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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Car Scams

Since I'm reasonably sure that our car will be totaled (not totally, but I'd put 10/1 odds on it being the case, after looking at the car), it looks like I'll be buying a new one. So, I started looking around on the various sites. On CraigsList, they warned about "Ebay scams".

There was a 2009 Nissan Altima with 29,000 miles listed for $2900. Too good to be true, so I figured it was phony. Just in case, I figured I'd send an email. Here's my response (highlighting is mine, to point out the "fishy" parts.

Hello,

This 2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 S, automatic with 26,000 miles, runs and drives excellent(VIN: 1N4AL21E49N522850). This car has been extremely well maintained and it is fully paid. No accident, clear title, free of liens.
I have dropped my price to $2900 since this is an urgent sale and I need to sell it before 22 March, when I will be deployed in Afghanistan replacing the troops scheduled to come home.
(Note: appeal to sympathy - it's the military. Also, the chance to get something at a bargain))

I have decided to use ebay for this sale (the car isn't listed on ebay, only the payment process will be done through them). The car is already at our Military Logistic Department form Fort Bliss, TX, packed for shipping to a new owner. The Logistic Department will deliver the car to your home address in 3 days and the shipping is free for you. Since the car is in a military base, with no access you can't go there and take it, only the Logistic Department can deliver it. I will offer a 10 days period to inspect the car from the moment you receive it, before I will have your money.
(in other words, you can't see the car - just trust me).

If you agree with my price $2900, I need your FULL NAME AND COMPLETE ADDRESS, so I can inform ebay motors that I have a buyer! I will forward your details to them and then you will receive an invoice(with no further obligations or fees). Like this you'll be able to talk with them directly and ask all you want to know.
(eventually, he'll ask me to send it through Western Union, and poof goes my cash).

Hope to hear from you soon,
Sgt. XXX

Here's the info on the scam from eBay motors. I may play this jerk around for a while just on general principles. I know enough military folks that I could probably tie him in knots.

UPDATED 3/18 - so far, I've come across this scam three times in the last week. I haven't bought a car yet, but I have had some fun with the turkeys at the other end. Once said he was in Great Falls, and he ran for the hills when I told him I had a cousing stationed at Malmstrom AFB.

Good times, good times.

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