Car Sellers Beware

Crashnburn

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Crashnburn
I’m selling my 2020 RAV4. I prefer the Lexus I inherited from my wife to it and I only need one SUV.

I almost fell for a scheme where they would give me a cashiers check, sight unseen , plus shipping costs. The problem is, and I never thought someone would try to pull it on me; it takes a while for the check to get resolved and it turns out there’s no money. So you’ve lost the car, and whatever extra cash they sent.

I guess there’s a new one, but I can’t figure out how it works. I pulled the plug before I ran a digital title report. It might just be a scam website. Here’s the URL: http://titledigitalaudit.com

It looks legitimate, but he was very insistent that I run the report for him, even though it’s to protect him, not me so he should be the one paying. I pushed back a number of times and I have a clear title. The red flag was he was willing to pay full price sight unseen. CarFax would do about the same.

Maybe someone with more time and skills for this sort of thing could look into it.
 
You will end up getting a check for more than you asked for and then be asked to send him or “the shipper” the difference back. I’m not clicking on the link but I’m also guessing that it’s going to ask for a credit card number, address, etc. The scam has nothing to do with the car and nobody will ever actually come pick it up. Cash or bank transfer in person with the buyer present at your bank is the only way to not get scammed nowadays.
 
It looks legitimate
No it doesn’t.

And it’s not new. The fake cashier’s check scam has even targeted real estate closing attorneys and title companies. I saw a very sophisticated one involving aircraft sales several years (maybe 5?) ago. If you checked for the existence of the buyer and seller companies, they were there. Check the FAA Registry and the “seller” owned the airplane.
 
Cashier's checks have lost their luster due to scams like this. Wire transfers can even be suspect. I now ask buyers to provide their bank manager’s phone number so my bank manager can verify things. Otherwise, no sale.
 
It looks legitimate, but he was very insistent that I run the report for him, even though it’s to protect him, not me so he should be the one paying.
Another popular version is the "buyer" says you have to upgrade your Venmo account to the "professional level" (or something like that) so they can pay you and gives you a link that appears to be related to Venmo. But I suspect this is more popular for lower priced transactions than cars or airplanes.
It's just credit card harvesting.
 
If you're wiring money, make sure you're calling a known-good number to verify, orally, the wiring instructions. Current sophisticated scam is intercepting emails and changing wiring instructions to the hacker's bank account. Saw it almost happen recently on a $$$$$$$$ wire transfer at work; fortunately, someone did call to verify and quickly realized the instructions were wrong. Some digging revealed than an email from a law firm partner to a law firm associate was intercepted, altered, and sent on its way. The email in the partner's sent items had the correct instructions; the email in the associate's inbox had the hackers. Scary to even think about. But there's a reason title companies, etc. insist on calling a known-good phone number for the sender to confirm instructions.
 
Cashier's checks have lost their luster due to scams like this. Wire transfers can even be suspect. I now ask buyers to provide their bank manager’s phone number so my bank manager can verify things. Otherwise, no sale.

Do they fake the "deposit" side of a wire somehow? I've always assumed a wire landing in my account was as good as gold.
 
Cashier's checks have lost their luster due to scams like this. Wire transfers can even be suspect. I now ask buyers to provide their bank manager’s phone number so my bank manager can verify things. Otherwise, no sale.
Better to find the bank manager's number on your own, rather than call a number provided by the 'buyer'.
 
Speaking of things like Venmo... also be aware that what looks like a known good Venmo account for someone that you know may not be. For example, on your iPhone the lowercase "l" and uppercase "I" appear identical. That lesson cost me a couple hundred bucks. Paypal is the underlying company, so good luck getting them to even respond, let alone pursue fraud and theft.
 
Thanks all. I plan on having the buyer bring cash and have the Credit Union I do business with count and verify the authenticity of the cash before I proceed.

They didn't get anything from me except a few minutes of my time.

I guess it boils down to not just being paranoid but being paranoid enough.

or maybe
Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.
 
A sight unseen buyer that wants a car shipped is red flag enough to run away, no matter the payment method.

Meh. I’ve been that buyer before who’s bought cars sight unseen and shipped them to me. By itself it doesn’t mean the buyer is a scammer. But it does warrant being cautious.

The scams listed here are not new, but I am seeing an uptick in for sale scams lately on various enthusiast groups (especially on Facebook). Easy to spot for me and yet seems like weekly there’s someone who falls for it and makes a post admitting as such as a warning to others.

Be careful out there.
 
Meh. I’ve been that buyer before who’s bought cars sight unseen and shipped them to me.
for certain cases perhaps, but a rav4? Run.
 
I’m selling my 2020 RAV4. I prefer the Lexus I inherited from my wife to it and I only need one SUV.

I almost fell for a scheme where they would give me a cashiers check, sight unseen , plus shipping costs. The problem is, and I never thought someone would try to pull it on me; it takes a while for the check to get resolved and it turns out there’s no money. So you’ve lost the car, and whatever extra cash they sent.

I guess there’s a new one, but I can’t figure out how it works. I pulled the plug before I ran a digital title report. It might just be a scam website. Here’s the URL: http://titledigitalaudit.com

It looks legitimate, but he was very insistent that I run the report for him, even though it’s to protect him, not me so he should be the one paying. I pushed back a number of times and I have a clear title. The red flag was he was willing to pay full price sight unseen. CarFax would do about the same.

Maybe someone with more time and skills for this sort of thing could look into it.

I had an response similar to this 25 or so years ago when I was selling some old race car parts.

My rule was no shipping until the check clears. Even then I still got a couple fake money orders.
 
My son fell for that one, the check they sent was so fake, it looked like first grader made it
 
If you're wiring money, make sure you're calling a known-good number to verify, orally, the wiring instructions. Current sophisticated scam is intercepting emails and changing wiring instructions to the hacker's bank account. Saw it almost happen recently on a $$$$$$$$ wire transfer at work; fortunately, someone did call to verify and quickly realized the instructions were wrong. Some digging revealed than an email from a law firm partner to a law firm associate was intercepted, altered, and sent on its way. The email in the partner's sent items had the correct instructions; the email in the associate's inbox had the hackers. Scary to even think about. But there's a reason title companies, etc. insist on calling a known-good phone number for the sender to confirm instructions.
How does a hacker accomplish this, especially when emails get delivered quickly? Do they simply have access to the mail server and go to the inbox and manipulate the email waiting to be read or resend a fake email?
 
As I was told early in life... if it is too good to be true, it isn't.

Came across a deal for a 430W on Facebook... I had told the seller I would meet him face to face and give him cash... funny, they just disappeared after that.
 
I’ve been that buyer before who’s bought cars sight unseen and shipped them to me.
If someone wants my car shipped sight unseen then I would probably consider shifting it over to Bring a Trailer, Mecums or Barrett-Jackson.
 
How does a hacker accomplish this, especially when emails get delivered quickly? Do they simply have access to the mail server and go to the inbox and manipulate the email waiting to be read or resend a fake email?
Must be something like that. Hacked email server, intercept before actual delivery, adjust and send on. Pretty sophisticated operation at that point, but hard to otherwise explain why the email sent does not match the email received.
 
If someone wants my car shipped sight unseen then I would probably consider shifting it over to Bring a Trailer, Mecums or Barrett-Jackson.

There are plenty of vehicles that are both hard enough to find locally and not good enough to be considered by those selling mediums that such a setup can be worthwhile. This especially becomes the case if you live in a rust belt area and you want to buy a southern rust-free (or low rust) example. Even B-A-T requires you to "apply" and they have to approve your vehicle to be sold on their website.

Just as one example, about 8 years ago I bought a 2003 Mercedes E55 AMG Kompressor with 190k miles from a dealership in Florida. Despite its high miles, the car had been dealer maintained (with records). It had lived its life in the south and was rust-free. Not low enough mileage to get the attention of those houses, but eBay was a good place for it to get sold.

I could find a similar year E-class locally, but not the E55, I did look. This one was a particularly good deal. Sometimes you luck out and find what you want locally, sometimes you don't.
 
Another popular version is the "buyer" says you have to upgrade your Venmo account to the "professional level" (or something like that) so they can pay you and gives you a link that appears to be related to Venmo. But I suspect this is more popular for lower priced transactions than cars or airplanes.
It's just credit card harvesting.
Tried this one on me recently on a $150 item on Craigslist I called my bank and they verified it was a scam attempt.
 
I bought a car once on the spur of the moment. It had 4 different size tires all around, no motor or transmission, no interior except for 1 seat, no title, no glass, the doors were wielded shut and it was painted an awful yellow.

And it was a race car I bought at an auction...
 
Did you try carmax or carvana? they would buy it and you wouldnt have to worry about getting scammed.
 
For private party sales it's best to deal in cash but when you get above a certain $ amount a lot of people aren't comfortable with that. Something I've seen used car dealers do before is call the bank with the buyer on the line and have their bank verify the check is good, I don't know why you couldn't do that as an individual.

I'm also personally not willing to deal with shipping a high dollar item like that, I want to meet in person.
 
I’m selling my 2020 RAV4. I prefer the Lexus I inherited from my wife to it and I only need one SUV.

I almost fell for a scheme where they would give me a cashiers check, sight unseen , plus shipping costs. The problem is, and I never thought someone would try to pull it on me; it takes a while for the check to get resolved and it turns out there’s no money. So you’ve lost the car, and whatever extra cash they sent.

I guess there’s a new one, but I can’t figure out how it works. I pulled the plug before I ran a digital title report. It might just be a scam website. Here’s the URL: http://titledigitalaudit.com

It looks legitimate, but he was very insistent that I run the report for him, even though it’s to protect him, not me so he should be the one paying. I pushed back a number of times and I have a clear title. The red flag was he was willing to pay full price sight unseen. CarFax would do about the same.

Maybe someone with more time and skills for this sort of thing could look into it.
This scam is at least 30yrs old, if not older.
 
This happens with trying to sell gliders/airplanes too.
 
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