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Old 04.11.2019, 19:50
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Car-buying scam?

I've just advertised a car for sale. (Yeah, I need to list it here too, so FMF has something to do this evening.) The day after I placed the ad, I received an SMS from a certain André (telephone number not visible, therefore reply by SMS not possible... strange) asking if the car was still available and requesting a reply by email.

So I email André, "Yep, do you want to see it?"

He replies asking whether the transmission has been repaired (strange question) and asking my lowest selling price.

I reply that the car is great and so is the price I've asked, just compare it to any other similar car for sale. But I'll throw in a service at a dealer garage, or take CHF 1,000 off the price.

André replies thusly (approximately; his German isn't great and his Sies and Dus alternate. I suspect his emails are Google-translated. This is my translation of his email):

--------

Thanks for your answer. I am satisfied with the conditions and agree with the price. I would like to inform you that my shipping agency will be ready for collection as soon as the payment has been completed and approved by the bank and the carrier. An agent will help me complete all the other details required to complete the deal when he arrives to pick up the car at your home address.

I would like you to send me your bank details so that I can complete payment for the car.

Your bank details:
Your full name:

As soon as I have made the payment, my private shipping company will come to your home to pick up the car.

Have a nice day.

Cheers.

--------

Scam?

But how could this guy get his greedy mitts on my cash if all he's got is my IBAN and my name? Is that sufficient?
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Old 04.11.2019, 20:00
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Re: Car-buying scam?

It's an old scam - I first came across it in the wild about 10 years ago when somebody supposedly in Sweden was interested in a colleague's Clio advertised in Switzerland. Fortunately my colleague decided not to proceed with the sale

Basically - there will be a shipping cost, so the scammer will send you a payment for asking price + shipping cost and ask you to pay the shipping cost to another account supposedly belonging to the shipping agency. Once you've done that the original payment will be reversed, presumably because it has come out of an account used fraudulently. End result: you're down on the shipping cost. Something like that anyway - it used to be done with rubber cheques.

https://www.autoshippers.co.uk/car_shipping_scam.htm
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Old 04.11.2019, 20:06
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Re: Car-buying scam?

Scam. As described by hairybadger. Someone tried this with a friend recently as well, no such luck
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Old 04.11.2019, 20:41
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Re: Car-buying scam?

fraud
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Old 04.11.2019, 20:58
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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I've just advertised a car for sale. (Yeah, I need to list it here too, so FMF has something to do this evening.) The day after I placed the ad, I received an SMS from a certain André (telephone number not visible, therefore reply by SMS not possible... strange) asking if the car was still available and requesting a reply by email.

So I email André, "Yep, do you want to see it?"

He replies asking whether the transmission has been repaired (strange question) and asking my lowest selling price.

I reply that the car is great and so is the price I've asked, just compare it to any other similar car for sale. But I'll throw in a service at a dealer garage, or take CHF 1,000 off the price.

André replies thusly (approximately; his German isn't great and his Sies and Dus alternate. I suspect his emails are Google-translated. This is my translation of his email):

--------

Thanks for your answer. I am satisfied with the conditions and agree with the price. I would like to inform you that my shipping agency will be ready for collection as soon as the payment has been completed and approved by the bank and the carrier. An agent will help me complete all the other details required to complete the deal when he arrives to pick up the car at your home address.

I would like you to send me your bank details so that I can complete payment for the car.

Your bank details:
Your full name:

As soon as I have made the payment, my private shipping company will come to your home to pick up the car.

Have a nice day.

Cheers.

--------

Scam?

But how could this guy get his greedy mitts on my cash if all he's got is my IBAN and my name? Is that sufficient?
Far better to list it here, I sold 3 vehicles here very satisfactory if the asking price was in the ballpark. Under 24 hours was my quickest sale to a A Swiss in the US, paid for & collected in that time frame!
Strangely my sale threads & vehicle purchase threads where I have purchased have all vanished. If reselling it's good to show previous transactions of the forum, there were 2 on a motorbike I sold.
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Old 04.11.2019, 21:02
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Re: Car-buying scam?

The moment they start talking about shipping is the moment you delete the email and forget about that guy. Typical export guys are the ones who'll ask if you are home tonight and if so come-by with a stash of cash to lure you in to a quick and cheap deal.
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Old 04.11.2019, 21:04
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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The moment they start talking about shipping is the moment you delete the email and forget about that guy. Typical export guys are the ones who'll ask if you are home tonight and if so come-by with a stash of cash to lure you in to a quick and cheap deal.
Interesting attitude, however most of the cars on the road in Malta were purchased from the U.K. or Japan second hand.

Cash is always king in second hand car deals, even so in CH.

One of the cars I sold on the forum went to a members brother, a dealer in Poland, he came & paid cash & drove the car to Poland on German 5 day export plates.
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Old 04.11.2019, 22:27
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Re: Car-buying scam?

The guy sounded fishy, right from his first email. And now, after I asked him for his contact details, he has replied with a virtual copy-paste of his last email:

------------------

Thanks for your answer. I am satisfied with the conditions and agree with the price. I would like to inform you that my shipping company is ready for collection as soon as the payment has been completed and approved by the bank and the carrier. An agent would like (sic) to help me complete all other details required for closing the deal when he arrives to pick up at your home address.

I would like you to provide me with your bank details so that I can complete the car payment as soon as possible.

Once I have made the payment, my forwarding agent will come to your home to collect the car.

Have a nice day.

Cheers.

------------------

He literally wrote "Prost" at the end of his email.
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Old 04.11.2019, 22:52
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Re: Car-buying scam?

To be honest, as soon as someone talks about buying a car sight unseen I get suspicious.

I recently had two cars advertised and the same guy wrote for both cars. It went very quiet when I asked him which one he was interested in as they were both apparently for his wife... and they were very different types of car.
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Old 04.11.2019, 22:56
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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To be honest, as soon as someone talks about buying a car sight unseen I get suspicious.
I bought mine unseen through EF

Just gave my offer and if they would take it they would have to drive it to my home the next evening where I would pay cash.
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Old 04.11.2019, 22:57
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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To be honest, as soon as someone talks about buying a car sight unseen I get suspicious.

I recently had two cars advertised and the same guy wrote for both cars. It went very quiet when I asked him which one he was interested in as they were both apparently for his wife... and they were very different types of car.
Maybe he has two very different types of wife.

Last edited by doropfiz; 05.11.2019 at 00:03.
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Old 04.11.2019, 23:38
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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Yeah, I need to list it here too
Please wait until Friday
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Old 05.11.2019, 07:53
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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Maybe he has two very different types of wife.
Actually they are my cars for sale, one is a Renault van, one is a Smart. So yes, very different.

I won't advertise them here because some years ago when I advertised a car the comments were rude and insulting. So bad in fact that a mod stepped in and deleted them because personal attacks on the type of car someone chooses to drive are inappropriate.

So I will stick with the usual websites and while the risk of scammers is out there, so are the potential buyers.
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Old 05.11.2019, 08:12
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Re: Car-buying scam?

Wait until somebody collects the car and pay them 10,000 extra for the favour ...
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Old 05.11.2019, 12:14
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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Scam?
Smells like a "Dreiecksbetrug". I do not know the English term, triangle fraud?

It involves unsuspecting seller A, unsuspecting buyer B, and scammer S.

Scammer "sells" B the same or similar item as A is selling to B.
Scammer buys the item from A and forwards payment details to B.
B pays into A's account. S collects item from A and vanishes.
B never gets item and sues A. Unless it was a dricet debit/Lastschrift the money can not be easiliy pulled back from A's account.

Variants in addition to the above:
- A gets a check which never clears.
- A does not get the money into own bank account but through Western Union. This helps to muddle things.
- A does not get the money into own bank account but it is hold by a "trusted" escrow company. Escrow is totaly fake.
- After car was collected you get informed that it was an imposter and collection was not authorized by the buyer.
- A does get more money than agreed. Extra money shall be used to pay shipping company. (With the fake escrow you certainly not only lose the car but also good money as well.)
- A gets a pre-filled in sales contract. Certain relevant details on contract about the vehicle are inaccurate and wrong. Like age, millage, or pristine condition.
- A gets tricked to unwillingly agree on a sales contract by mail, phone, or massenger. Be aware that a car sale does not need a written and signed sales contract to be valid.
- At collection time minor issues are blown out of proportion, non existing problems are invented, price is haggled down. Extra problems if there is already an existing sales contract, specially one with wrong details.
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Old 05.11.2019, 12:16
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Re: Car-buying scam?

Its worth pointing out that Switzerland is an attractive market for many outside the country. Swiss cars are usually well taken care (full service history), well specced and in some instances the exchange rate could be favourable. So I wouldn't necesserily be that suspicious if someone in Hungary, Poland, France etc.. was interested in my car.

However 22yards experience does sound like a scam.
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Old 05.11.2019, 12:16
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Re: Car-buying scam?

I agree with the others, this is most likely a scam, however, there are other ramifications.

With you name and IBAN he cannot do much, true. But he also has your address. Perhaps he'll also want to know your date of birth? He can gradually build up a profile on you and that's when he can start to scam you big time.
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Old 05.11.2019, 12:30
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Re: Car-buying scam?

We sold our car to the dealer where we bought a new one. Might have lost some money, but the peace of mind is priceless.....

It's not only about the potential scammers (btw OP, it does look like a "scheme"). I can't deal with people coming to see, telling you it's OK we have a deal, then changing their mind.
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Old 05.11.2019, 13:21
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Re: Car-buying scam?

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We sold our car to the dealer where we bought a new one. Might have lost some money, but the peace of mind is priceless.....

It's not only about the potential scammers (btw OP, it does look like a "scheme"). I can't deal with people coming to see, telling you it's OK we have a deal, then changing their mind.
The dealer buying it is the easiest option and the dealer usually offers a guarantee. My issue is that when that dealer has always done the service and the car is under warranty how much added value do they bring? That is the issue with both my vehicles which are still under warranty.

Some dealers will advertise the car for you and find a buyer, taking a small commission. They usually only do this is you are buying another car. Of course you need to be able to buy the newer car without having sold the older one first.
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Old 05.11.2019, 13:38
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Re: Car-buying scam?

Thanks, everybody, for confirming my suspicions (which were solidified when I received the virtually copy-pasted email). So much easy money out there for those unscrupulous enough to go after it.

I would happily have traded my car in against the new one I'm buying, but for the tiny issue that the trade-in offer was 60% of the low-ball value of the car... but that's another (legal) scam all of its own.

Expect a used car ad here on EF shortly.
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