on Facebook?
I bought my last vehicle private-sale off a Facebook listing. Great transaction with great people.

The way I see it, there's a decent chance a private seller will try to rip me off -- whereas there's a GUARANTEE that the dealer will try the same!
I bought my boat off facebook, paid with two envelopes totaling 145 $100 bills. The seller was great and there were zero problems with the transaction.

OP, the language does seem scammy but if you make him jump through a few hoops and he complies, it might be legit. First tell him you were doing some research on scams and will only do the transaction in cash. Tell him you would also like the bank withdrawal receipt. You can get these without the balance or account number at my bank. It will just have the bank logo and something like "cash withdrawal $13,000.00". Then tell him you will do the transaction at your bank in the lobby. After the bank accepts the money, you'll sign over the title and provide the bill of sale. Anyone who is legit will have no problems with this.

This method may also work with a wire transfer instead. It also may be possible for him to withdraw the cash from your banks ATM, and you cover the small transaction fee.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
FRANK2009
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:16 pm

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

Post by FRANK2009 »

Meet outside a police station. He gives you 13k in cash. He gets signed title and keys to the car. You both part ways. Bet he will have an excuse why that won't work for him.
jbmitt
Posts: 539
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 1:00 am

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

Post by jbmitt »

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.
Topic Author
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

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

Post by atikovi »

About to send this reply,

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.

Anything else to include or change?
000
Posts: 2884
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:04 am

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

Post by 000 »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:21 am About to send this reply,

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.

Anything else to include or change?
payment made at the bank before signing title over
barnaclebob
Posts: 4223
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

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

Post by barnaclebob »

FRANK2009 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:17 am Meet outside a police station. He gives you 13k in cash. He gets signed title and keys to the car. You both part ways. Bet he will have an excuse why that won't work for him.
Unless hes got a decent source for fake $100 bills. When OP goes back to the police station they probably wont even look at any security tapes. And if they do it will just be for curiousity. They'll take the report, maybe give you a copy, say some placating statements about how they'll do what they can but there isn't much evidence to go on and send you on your way.
User avatar
MillennialFinance19
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:06 am

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

Post by MillennialFinance19 »

Any update to this?

I would like to second someones recommendation of Bringatrailer. Have you seen the sales prices on rare cars? It's absurd.
For the love of God, stick to your plan!!!
S4C5
Posts: 149
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 11:49 am

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

Post by S4C5 »

OP,

You can also ask him to reply to you with his work address to make sure he's legit, which should be either a .mil, .gov, or a corporate contractor address.
If he does that he's probably legit.
If he refuses or says something that it's against military policy to write personal emails (it's not, I got them all the time in my side business from .mil addresses), then I'd walk.

Bringatrailer is an interesting platform. The fees are stupid high for buyers and the good cars tend to go for way more than they would on craigslist, ebay, or autotrader.

I've noticed that BAT seems to cater to the enthusiast crowd. It would be a horrible place to sell a 2005 run of the mill Lexus or something. You would get more money on craigslist with less B.S.

But if you're willing to jump through the hoops (and there are a lot of stupid hoops like providing 30 pictures of the undercarriage and a video of the startup procedure, etc), something like a manual Mercedes (manual transmission cars do amazing on BAT, often the only reason they get listed is because they are a manual), you can probably make a nice premium. Definitely a sellers market for cars like that there. I think there's a lot of trust fund and independently wealthy people that impulse bid on $100k cars on BAT the same way the rest of us make $100 impulse buys on Amazon for homegoods and gadgets.
Topic Author
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

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

Post by atikovi »

As I mentioned before, I could have listed on BAT only if I do no reserve. No way I'm doing that. I sold it on Ebay 3 weeks ago for the $13K asking price but after sending me $500, the buyer flaked. I'll probably relist there.
User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

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

Post by JupiterJones »

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.
I use it myself a lot too. My cellphone is set to display it, in fact.

But I wouldn't presume to slip into it when setting up a meeting time with some dude I was trying to buy a car from. That's the giveaway here, if you ask me.
Stay on target...
Beehave
Posts: 815
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:46 pm

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

Post by Beehave »

barnaclebob wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:25 am
FRANK2009 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:17 am Meet outside a police station. He gives you 13k in cash. He gets signed title and keys to the car. You both part ways. Bet he will have an excuse why that won't work for him.
Unless hes got a decent source for fake $100 bills. When OP goes back to the police station they probably wont even look at any security tapes. And if they do it will just be for curiousity. They'll take the report, maybe give you a copy, say some placating statements about how they'll do what they can but there isn't much evidence to go on and send you on your way.
Buyer can show with extra large Covid mask and maybe a 10 gallon hat too. Not so sure security tape would be decisive here even if reviewed.
rich126
Posts: 2023
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

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

Post by rich126 »

S4C5 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:07 am I'm going to provide a slightly different opinion.

Yes, this person could be trying to scam you.
However, I think there's a decent chance they are not.

I ran a business for 10 years or so and the language and style the person is using immediately strikes me of someone with a strong military background, usually career military. I had multiple customers who talked and communicated in the same bizzare way. Many people who did not receive formal education beyond high school but who spent a lot of time in the military talk and write like this.

The fear here seems to be he is like a NIgerian scammer. If it were a Nigerian scammer, he would not meet you in person with a check. He would try to send you money before a supposed meeting that never happens and then have you wire some of that money back to him before the never-to-be-had meeting.

If someone physically shows up with a check, they probably aren't a scammer.
Regardless, this is easily resolved. Just do it at the bank and verify funds and get everything notarized.
Or just have him bring cash. I am buying a car after hours rom a seller next week and am bringing $20k cash per his request. Never be alone for a cash transaction like this and do it in a public place.
I'm not military but worked somewhere that was 30%+ military. They usually sign off with VR (very respectfully). And I sure have never seen a military person (enlisted/officer) use that language in the first paragraph. That strikes me more of someone that isn't a native English speaker.
User avatar
BigFoot48
Posts: 2827
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Arizona

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

Post by BigFoot48 »

Highly likely a scam offer as the person goes to great length to set up having to come on Sunday when the banks aren't open.

I sold a travel trailer for $10k cash and went through every bill. The buyer was a long time RV forum member so I wasn't too worried. Sold another trailer and went with the buyer to BofA where he had them give me a cashiers check. Those are the only ways I would sell to the public, something I will never do again (see Carmax!).
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
Retired | Two-time in top-10 in Bogleheads S&P500 contest; 14-time loser
illumination
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:13 pm

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

Post by illumination »

As soon as I see the opening word "sir" I know it's a scam.

That being said, most scams never involve the "goods" themselves being stolen from a seller, it's money. So my guess is it will evolve into paying you over your asking price and them trying to get a "refund" wired back.

Most people aren't going to try and steal a car with a fake check, too easy to track and they can't do the scam outside the country as easily.
User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6543
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

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

Post by bottlecap »

drk wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:59 pm ^ The available times seal the deal. He's literally only available when banks are not going to be open.
There are a lot of little red flags, which by themselves might be explained away. But this is the most telling to me.

The absence of any questions about the vehicle or having a mechanic take a look is concerning.

I've also never had an instance (when I wasn't a patron of a business) in which anyone called me addressed me as "sir" and they weren't trying to tell me a story to scam me out of money.

Take him up on his offer to bring cash.

JT
ponyboy
Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:39 am

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

Post by ponyboy »

If you have to ask if you're being scammed, you already know the answer.
Topic Author
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

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

Post by atikovi »

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,
Hiker-Biker
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:45 pm

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

Post by Hiker-Biker »

I hope you're having fun with this. It makes some interesting reading. :shock: I had a guy get angry with me when I kept asking questions and not making a commitment to do business with him - obviously a scam. Then there were the lowball offers I got from dealers that troll Craigslist. I told one guy that if I wanted to get ripped off, I would've traded in my car at the dealer where I purchased my car. I ultimately found an honest buyer and sold my car for twice what the dealer was offering on a trade-in.
User avatar
CAsage
Posts: 1866
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:25 pm

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

Post by CAsage »

atikovi wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:36 am As I mentioned before, I could have listed on BAT only if I do no reserve. No way I'm doing that. I sold it on Ebay 3 weeks ago for the $13K asking price but after sending me $500, the buyer flaked. I'll probably relist there.
I will observe that I have read several posts lately on this site (and you can probably find more) where sellers on ebay are cheated out of both their items and their money, because the buyer then contests the purchase like 2 days before the complaint window closes, ebay accepts their issue and refunds them. You are up a creek. Honestly, wired funds or cash are the only safe way to go. The lack of detailed questions about the car and it's maintenance, and the delicious and ridiculous amount of detail and B.S. in the original offer screams scam. Find a reputable dealer instead.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.
EnjoyIt
Posts: 4774
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:06 pm

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

Post by EnjoyIt »

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,
Thanks for the update. Let us know if he shows up with cash.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
Keenobserver
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:05 pm

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

Post by Keenobserver »

I really doubt he will just show up as promised with cash without a sob story or two. Wait for some unforeseen circumstance email. Even if he were to show up with cash, plz verify he is not giving counterfeit tender.
Whakamole
Posts: 1196
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:59 pm

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

Post by Whakamole »

I've never heard of someone offering over asking price for a car. Maybe a house in a hot market.
User avatar
tyrion
Posts: 1278
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 3:33 pm

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

Post by tyrion »

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.
Locked