doubt that anyone on this forum would fall for this scam but you may be
asked for advice from less knowledgeable friends and relatives. Craig's
list and AutoTraderClassics have been flooded with fraudulent ads the
past few days. This scam has been going on for some time on Craig's
list sites along the east coast but the last few days has seen a flurry
of these fraudulent ads showing up on AutoTrader.
The adds list a car for a fraction of its market value to generate
interest. The "seller" often states that they have been deployed to
Afghanistan and that they need a quick sale. They are on base away form
the car so it is not available for inspection. They then present
payment terms that use the "eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection Program"
(how ironic) even though the car is not being sold on eBay. This is how
they get you to make a deposit. Here is a link to an eBay fraud alert
that describes how the scam works.
Here is an example of a fraudster's add:
Here is an example of the response emails:
First you will receive something like this:
I am selling this car because my platoon has been sent back to
Afghanistan. The price is low because I need to sell it before November
4th. Is in excellent condition, 57k miles.
Right now I'm in a military base so I will not be able to deal in
person but I've already arranged the shipping and the title transfer
anywhere in the US. I will pay the shipping fees.
I prefer closing the transaction trough eBay system because we are both
protected. If you don't know how does the eBay Safe Pay work please let
me know so I can help you
It is still available for sale if interested, price as stated in the ad
$4,900. The car is in Baltimore, MD, in case it gets sold I will take
care of shipping.
LT Kimberly Walker
2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment
Then you will get this:
The sale will be managed by eBay for our own protection as they act as a neutral third part.
eBay will keep the money until you inspect/drive the vehicle. The title is clear.
This is how the Vehicle Purchase Protection Program works:
1. I will contact eBay and give all the info about this deal.
2. They will email us the forms which are needed for our deal.
3. You will send the payment ($4900) to eBay and they will notify me to ship the vehicle to your location.
4. After you will inspect/drive the vehicle and decide to keep it, eBay will forward me the funds and the deal is done.
Remember you have 5 days to test it. If by any reason the vehicle is
not as described or if you find any problems with it I will pay for the
returning fees. I'm sure it won't be the case because it's a state of
art looking and working vehicle. I apologize if it seems like I'm
pushing on this deal but I really want to be sure everything is
clarified before any further steps.
If you wish to purchase it please provide me your full name, address so I can initiate the deal through eBay.