Skip to comments.New Twist on the Nigerian Scam?
Posted on 05/07/2012 6:30:02 AM PDT by cuban leaf
I answered an ad in the Kentucky website used by my town for free classifieds. It listed my town in central KY as the location. The ad was for the truck described below for $3,000. But look at the response I got back below. Is it a twist on the Nigerian scam.
Your thoughts? (some information redacted)
This is XXXXX. I received your email about my 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 4X4. The truck is in great shape. It was always garaged and never smoked in. It has minor scratches, normal for the age. No mechanical or electrical problems. It has been extremely well maintained with a full service history. Clean title in hand, with no loans or liens on it. It does not need anything additional to function, has 144,000 miles. It has automatic transmission, 5.3L V8 engine, 4X4, bedliner, trailer package, LS package, power windows, power door locks, brand new bridgestone dueler A/T tires and more. It just completed a full inspection and is good to go. The price for the truck is $2,800.
For more pictures here is a link to the truck's photo gallery: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I am currently stationed at Fort xxxxx (U.S. Military training base in CA) making final preparations before deploying to Afghanistan. The truck is here with me at the base but don't worry as the shipping won't be a problem; military has a considerable discount, so I can handle it by myself with no charges whatsoever on your account. Shipping may take anywhere between 2 to 3 business days depending on the destination. All documents you need for ownership, manuals and bill of sale will be provided along with the truck. For the payment I would like to use Google Checkout as a third party. They will keep your money into a protection account until you get the truck and will release it to me after inspection period is over and you agree to keep the truck. So, this is not a blind transaction, you can see the truck before committing to buy and to eliminate any concerns you will have 5 days to inspect the truck. If you decide not to keep it Google Checkout will refund you the money, no questions asked, and shipping back will be my concern. I think this is more than fair for both of us. I'll start the official procedure, and Google Checkout will contact you about this. If you are interested in buying it just mail me back with: - Your Full Name and Address - Required by Google Checkout (You'll receive important guidelines + instructions from them.). I want to point out that because I am going to Afghanistan this sale is my top priority and I am looking after a fast transaction, with no delays. That is why I decided to lower the price, to avoid wasting time with negotiations and find a buyer as soon as possible.
Thanks, Sgt. XXXX XXXXXX
Anyone think it's legit? Anyone think it's not?
BTW, the photo gallery is at flickr and uses the person's name on the email as it's name.
get a phone number and call
Have you ever used Google checkout? If they will, indeed hold the money until you authorize a release then it may be legitimate.
Simple rule: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Run or you will ose your money. It is absolutely a scam....red
If the truck is in your town, tell the guy you’d like to drop by and see it.....
This thread http://forums.beyond.ca/showthread/t-353086.html looks extremely similar to what you're looking at - a divorce related sale of a car with shipping from a distant place and promises of an inspection period and Google Wallet holding onto the money. Only one of the links listed went to a scam site (which has since been closed down.)
My thoughts: Please remit $7,500 processing and handling service fee to my Solicitor and I will tell you what they are.
Thank you. The two things that popped out at me right away were that he used generic language regarding where it would be shipped to (he should have known my town) and at that price he might as well sell it to a used car lot locally and be done with it.
I’ve been waiting for these scams to get better with their english.
Interestingly, his Gmail account is a normal person’s name, as is the name on the Flickr account. It really “looks” legit except for the odd terms. And getting information about Google wallet regarding holding money, etc. is very difficult. I wouldn’t use it for anything at this point. It looks like it is almost set up as a portal for scams.
Great question posted on the link BC provided:
If the deal is so good, why not just sell the vehicle locally and save the shipping fees?
—If the truck is in your town, tell the guy youd like to drop by and see it.....—
Precisely. This is why I used Craigslist - face-to-face transactions. This is why I use this local equivalent (Craigslist is pretty useless out here).
This is the second time I’ve answered an ad in either place (once in Seattle using Craigslist and once here in central KY) that involved something listed that is not local. In both cases they were scams. Hence the “face to face only” thing.
Thanks. There is one in there that is actually very similar to the one I got. Interesting that this was posted in a local town’s free classified’s site.
Actually, doing some more investigation, this scam is the same scam that has been running forever... Just with a new title.
You get a checkout message with a request to WESTERN UNION the funds to the authorized Google account specialist. That’s the whole deal - yet another Western Union scam to steal money. Your funds go to someone somewhere in the world, with zero recourse to get those funds back, or even find out WHERE they went.
It might even draw it out a bit - ‘the shipping company has your car and I’ll reimburse you for this, but they need another $800..’ before they disappear.
It is a scam.
Sorry to burst your bubble but a truck like that will sell locally and not have to be shipped hundreds of miles away.
We saw one like that in Charlotte craigslist- a mother was selling her son’s Harley because he had been killed in combat and she couldn’t bear to see look at the bike everyday and be reminded of him being so happy. We knew it was a scam and emailed the person. We followed it through to the end when I emailed that my brother wanted to see it and, WOW, coincidentally was in the same city that the seller was!!! And he was a mechanic but his roommate was with the FBI and they could both be there shortly. They never responded. Also, we flagged the ad and it kept popping back up.
Also, you can google the name of the seller- you might find, like we did, dozens of ads using that same name all across the country.
My husband had similar responses when he made inquiries on vehicles listed on Craig’s List, the person is leaving the country for work, etc, or car is not actually in our area, but will be shipped to the purchaser. He also received some strange scam like responses when he listed our mini van on Craig’s List. I would never respond to anything I thought was suspicious.
What raised the red flag for me on this one was the price vs the effort the guy was going to make to get it to me. Maybe I’m richer than some, but if my TOP priority before going to Afghanistan was to get rid of a vehicle, I wouldn’t sell it way below book to a guy in another state and then ship it to him at my “reduced” cost, with the risk that the guy doesn’t want it. I’d just take it to a “cash for cars” lot or sell it locally on Craigslist.
But the use of English was excellent, suggesting that this is good old American ingenuity in action rather than a bunch of Nigerians. But maybe they are just learning better English.
—Sorry to burst your bubble but a truck like that will sell locally and not have to be shipped hundreds of miles away.—
No bubble burst. I declined before I posted this, if only because of the hassle even if it was legit. ;-)
And in that sentence you also nailed the first red flag I saw in the email. :-)
—Also, you can google the name of the seller...—
Excellent idea! BTW, I’ve noticed on this local site that there are a LOT of “really good deals” and almost every one has at least one comment below it that says “Scam”. They all have one thing in common: Either no phone number or the number is a fax machine somewhere.
In this case, the seller actually went to the trouble of becoming a member of the site (the only way you can create an ad), which added legitimacy to it, for me, anyway...
There is almost no chance of this being legit.as your say, why not just sell locally? The cost of shipping a truck has to be high, and who would spend that to allowed someone to simply look at it? And it would be leaving the seller’s control.
This is BS.
This burns me up.
People like this can run scams like this all over America with impunity, but my mom gets a speeding ticket running to the local store to pick up a loaf of bread.
The police are useless highwaymen preying upon innocent citizens going about their business instead of actively hunting down criminals - who these days, frequent the new electronic marketplaces.
A telephone number and an email get your ‘legitimacy’ on craigslist. Don’t use CLASS membership as a source of trustworthiness.
CLASS - CL for craigslist. Dang auto correct.
Sergeant don’t write that clearly.
Don’t walk, just run as fast as you can from this.
Just write him back and tell him you will fly out tomorrow and see the truck, pay him and you will drive it back home. You can bet your life savings you will never hear from him again !!
—The police are useless highwaymen preying upon innocent citizens...—
HAHAHA! That is EXACTLY what I call them: “The modern highwaymen.” I made three driving trips to my new home in KY from Seattle and several trips from Seattle to eastern South Dakota, San-Diego, and have driven in pretty much every state in the union. It is like a game of cat and mouse to me, with the state patrols being the “cats”. That said, I get pulled over about three or four times a year but average only one ticket per year.
It’s kind of a fun “game” that really doesn’t cost that much. It has very little to do with safety, though that is the component that gives it “legitimacy”.
I actually declined before I had solid confirmation that it was a scam. Otherwise It might have been fun.
If you do s few searches you will likely find the same add posted at different sites, with different selling locations on different classifieds all over the nation. This is a very common scam on Craig’s list...
IIRC, the opening page for craiglist autos warns against ‘I’m a soldier and about to be deployed’ scams.
I actually did buy a car from an ‘about to be deployed’ soldier, on CL...but there were a few differences. Mainly, it was local, so I could go meet him, look at the car, see where he lived, etc.
I would never but a car sight unseen like that....and you have to ask yourself - if its such a great deal, why can’t he sell it locally.
I did the exact same thing two years ago. The seller claimed to be a woman who got the truck in a divorce settlement. I said that I would fly to wherever she was, give her a check, and drive home. I never heard from her again. I wound up buying a nice 2005 F-150 4WD off of Craigslist from a guy 30 miles away. He met me at my mechanic’s shop, we had lunch across the street while my mechanic inspected it, got the thumbs up, then went to the bank for a cashier’s check. I love the truck, and all ended well.
If you have to ask if it’s real, then your gut is telling you it isn’t.
What sticks out the most to me is the lengthy description of the truck, his plans and the payment arrangement.Lies tend to be long...and every anticipated problem is addressed.
Wouldn’t it be easier for all if he just put his cell phone number in the ad- especially if he’s a local boy living far away? Unless you don’t want someone asking you a lot of questions that you aren’t prepared to answer....
I say BOGUS!
—I would never but a car sight unseen like that...—
Same here. I actually left a comment in the ad (you can do that on that site) that it is a scam and even included one of the links here to a discussion about that scam.
I don’t buy anything worth real money sight unseen. And this “someone will hold the money for us” baloney is always a huge red flag.
—If you have to ask if its real, then your gut is telling you it isnt.—
That is exactly what happened, which is why I turned it down as soon as I found out it was not local.
BTW, there are a LOT of ads here for stuff that seems too good to be true. Every one of them has a “this is a scam” comment under it. Well, this one didn’t - until I posted one...
Write the guy back and tell him you’ll be in his area tomorrow and would like to stop by and meet him personally.
THIS IS A SCAM....
Ran in to the same thing on a Craig’s List RV ad, a couple of weeks ago.
Not legit. Scamo-matic in overdrive.
This not scam. My oil minister M’tumbo and I use often this method for the buying of fine American pickup trucks. We even have departments for to aid you in this financial transaction. Only send by email your bank account numbers, PIN, and social Security informations and in a hurry you get nice new pickup truck okay?
They used to use more expensive vehicles like BMW/Mercedes as prices you couldn’t pass up.
All you need to do for these things is google specific parts of the scam.
You’ll find the text is used repeatedly elsewhere with different vehicles and locations.
—All you need to do for these things is google specific parts of the scam.—
I do that all the time with chain emails to determine their veracity. I completely forgot to do that here.
I got very similar replies when I was looking for a dog a few months ago. The owners were being transferred out of town or overseas and had to find a home for an otherwise expensive dog. One of them claimed to already be in England and if I would send the cost of shipping they would have the dog on a flight right away. the thing was an obvious scam but it must be profitable because I found the same ads in several listings.
“The price for the truck is $2,800.”
Another red flag. I don’t know why, but these scammers almost always advertize for $2,800.00.
I like to scan Craigslist and whenever I see a car or truck for sale with no local phone # and a gmail address - I hit the scam report key.
—I like to scan Craigslist and whenever I see a car or truck for sale with no local phone # and a gmail address - I hit the scam report key.—
When I sold on Craigslist I never listed my phone number or email address. It went to the “hidden” address that you give when you post the ad. I rarely came across an ad in CL that included the seller’s phone number. I didn’t even know their email address until they responded to my inquiry.
It protects the seller from spam, etc.
Regarding the $2,800 price, it was actually listed at 3,000, but in the email to me that included all the information I posted above, he dropped the price.
The reason I trusted this ad before getting the email response was 1) I didn’t even know if the price was an especially good deal; 2) It’s a very small town so I figured it was off the scammers radar.
Now that I know it’s not, I’ll treat it just like CL.
BTW, one of the cool things about the site is that one of the categories is one completely missing from CL: Guns. :-)
And maybe not coincidentally, about three months ago a seller shot a potential buyer to death at his home during a gun sale. No charges were filed as it was apparently obviously self defense. :-)
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