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I’m trying to sell my FLHTCU Harley on Craigslist. Below is a series of emails a scammer initiated with me, trying to get me to buy a report about the bike for him to supposedly look at. As you can see I start out thinking he is legit, even though in his very first email there was a hint of his scamming (when he says he’s planning to pay cash—my terms were cash to begin with—so the guy/girl is obviously churning emails that are not responsive to my ad, but just vague enough). His third message starts showing all the bad grammar you often see with scammers so by this point the flags are going off. The request for a report seems reasonable enough at first, but when he twice asks for a particular brand of report, the penny finally drops for me. I’m posting this all here so you all might benefit from what bogus buyers can look like. He didn’t “get me” as you can see from my last message. All I lost was my time. Drair

From Him: Benjamin King <[email protected]>Hello, I am planning to pay in cash in case we make a deal, however would you accept a lower price for harley in that case?

From Me: I’ll negotiate. Cash-only. Cash in hand.

From Him: I'd like to gather more official information about bike before moving on, perhaps you have a vin report to show?

From Me: I got two free reports and have tried to attach them to this email. Don’t know if they’ll make it via the CL forwarding process. If not just email me directly. I’ll send them separately that way. Anyway, if you want a CarFax report these have the VIN you can research with. I’m not too worried about selling the bike so this is all I care to do at this time and because I know it to be in good condition. Let me know if you want to see it.

From Him: My experience with free reports was a disaster, I obtained same report the last time I was buying a bike through Craigslist. It was clean, but later I discovered that the bike was damaged in accident. I got the advice from my mechanic to try ultimavin.com and it was much better and also cheaper than carfax. Could you get the report from them please? I don't want to get one cause I couldn't use it if I don't buy that bike. You, on the other hand, can still show it to other interested parties.

From Me: Where are you located? If you come look at the bike and are still interested I’ll get the report unless it costs more than about $30. MY EXPERIENCE on CL is that lots of ads generate come ons to buy selling services.

From Him: Sorry but I really need to see the report first so I can be assured that everything is okay with it. A year ago, when I was buying my previous bike, it came with clean report, but soon after I've realized that it was a lemon. I was told to try ultimavin.com and it reported many problems. That's the reason why I'm requesting it now, I do not want to make the same mistake again. As I wrote before, I was planning to come from Dayton next week to check your bike in case that report comes clean, so keep me posted please.

From Me: We're done. There will be no UltraVIN report. Stop writing to me.

(and I never heard from him again..):surprise:
 

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There seems to be an never ending supply of scams. My experience is E-Mail usually ends in scams. I no longer allow its use when selling stuff. I usually never allow long distance sales for the general public. Long distance sales are reserved for special interest communities like active forums where people have demonstrated some level of trust.
 

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I hear ya! I have a souvenir $2400 check from one of these guys, and he has no item. Took the check to the bank and they told me they wouldn't deposit or cash it, ever. I let the buyer (scammer) know we were done and never heard from them again, even after I offered to send it back. Watch out for "Sgt. Suarez" from Arizona! He tried to buy my Aspencade and a set of tires from a co-worker. When we compared the text he sent us, it was word for word the same with exception of the item he was going to buy. It's a jungle out there.
 

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This scam doesnt seem about fraudulently getting your vehicle like the older scams. I would guess that they could actually care less about obtaining your bike. It looks like they more interested in directing you to a site to trick you into buying their report (generates money for them right away) and then also obtaining your info and credit card number which they can then sell and scam you that way. You made the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This scam doesnt seem about fraudulently getting your vehicle like the older scams. I would guess that they could actually care less about obtaining your bike. It looks like they more interested in directing you to a site to trick you into buying their report (generates money for them right away) and then also obtaining your info and credit card number which they can then sell and scam you that way. You made the right choice.
Precisely. He or she had no intention of buying anything, only getting me to buy his report or like you say, getting my credit card details.
 

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I BUY SELL LOTS ON CRAIGSLIST N EBAY . SCAMMERS ON ALL !!! HAVE OVER $200,000 OF THERE "BAD MONEY " IN CERTIFIED CHECKS. I GET THEM TO MAIL CHECK TO MY SHOP C/O "CARL CUMSALOT " MOST WILL SEND 2 DAY MAIL BUT SOMETIMES I HIT THE JACKPOT AND THEY ' LL OVERNITE IT $30 BUCKS. SOON AS THEY GIVE TRACKING # I DONT REPOND ANYMORE :wink2: BE AWARE SOME EVEN USE PAYPAL. SEND EXACT SCREEN SHOT AS PAYPAL. THEY TELL YOU CAUSE YOUR SUCH A GOOD PAYPAL CUSTOMER THAT "KEVIN" ( EVAMPLE) WILL HANDLE YOUR TRANSACTION :surprise: EVERYTHING LOOKS LEGIT . BUT !!!! PAYPAL DONT WORK THAT WAY ! THEY WILL ALSO USE EBAY . MOST WILL POST SAY A GOLDWING TRIKE - 2004 FOR $2200 = TO GOOD TO BE TRUE = IT AINT ! GOOD LUCK
 

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As a seller, I would never consider buying a VIN report of any kind. That is the buyer's responsibility in my estimation.

If a buyer is really interested in buying, they will front the money for any kind of report they are interested in and make contract with whomever it is that will produce such report.
 

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Good for you for spotting the scam, and thank you for posting about it.

Even in my role as a technology security professional I'm amazed at the creativity and energy people put into scams, when they could make a lot more money honestly.

Part of my speaking engagements are about how most online (and real-life) crime is enabled by anonymity. Privacy online (and in real life) is sacred, but anonymity leads to scams and crimes of all natures. Yet nobody is working on solving the problem... If there were a way to create a second Internet that required a cheap license to participate on (just like forums require you to sign up, and the FCC requires a license to transmit on frequency bands), it would cut down on a lotta lotta crime.
 

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Very interesting post here:
This guy does indeed sound very legit..... I myself probably would have fallen for his request ....

*** I have to thank you for opening up my eyes to what and can happen *** I'm afraid that I'd be too naive, and sent him the info that he wanted, as I'm only "thinking" about a sale here!

Of course I have never sold anything, via e bay, or bought anything ,so I would have been the perfect, easy canidate to scam..........WOW! Thanks again! See I just learned something this morning, I trust too many folks!

Ronnie
 

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From me: You have the VIN off of the Carfax report. Pay for as many independent reports you like. Good luck with the next seller, sucker!
 

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Do a search on that website and scams and I believe you'll find that is a site where they harvest your CC number.

Several people have reported credit card fraud after getting the report.
 

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If it was me and in their 1st email they ask me to lower my price before they even lay eyes on what I'm selling, I immediately hit the delete button without a response. End of story.
 

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Scammers and crooks are always thinking of new ways to steal, nothing new. I never buy online except from known vendors like Amazon and have never had a problem. I have sold items through Craigslist, Letgo and Facebook Marketplace and never have had a problem. But I only sell to someone who will pay cash, and who will pick up the item. I will not ship. Usually I bring the item into my garage for the time/date the buyer has arranged to come. Nothing much else in my garage that they might be tempted to later break in to steal other than things like my Goldwing that I have insured. I am always discreetly armed and very alert. So far never have had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If it was me and in their 1st email they ask me to lower my price before they even lay eyes on what I'm selling, I immediately hit the delete button without a response. End of story.
Half agree. But if you want to sell I think you end up cutting the stranger a bit of slack. Everybody does things a little different. Plus some people can't express themselves too well in writing.

I had a guy show up to buy a truck of mine once, and he offered me less than I'd take so I turned him down. He came back with, "Well around here, if your ad says 'best offer' and that's what I offered, you should accept it." Of course I knew he was full of it (this wasn't a game of Name Your Price!) but still to this day I can't quite believe he thought that way. Or he thought I was really, really stupid and gullible. :?
 

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I’ve received a couple messages about my GW from Craigslist Pfishers, here’s the latest. I haven’t looked at the referenced site but I’ll bet it isn't free!


"Thank you for sending me VIN but I don't want to take it myself because I’ll just waste money if we don't make a deal. I'd recommend you to generate one from checkinsightsvin.com since I think they're currently the most reliable. It's good for you to have one as a proof for all interested buyers even if I don't buy your bike.

Looking forward to hear from you soon, Stephen Sarmin”

I reminded him I don’t want "related services”!
 

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The wife got into one selling and antique Stingray Bicycle for one of our drivers.
They sent the fake check and it was so bad you could tell it came off a copy machine.
 

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The first obvious clue is their grammar sucks! It’s copy & paste bullsh*t from a template & soooo bad! How anyone falls for these scams is beyond me . . . :shrug:
 

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When I sold my VTX and Harley, I had the same thing - get the VIN report for me!
It is definitely a scam. Not sure what happens if you go on that site, but I never did. As others said, it's not my job to get the report.
When I sold my Harley, they tried to scam me. Guy called that he was on his way so I told him to meet me at my bank. Waited for 2 hours but they never showed and his cell phone was suddenly "not in service." Glad I didn't have them come to the house. If it sounds suspicious, run!
Glad you didn't get caught up in it.
 
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