Selling a used car these days seems to be riskier than ever, even when the seller does everything by the book.
Just ask Michael and Christy Childers of Hardin County, Ky.
The couple recently decided to sell their 2010 Corvette convertible on Craigslist and thought they had hit paydirt after just a few weeks.
The caller “told me he was going to buy it for his son who was graduating from college,” Michael Childers said. “I thought that was a very unusual and expensive gift, but I felt good about it.”
Childers’ next step sounds like one that many people would take to make sure he and his wife weren’t being ripped off, getting the buyer to deal directly with their bank.
“We thought getting a cashier’s check and getting them to send it directly to our financial institution and paying our loan off was going to be the best way to go,” Christy Childers said.
Who would think anything could go wrong doing things this way?
The cashier’s check cleared the bank – which we don’t understand how that could happen, considering that it turned out to be on a bogus Capital One account – and the buyer asked Michael to leave the car in the driveway overnight with the keys by the back tire and he would pick it up.
“We thought it was unusual, but we had his money as far as we knew,” Michael Childers said.
For some reason, just a couple of days later, the couple saw their car on Chicago’s Craigslist and had a feeling they might have been snookered.
After calling and obtaining a copy of the check that had been sent to the bank by the buyer, the Childerses called Capital One and were told that the routing number and check number were bogus.
The couple immediately called the Kentucky State Patrol to report their car had been stolen.
Here’s where the story takes a happy turn, though.
Kudos to the KSP and to investigators in Illinois, who quickly worked together on a sting operation outside of Chicago that resulted in the arrest of two people who were in the stolen Corvette. Police hope this is a break that could help them stop a major auto theft ring, though they know the two arrests are just the tip of the iceberg and more people are involved.
“One of the recommendations on Craigslist that I didn’t listen to was to meet at a police station,” Michael Childers said.
After a wild story like this, the couple has decided to keep their Corvette.
“I have no desire to sell it anymore,” Michael says. “I’m going to keep it.”
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