Thursday, February 28, 2008

Used Car Buyers: Beware of New Scam

I don't usually post anything about scames, but a friend was almost pulled into this one: A guy is selling a car at an incredible bargain. He's in the military overseas and can't take it with him to his next duty post. Where he is stationed it's impossible sell a car (because the citizens of that country have to pay a big import duty, or whatever). He'll even supply the car's VIN. (On the deal my friend was considering, I did a search on eBay using the VIN, and found that the car with that VIN had recently been sold by a dealer in Texas. The scammers are geting legitimate VIN numbers for sale on eBay.)

The seller says a military aircraft will bring it to you free--right! All you have to do is send him half the money--that's the tip-off--which will be held in escrow by eBay.
Problem is, eBay doesn't hold money in escrow. The seller will have you wire the money to what he says is an escrow acocunt, but it's really a Western Union pickup.

You'll get an assurance that the car is being put on to a military plane, then you'll never hear from the guy or see your car gain. This scam has been posted on Craig's List and similar venues recently. Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. (And the words "escrow," "overseas shipping," and "guaranteed" are alarms.)

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