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Seller BEWARE

 

In the old car hobby, you will certainly meet plenty of good hearted and honest people, but because there is money involved in the old car hobby, you will also at times come across the greedy low lifes who will do any and everything they can to swindle a buck.  Of course the most common issues are of someone hiding, concealing, or misrepresenting their vehicle and selling it to an unsuspecting individual who finds out sometime down the road that instead of finding a great old car, he in fact bought a total piece of junk.  The old saying of "buyer beware" comes up as sound advice for those in the market of purchasing an old car that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is and to be sure to always assume the worst and thoroughly check everything you can on the vehicle so you know exactly what you are getting into.  On the flip side, I would rather like to take this opportunity to show the other side of the table and exclaim "SELLER BEWARE".  Ok, ok, so what am I talking about.  Well obviously as you are reading this, you no doubt are aware of the ever-growing and expanding popularity, resourcefulness, and usefulness of the internet.  Along with the growth of the internet comes continuous and an ever-growing presence of security issues and new venues for scams and cons.  One of the most prevalent and popular schemes that is affecting the old car hobby is one of the use of counterfeit cashier's checks.  The basic method of this scam is that the criminals tend to target classified ads, such as the classifieds on RGV OldCars website and will make contact with the individual selling the car or merchandise.  Usually the "interested party" is located outside the United States and will contact the seller with notice that they are interested in buying the car or item from them.  The buyer will often be willing to pay the full asking price without any negotiations whatsoever and without ever having seen the vehicle in person.  The seller is told that a money order or cashier's check will be sent them in an excess amount above the purchase price.  Excuses are given such as the excess amount is to be used to pay for the shipping of the vehicle to the overseas location or that the money order or cashier's check is coming from an associate in the US that owes the buyer money and so they ask you to take the money out for the purchase of the vehicle, take out however much is needed for the shipping, and wire the remainder of the funds to the buyer.  Or, they will specify a shipping agent and ask that you transfer the moneys to the shipping agent after the cashier's check has cleared and the seller has the money.  In most cases the money is sent to locations in West Africa ( Nigeria ).  Because a cashier's check or money order is used, a bank will typically release the funds immediately or after only a day or two.  Falsely believing the check has cleared, the seller wires the remainder of the money as he has been instructed.  In some cases, the seller has gone through with placing their vehicles on cargo ships, or been convinced that something has come up that the sale of the vehicle is being cancelled and the seller returns all the remaining funds to the "prospective buyer".  After some time, the bank notifies the seller (victim) that the check or money order was fraudulent and the bank holds the seller responsible for the full amount of the funds of the check.  In the cases of individuals sending their vehicles overseas, the cars are lost all together and because it was "sold" insurance companies will not honor claims on the vehicles.  The false cashier's checks and money orders take much longer than is believed to go through the US banking system and often get bounced around or lost in investigations long before the bank is given final notice that the check is fraudulent.  This scam is very popular and several of our own have been contacted with just such scams.  In fact, unfortunately, one of our local old car hobbyists actually fell for it and was hurt pretty badly.  He feels bad enough, so I won't bother mentioning his name here.  The FBI and other US Department of Justice agencies are well aware of this scam and are constantly doing what they can to help prevent it and help catch those who are doing it.  If you feel that you have fallen victim to this or any other type of internet fraud or if you have been contacted about such a scam, you may notify federal agencies through the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) through their website at www.ifccfbi.gov  Also you can contact your local FBI office and make them aware of the details.  A BIG caution and warning to all selling their vehicles to be aware of such scams and if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Don't take cashier's checks or money orders for amounts far greater than sale price or be duked into forwarding funds back to a buyer for other "excess" reasons.  Also be very cautious when it comes to sales to any overseas countries at all.  The best sale is always face to face with an honest exchange and where a good ol' handshake can always seal the deal.   

 


 

  If you have any questions, suggestions, or topics you would like us to research and add to our Tips & Services page, please contact us.  We will update the page with information and research that will assist all in the old car hobby.

 


 

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,

but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. - Psalm 20:7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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