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Discussion Starter #1
This is not Elise-specific, but is a fraud warning to anyone here selling a car online to make room for the Elise.

Beware internet scams. My story so far: I received an email after advertising the car on Auto-Trader.com The buyer requested more photos and then offered $4,000 for my modified '79 Rx-7. I agreed and the buyer said he would send a cashier's check for $7,800 to me. Upon receipt of the check I was to cash the check, retain $4,000 for myself, and immediately forward $3,800 to his shipping agent so the car could be shipped to the UK. Therein lies the scam: The check is bogus, but once the funds are sent to his "shipping agent's" account- those funds are gone forever. My bank won't discover the fraud for several days- and they would look to me for the missing $3,800.

Use common sense-
1. Who would pay $3,800 to send a left-hand drive 25-year-old Rx-7 to England?
2. The borrower never asked a question about the car's conditions, modifications, etc.
3. Check arrives via FedEx from "Country Code: NG" = Nigeria!
4. Very fine print on check says "for VA use only" (Veterans Admin)
5. Buyer does not provide his or his shipper's physical addresses

So, I'm stringing this guy along for as long as I can, just to mess with him- and provide water-cooler conversation here at work. So far he's paid for an international FedEx and two overseas (I think) phone calls. Who knows where he is, really? I think I'll take the check to the Bank of America branch tomorrow to report it.
 

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This scams' been run on ebay and cycle trader for some years with sportbikes. Although just the payment arrangements would make me figure this is definately a scam, but I guess they have enough of a success rate to continue doing it.
Chris
 

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It only takes one fool (and his money) to make this a worthwhile venture for the scammers. Especially if they are operating out of some country where the average annual salary is very low.

I've gotten this kind of e-mail a few times before (sold 3 cars last year). I've always wanted to string them along, but never had the time to go through with it. Let us know how it goes! :D

-Hong
 

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We had someone from the BBB speak to us at Rotary about this same scam. This is one of the most common scams they see. I can't understand how anyone would see this as nothing but a scam, but it must work or they would not do it.
 

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I think e-Bay posted a warning about this before. The bank wont be able to tell you if the check is good right away, and then it can take a month for it to reject, and then you are out the money. Also beware of people that tell you to wire money back to them, or people that say they have a check for more than what is owed to them that is in US currency and that they want you to send them the differance back sinc ethey are having difficultly getting in cashed in their own country. It is mainly a new twist on the Nigerian scam that has been going around for years.

I work for a bank and get emails all the time from people claiming to be the realtive of the crown prince of East Mumbawee or some other mythical place. Their relative gave them millions of dollars to hide before been killed by insurgent forces, eaten by a lion, or some other wierd way of dying and this person is willing to give you a few million if you help them transfer their money into your bank in the US before their enemys get it from them. I think they want you to send them goodfaith money first. I believe one person went over their to give them upfront money and was robbed and killed. The FBI knows all about these people. Some may be out to make $ off of dumb americans, but then others could be using the money to fund terrorist activities.

If one of these scammers tells you to send them money back, just tell them to wire the exact amount of money to you at Western Union instead and that you are willing deduct the charges from the sales amount so tehy can send you less. This will shut them up. Also never give them your bank account number to wire money into, since they will probably try to rip you off too. Ask them for their bank account number and wire transfer information and ask for a copy of their passport or some other ID, and possibly a phone number (but they proably are using cell phones) or a workplace number and name of the company they work for and then do a google search for the company and call the main number for the company and see if the person really works there. If it is a scam then let the FBI know the bank number and phone numbers they gave you so that they might be able to track them down.
 

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Best thing to do, contact the FBI and ask them to assist.

Let us know how it goes.
 

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LOL, i've never heard of this stuff before. Hopefully, you won't get screwed.
 

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Ok, so if cashier's checks are not to be trusted, what is the correct way to exchange money when selling a car? Is cash the only safe, low cost method anymore? I'm selling my MR2 soon so this question has been weighing on my mind for some time.
 

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Where the heck have you been? Internet/ebay scam for quite a while now.

If it sounds too good to be true...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The "Powerbook Auction" thread is priceless- thanks.

I did call the FBI- they don't look at scams under $100,000. My tax dollars at work.

Yes, it's true- there is no free lunch. If it seems too good to be true....

Update: My scammer is not too bright. I asked if he is a car collector (what other nut would ship an old Rx-7 to the UK?) and he said no... "it's for personal use". Then I added, "It's a really nice one- has a street-ported 13b rotary." Pause. Then he says, "Yes. I have read about this car." ...and nothing else. No questions, comments, nothing.

His last email asked about the money (again) and he was kind enough to do a web search and provide the addresses of local Western Union offices for me.

So, what next? How should I reply? I'd at least like him to pay for one more international phone call. Any ideas?
 

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DCNSX said:

I did call the FBI- they don't look at scams under $100,000. My tax dollars at work.
what is the FBI willing to investigate???
several years ago when my daughter was about 2 my wife plopped her in front of the TV and put one of those Baby Song videotapes on.... about halfway through the tape, my wife walked into the room to see porn playing on the TV :(
It was a brand new tape - she was unable to get anywhere with the company and tried to get the FBI to look into it but they refused.... She ended up calling one of the NY news programs that does a "Shame On You" segment and they investigated, and came to our apartment to film the segment...Turns out the same company that copies and distributes the kids video also does the same for porn movies, and happened to copy it onto a tape that already had porn on it (some lesbian scenes if I remember correctly:) ) I will have to wait and see if it had any lasting impact on my daughter......Now where did I put that tape.....
 

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DCNSX said:
So, what next? How should I reply? I'd at least like him to pay for one more international phone call. Any ideas?
Phone calls from the UK to the USA don't cost anything. Call the police in the UK and see if they want a piece of him:cool:
 

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DCNSX said:
I did call the FBI- they don't look at scams under $100,000. My tax dollars at work...

So, what next? How should I reply? I'd at least like him to pay for one more international phone call. Any ideas?
Report it to the US Secret Service. They are the institution currently investigating the Nigerian 4-1-9 scams et. al.

Unfortunately, there's not much the US government can do to prevent people getting their money stolen short of education, because many of the people running these scams are associated with the Nigerian government, which is understandably uncooperative in seeing justice done. :)

Here's a good informative article on 4-1-9's:

http://www.aarp.org/consumerprotect-frauds/Articles/a2002-10-02-FraudsNigerianMoneyOffer.html

My advice is just report it and be thankful you didn't lose your ass.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I called the Secret Service and spoke to a Field Agent. Basically he said that since the check and the perpetrators are foreign, they're just too hard and too costly to track down. No investigation will be done.

So, I'm left with a $7,800 forged check as a conversation piece.
 

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frame it and sell it on ebay....
 

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Why not just tell the guy you will snd the money to the shipping agent once the check clears with the bank first. All checks I recieve I have them clear first before sending out any merchandise. That should shut him up or if it clears you know this was just a strange but legit transaction?
 
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