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Discussion Starter #1
Fellow Enthusiasts,

I have been perusing the online car sales websites and discovered something rather strange. I would find a car on a site, listed for a ridiculously attractive price, beautiful pictures, wonderful description for sale in a particular town. I would cut and paste part of the description and do an internet search and low and behold... that same car, same picture, same description, different but still ridiculously attractive price is for sale in a different town in a different state.

I inquired, and got the response: "... just got a divorce, car is sealed to be shipped, selling through eBay Shipping, click on link, fill out form, send deposit, hold in escrow, ship car to you, if you like, will charge full amount to your account, if you don't like the car, ship back on my dime and get full refund..."

Or: "... I'm shipping out for military duty..."

Or: "... being relocated to Canada due to business, I am on an oil rig for 18 months..."

Yes, these are scams designed to at least collect your personal info, but also get you to send that deposit, send those gift cards, or whatever.

Here is the rub: these scams are getting very sophisticated. Entire web sites are a designed scam, many vehicles advertised on the site are a scam to lure you in and get your personal info and steal your money. You are asked to enter you name and email to inquire of which you will receive a response in your mailbox thanking you about inquiring. There would be a link you are asked to click on to "start the deal", and you are swindled. Or, you are sent to a very professional looking multi page web site describing how to purchase the car you inquired about. Great pictures, beautiful webpage design, great FAQ page. But you notice there are no phone numbers, or the headquarters of the company is in another country, or the address listed shows up on Google maps to a warehouse complex in the middle of nowhere. You do a business search to check if they are registered/licensed in that or any State and find no hits.

I believe there are only a few individuals that are seeding the internet with these really nice looking sites. They find previous cars ads and auctions on the web, reuse the images and some if not all of the previous text, and put them on their own fabricated not legit sales web sites designed to look like and blend in with the many legit site on the web.

I have found a couple of sites that have bogus ads:

If you get to a nice conversation with the "seller" or "sellers agent", tell (don't ask) that you would like to inspect the car personally. You may get some lame excuses. OK, then ask for an image of the title, the VIN on the car and a local newspaper with today's date all in the same photo be sent to you. Perhaps a wide shot of the car with something very specific like an open umbrella covering the rear tire. Consider a Facetime conversation. Do whatever to verify (or weed out) the legit from the scam.

If you know of any confirmed scams, please chime in. If enough of you write about this, it will be easier to search for scam patterns and more difficult for the scam artists to come up with new original ideas.

Please copy and paste this to other car enthusiast forums. Make this go viral.

Caveat Emptor.
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