Thursday, February 9, 2012

Scammers, Scammers Everywhere!

Nowhere is safe anymore! We've been looking for a car the last few weeks, because my husband's truck is just not good enough on gas for his daily commute to work and we can't afford to keep using it as a commuter vehicle. So we thought we'd look for a "beater" car we could pay cash for from our tax refund, and started our search in the online classifieds.

There were several cars listed in our price range, but some of them jumped out at us because they were in great condition, had low miles and they were priced way below one would expect. I know sometimes people are desperate to sell and will therefore take a loss, but when I saw several of the sellers were taking a $2000 loss on a $3000 car, or a $3000 loss on $4500 car, that seemed a little too good to be true. But there was still a part of me that was hoping that maybe this was legit. I mean, they had several pictures posted for the car, had all the details a person would want to know, and even admitted to a few tiny dings....So I looked for a phone number. There wasn't one. I couldn't find a contact name either. I could only contact the seller via email. Well, that got my suspicion up even more. I was sure at this point that something was up, but I couldn't just let it go. I had to see what this person would say if I expressed interest.

I sent an email saying simply "When can we come look at the car?" The next day I got a deeply personal sounding response:

The 2001 Ford Focus SE is in perfect condition, no electric problems, no accidents/liens/loans. No scratches, never been repainted. Ihave all the car manuals, title,documents. I'm selling this car because my child of only 23 died 4 months ago in a car accident,a drunk driver hit him and his fiancee. He was with his fiance's car coming to our home at his little brother birthday of 15 years old. The car belonged to my son and it brings me bad memories and that's the reason I want to sell it. The last price is $1,500. Me and my husband travel a lot with our business and we want to make this deal through eBay's Buyer Protection Program. I just need your full name,full shipping address, home/cell # so I can open a case.(with no further obligation or fees).eBay will contact you with all the Transaction/shipping details you will need.We will take care of the shipping so don't worry.
We hope to hear soon from you.

P.S. For more pictures please click the link
http://www.use.com/599b37d25b69b92b5cee

Thank you for your interest!Ella and Ben Genton


Also you have here some details about the Focus:
Mileage: 84,300 miles
Vehicle title: Clear
Engine: 2.0L L4 PFI SOHC 8V
Transmission type: Automatic

Well, it turns out I had read up on this type of scam, and knew what would follow. They would require that I wire them the money, and then they would say the car would be shipped. There is no car to ship. Also, eBay states clearly on their website that they do not allow wire-transfers. So you'll be out the money and have no car to show for it.

Anyway, don't fall for a deal like this. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! There are ways to get a car that is affordable, and often you can find those deals on classified sites. But never pay for a car you haven't seen from someone you don't know. Don't wire money to a stranger. When you find the scams, report them. And if you're looking for more tips on buying a car, you can read my article on Hubpages here.