Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Well, I guess that was bound to happen sooner or later

Day two of the reality of trying to sell a car - it's not something I've ever done before, but I wasn't born yesterday. I've had a couple of emails from a bloke in Ireland who sounds interested - only time will tell if he makes an offer. And I've had this email, coming from the Auto Trader website:

1)Dear Sir/Madam,
I am interested in purchasing this vehicle ,it suits my requirements perfectly,I run two garages ,one in Dublin and the other in the Netherlands , i shuffle most of my time between the two .
THESE ARE MY TERMS OF TRANSACTION:

1) I AM OKAY WITH THE STATED PRICE OF £13,995
2) I WILL BE PAYING WITH A BANKER'S DRAFT / CHEQUE WHICH I WILL ALLOW TO CLEAR BEFORE THE PICKUP/SHIPMENT OF THE CAR.

3) I WILL INCLUDE FEES FOR SHIPMENT IN PAYMENT, THIS MY SHIPPING AGENCY WILL USE FOR PICK-UP.

The excess funds will go towards covering costs for shipping,shippers fees,insurance,tax and any other expenses that might be incurred getting it down to the new owner.

I will want you to get in touch with the following details if my terms are okay:

FULL
NAME............................
ADDRESS........................
TELEPHONE NUMBERS...................( Mobile and Land)

As soon as i have your details,i can have payment effected immediately,all things being equal,we should have this wrapped up by the end of this week.

Pls note that you'll have to send on the balance on the funds that you'll get to my shipper so he can come attend to the pick up as soon as you make the car ready.

I beleive that most transaction are based on trust,so i will look forward to a succesful transaction with you.

Best Regards,

Harry.

P.S:Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any further questions............. (07031912188/07031911849)


Now, it's perfectly possible that this is on the level. I might be elected the next Pope, too. But to my mind it sounds rather too Nigerian for my liking.

First there's the Yahoo email account it originated from. Then there's the '1)dear sir/madam' bit, and the fact that he doesn't mention the type of car. He seems very keen to give me my asking price too - "'ere, Burt. This bloke won't 'aggle." The poor spelling is another clue, although that can't be taken as a sure sign of a scam these days, more's the pity. I think I might be more suspicious of an email that was 100% correct in spelling and grammar.

But the real clincher is the fact that he's going to send me too much money (though he doesn't say how much too much.) Surely his shipping agent can just bill him for what he owes. After all, he's a trustworthy fellow.

The way this works is quite simple, and make use of the banking laws introduced to stop money laundering. Should I take him up on this kind offer, funds will indeed be credited to my bank account, and the day they are cleared, a well-spoken fellow will turn up to take the car away. At this point I'm supposed to write him a cheque to cover his expenses, say a teary farewell to my beloved Alfa, and watch as it is towed up the road, never to be seen again.

The very next day, or possibly even later the same day, there will be a money laundering query on the bank transfer, the full sum will be automatically deducted from my account and returned to the issuing bank. That's all the money, including the check I've just written to cover the transport expenses. So not only does this crook steal my car, he also gets me to pay him to take it away.

What amazes me is that some people fall for this, but apparently they do.

There are other scams - fake bankers drafts, counterfeit money, or simply paying with cash and then sending a couple of heavies around later to demand it back with threats of violence. The old test drive drive-off routine is apparently still a favourite. The prospective purchaser gets you to drive him a short way in your car 'to see how it goes,' then suggests he has a turn. Don't dawdle as you swap seats, otherwise you'll see your pride and joy disappearing in a plume of dust and you'll be left looking stupid at the side of the road, miles away from home, too.

Actually, never hand over the keys unless you're sitting in the passenger seat with your seatbelt on. And also not until you've seen his insurance certificate. The world is, apparently, full of thieving bastards out to get you at every turn.

Maybe it would be easier just to keep the car.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just got one of these too. it's obviously a scam.

First thing I did was to google some of the text and your blog came up.

thanks for posting.

September 10, 2008 5:05 pm  

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