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Overseas Buyer Scams Abound

by Keith Cornett on August 10, 2005

The most common scam we see on our classified ads site is from “buyers” requesting information from our sellers in an attempt to scam the car from the owner using counterfeit bank checks. Usually you can spot these scams based on the “buyers” poor use of the English language as well as a request for the sellers photos, location and the “last price” of the car. Many times the “buyer” will come right out and ask if the seller will take a “certified bank check drawn on a US bank”.

The “buyer” almost always uses a yahoo.com, yahoo.co.uk or other free email service and may post an international phone number.

Here is an example of request received buy one of these “buyers”:

MESSAGE:
Hello, please back to me if the vehicle is still for sale with present location, pictures and last asking price. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

I did a geographical lookup of the IP address and found the “buyer” to be located in Lago, Nigeria.

My favorite type of scam request is when these scammers cut and paste from a script that was given to them and either don’t realize what they are requesting or simply don’t care. After the above user sent through about 20 of these requests to our sellers (all of which were blocked), he sent this request to the seller of a 1985 coupe:

MESSAGE:
Hello, thanks for urgent reply accorded to this transaction. In reply state the total cost of our reservation bill for the whole periods of the delegates stay. We wish to inform you to state the cost in Euro currency to enable us to know the exact amount we are paying. Thanks

IP Address: 196.3.60.17

My Name is: carlos todd
My Email is: carol_autos@yahoo.com
My Telephone is: +4478976098767

Sellers should carefully scrutinize all communications from potential buyers and if there is something that doesn’t seem quite right, it probably isn’t.

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