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  1. #1

    Out of state buyer, pay off scam?

    First post, I've been reading quite a bit and can not find any specific info, maybe you guys can help.

    Basic story. I am selling my car, which still has a lien on it. An out of state buyer contacted me last week and negotiated for the car, he has financing through his bank so they contacted my credit union for the pay off. I assumed his bank would transfer funds to my credit union, then once cleared release the title and the car hauling company would pick it up and deliver to buyer. When I spoke to my credit union today they confirmed this general process.

    Now I spoke with the "buyer" today, and he said the following: "the bank check for the pay off amount will be there Friday and the car will be picked up Saturday by the hauling company. Then once you receive the title, overnight it to me and I will then overnight the remaining funds"

    Seems like a huge red flag to me, but the guy even paypal'd a deposit late last week and has paid for the car to be "inspected" by a local shop tomorrow before the transaction this weekend. What's going on here, am I being paranoid or is this guy screwing me? Guts telling me the latter.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by scammerscam; 11-13-2012 at 07:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2,626

    Re: Out of state buyer, pay off scam?

    100% scam.

    I assumed his bank would transfer funds to my credit union, then once cleared release the title
    You are correct in that a LEGIT buyer would have his bank send your bank the paper check or wire the money.

    the bank check for the pay off amount will be there Friday and the car will be picked up Saturday by the hauling company
    Doubtful anyone will show up from a car hauling company but if they do, do NOT give them the car, under ANY circumstances. Lock the car up in a neighbor's or friend's garage if you are feeling uncomfortable.

    There are 2 main possible scams here.

    1) The check is FAKE and the buyer will demand you cash it and send money to the "car hauling company" via Western Union or moneygram. He will have various lame excuses as to why the "car hauling company" can't accept a check, credit card or wire transfer. The "car hauling company" is just the same scam buyer using another of his fake names and free email addresses. No one shows up to pick up the car because the scammer only wanted your cash.

    Western Union and moneygram do not verify anything on the form the sender fills out, not the name, not the street address, not the country, not even the gender of the receiver, it all means absolutely nothing. The clerk will not bother to check ID and will simply hand off your cash to whomever walks in the door with the MTCN# and question/answer. Neither company will tell the sender who picked up the cash, at what store location or even in what country your money walked out the door. Neither company has any kind of refund policy, money sent is money gone forever.

    2) The fake check arrives, you take it to your bank to deposit it. Your bank doesn't realize it is fake for weeks. Someone does show up for your car and takes off with it, without actually registering it with the local DMV. Now you are out a car AND the money. The worst is that someone is driving around racking up parking tickets and other illegal activities in your name and you are responsible.

    Tell the "buyer" to transfer the money directly to your credit union. Period. No other option is acceptable or remotely safe for you. If the "buyer" refuses or has excuses as to why he can't, he is a scammer. Every bank in the ENTIRE world can do that, even banks in third world countries that don't have electricity can do bank to bank transfers via land line phone, cell phones and can even do it via snail mail by mailing the paperwork to a bank branch that does have electricity.

    Tell him you will refuse the check when it arrives. Chances are good that it will arrive via UPS or FedEx on a stolen billing account number. Don't bother trying to send it back to the fake shipper's address on the envelope.

    If you have responded to a scammer, you are on his 'potential sucker' list, he will try again to separate you from your cash. He will send you more emails from his other free email addresses using another of his fake names with all kinds of stories of being the perfect buyer, great jobs, lottery winnings, millions in the bank and desperate, lonely, sexy singles. He will sell your email address to all his scamming buddies who will also send you dozens of fake emails all with the exact same goal, you sending them your cash via Western Union or moneygram.

    You could post up the email address and the emails themselves that the scammer is using, it will help make your post more googlable for other suspicious potential victims to find when looking for information.

    Do you know how to check the header of a received email? If not, you could google for information. Being able to read the header to determine the geographic location an email originated from will help you weed out the most obvious scams and scammers. Then delete and block that scammer. Don't bother to tell him that you know he is a scammer, it isn't worth your effort. He has one job in life, convincing victims to send him their hard-earned cash.

    Whenever suspicious or just plain curious, google everything, website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, even sentences from the emails as you might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find already posted online. You can also post/ask here and every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find before taking a chance and losing money to a scammer.

    If you google "cragislist car buyer scam", "fake check car buyer scam", "fake car shipping hauling company fraud" or something similar you will find hundreds of posts from victims and near victims of this type of scam.
    Found a scam or scammer's email address? Post it at scamwarners.com
    Found a romance scam? Post it at romancescam.com

  3. #3

    Re: Out of state buyer, pay off scam?

    @Meri Widow

    thanks for the reply. I stated exactly what I would need for the transaction to happen and he has been very persistent, demanding I call him and what not. I am in the process of refunding his paypal "deposit" which I'm sure his plan was to reverse anyways. Thanks for the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    49

    Re: Out of state buyer, pay off scam?

    I tried selling my car on Craigslist one time. I had multiple emails sent to me almost word for word. They wanted to send me a cashiers check and once I cashed it, they claimed they were going to have their "assistant" come pick the car up. It was so obvious it was a scam it wasn't even funny. Unfortunately, I'm sure there are people here and there who actually fall for this. :(

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