Craigslist eBay Fraud – Buying a Car

One of my friends brought this story to my attention when he checked out Craigslist to purchase a car.

The First e-mail

From: “emma4jefferson@msn.com”
First of all I want to thank you for your interest for my 2003 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab SR5,automatic transmission,silver.

Only 89,500 miles,beautiful condition in and out. Paint shines ,zero dings/dents,no accident.

Non-smoker,always garaged and covered.

It comes with all the documents needed for registration and clear title.

I sell it at this price($2,740.00 ) because I have been divorced recently and i don’t have driver license.

Now the truck is in my property and as a woman i don’t need it. This truck is in excellent working conditions, no scratches, flaws or any kind of damage, slightly used in 100% working and looking conditions and comes with a clear title.

From the beginning you have to know that for the payment I request only secure pay, I prefer the payment to be done using eBay services.

We will use a safe payment method because I am affiliated at eBay and I have a purchase protection account for $20,000.00

The final price that I want for this truck is $2,740.00 including shipping and handling.
If you are interested in buying it please provide me your full name and address so I can initiate the deal through eBay.

I will wait your answer very soon.
Emma Jefferson
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Editor’s note: It’s rather obvious this person doesn’t speak English as a first language according to their writing style. Red flag? Perhaps. Also, it’s my experience that when people have stories about why they’re getting rid of something in such good condition at a dirt-cheap price, they’re usually full of shit.

Author’s note: We asked to test drive the vehicle and for the VIN to run CARFAX.

The Second e-mail

From: “emmajeffercson@msn.com”

Author’s note: (notice, different email address)

I’m sorry to disappoint you but the car is already at the shipping company in Orlando, Florida sealed and ready for the shipping.

I have a contract with eBay so this deal must go through them.

I’m very busy with my job and I’m getting off the town so I can’t meet in person with you so this is the reason why I chose to sell my car over the internet.

According with the eBay you have 5 days from the time you receive the car to inspect it and decide if you want to keep it or not.

If you want to buy it please email me your full name and address for shipping so I can initiate the transaction through eBay.

After that they will contact you for all necessary information about this transaction
(terms,buyer protection,payment instructions,invoice,etc.)
Thank you
VIN Number: 5TEHN72NX3Z166407
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Editor’s note: Again, the broken English. And “according with the eBay” strikes me as odd.

Author’s note: We ran CARFAX and the vehicle does indeed exist.
We asked for the title and registration and for her eBay username.

The Third e-mail

From: “emmajeffercson@msn.com”
Glad we can do business. I’ll start the registration process with Ebay and you will receive the information you need from them shortly, via email.
VIN Number: 5TEHN72NX3Z166407

The Invoice

The Listing

Price and Shipping Info

The Fourth e-mail

Author’s note: Received this email from “motors@contact-ebay-live.com”, reply-to “motors@ebaycheckout-inc.com”

Case ID: 65B4T137L3W13
Dear Customer,
Please tell me if you have received the invoice for payment. Once we receive the fax from you that will include the payment details as explained above, we will instruct the seller to start the shipping process. We will hold the payment until you send us your confirmation that you are satisfied with the product you received. As soon as we receive your confirmation we will release the payment to the seller. You will receive further details regarding the shipping process (courier information, tracking method, expected delivery date) after the payment confirmation.

*NOTE It may occur that your e-mail doesn’t support HTML language and that is why you haven’t received the invoice from us. Please check your bulk/junk/spam/ messages, the invoice may have ended there because of the ever increasing filters of the e-mails nowdays.
Sincerely,
Michael Kennell
eBay Safe Harbor
Customer Specialist

The Red Flags

Obviously, the broken English (at least for me) was a huge red flag. The second was the sob story regarding why the truck was selling for so cheap.

Secondly, the seller claimed the truck was on her property, but stated later that it was moved to a warehouse.

The final red flag was that payment was required through Western Union.

For the invoice and final e-mail, the messages were forwarded to spoof@ebay.com. eBay confirmed that both e-mails were in fact fraudulent.

Lessons Learned

Be careful. If you receive any official correspondence, be sure to check the “from” and “reply-to” headers in your email.

If you are unsure of the e-mail, send the e-mail to the business’s anti-fraud division. In eBay’s case, it is spoof@ebay.com.

72 thoughts on “Craigslist eBay Fraud – Buying a Car

  1. Yep, this is a scam.

    And just so you know, all offers to sell and ship a car to you – especially one at a great price – are always scams.

    Also, any stranger requesting payment through Western Union is running a scam. Western Union is a cash courier service based on only trust on both ends. The assumption is that you trust the person on the other end – why else would you be sending him thousands of dollars? Once they have their hands on you money you have no recourse. Western Union can do nothing for you – they did exactly as you requested – they sent you money to the person on the other end of the wire.

    • First off i would like to thank for this site. i read your site along with others to educate myself about internet car fraud. I have never posted a comment before about anything. I felt an obligation to post this in hopes that another person will see this and not get scammed. the add is posted on sellmycar.com. there is 2005 GMC Yukon for sale for $6000. i entered my info in the contact seller box. I got emails from someone called shirleyelliott56@msn.com. This person said they only do transaction via ebay escrow service. This scum bag told me ebay would contact me with all info for the transaction. I began to do research. I learned of all the phony invoices using ebays name and send through western union. Low and behold thats what this parasite asked to do. thank you again for this site you saved me $6000. I hope there is some way this piece of trash can be stopped.

  2. i have had a similer experaince with craigs list witch i will go into greater detail on my blog … but the basics are the buyer wanted me to hand over the product to a “hadler” and once that happened they would send money

    yea ok

  3. Its a little worrying that the handling of such a seller on ebay is so poor! The worst part about it, is the fact that other ebay sellers such as myself get a really bad reputation and will ultimately lead to drop in sales for us!

    Its not fair i tell you!

  4. Donovan,

    And any time there is profit to be made fraud is not far behind.

    eBay is pretty much an open market and by design they do minimum to police sellers. They rely on buyers to do this for them.

    I used to sell on eBay but stopped a long time ago because their costs are too high.

  5. I disagree about public auctions. We used to attend public auctions looking for lower cost cars to resell and we discovered pretty quickly that anything decent on the low end sold for way more than we could buy from private owners. The problem is the “public” brings their wallets and then they bid against each other, driving cars prices up.

    Once bidding got to the 5K and above range prices tended to flatten out and we could buy deals. But dealers tended to wholesale these cars so they were few and far between.

  6. Troy says:

    As the author of this post I want to point out that, yes, I am aware that this is a scam.

    The point in writing up this post and asking Ron to post it is to put the scam online “permanently” (as permanently as anything else online). I found a thread on a forum that had pretty much the same scam email, but no actual resolution along the lines of “yes, this is a scam”. Plus, with the VIN posted, this scam should be useless with this particular vehicle (assuming the one being scammed can do a web search).

    On a side note, a little defense of eBay (@Donovan Bell). Although this seller claimed to work through eBay, they never sent me an eBay username to check up on. In other words, this doesn’t reflect poorly on eBay managing sellers (since the person isn’t a real seller), besides the fact that they are a large, popular (or were at one point) auction website that scammers can try to leverage indirectly. And eBay did respond promptly to my emails to them asking if the “eBay” emails were fraudulent.

    Troy

  7. Ken says:

    It’s a scam… I am in the middle of the emails that the previous poster discussed. I figure that the car must be all set to go by the end of this week

  8. Keisha Brown says:

    Ain’t this about a bucket of bull. I was about to buy a 2005 Nissan from this women, and her emails say the samething. She said her name was Katharine Newton. This post really helped me alot. Thanks.

  9. Ryan says:

    wow…….i’m also actually in the middle of email with a 2003 taco in FL. I was indeed skeptical, but after reading this post. I’m 100% sure that it’s a fake sale now. Thanks a bunch for the heads up.

  10. Leanne says:

    I have been trying to purchase a vehicle for my 16 year old when I spotted a great deal yesterday on Kijiji for a 2000 Chevy Silverado for $2900. The lady selling the truck emailed me back last night and said the reason for such a “cheap” price is that she is recently divorced and she has 2 kids.
    She also said the truck is already at a shipping company that will ship the truck at her expense and payment is expected thru Ebay.

    Does this sound to good to be true? Do you think this is a scam? I was really hoping I found a good vehicle for my kid at a price I could afford. Am not sure what to do now.
    Your comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  11. The lady’s divorced, hinted that she really needs the money because she has 2 kids and yet she can afford to have the truck staged at a shipping company just because she knows someone on-line will buy the truck?

    Also, the truck will be shipped at her expense – a expense that could easily double if the buyer lives on the other side of the country????????

    Run away from this one and don’t look back – it’s a scam!!!!

  12. It’s a good thing that you brought this topic. I agree that this one is scam. But there are still a lot of people that sells cars at very decent prices over the internet. Sometimes price ranges from 4k-5k USD are not scam. But 2.7K is just another story.

  13. I had something like thay happend to me once. I never followed through with it though, but I did play along for awhile to get a few laughs out of it. Turns out the guy wanted me to send hime 3,000 dollars and my car. Then send me a $20,000 check. For a $6,000 car? Well turns out he was a scammer from Nigeria, Africa…

    • Leanne says:

      Heres another one that I just got last week:

      Hello,

      My name is Lisa Karen and I’m glad to see your interest in purchasing my car.Sorry for delay right now i m in Spain at the hospital because I’m deaf and i sell this car because i have the opportunity to do a surgery that could bring me back my hearing. I am already in a desperate financial situation and i took a second job as a text editor so i can get more income hoping i will raise the needed amount for the surgery.
      What can I tell you in a few words is that I am an individual seller, I am not a dealer and this is my first type of action on internet. I have a clear title and it is on my name.
      The car that I have for selling is mine , it is personal property and I am going to sell it for this price $4,000.00.obo because i need the money urgently to bring me back my hearing.
      It is in good condition,there are no scratches or any dents on it,very well maintained.I have a clear title for it, no liens or loans.
      Also about payment and shipping(which is free of charge for you) I will use only eBay vehicle protection program so we can both be protected.I am affiliated at eBay and I have a purchase protection account for $20.000

      Thank you

      Lisa Karen

  14. Harrison says:

    Wow this is all so wierd, I am also in a similar situation, as soon as things started getting way to good to be true I figured it would be best to look and see if there were any scam examples and sure enough..theres a lot. Thank you for posting this, It does make me upset that people do that because at first things seemed like they were going great and I figured that I would be able to purchase this truck that I really wanted. Everything made sense except he said his wife worked for a shipping company that would ship the truck for free which was okay with me until he mentioned that he needed a down payment on ebay. Then I gave him my info and he contacted “ebay” and they sent me an invoice saying that I had to use western union and then send the money to ebay from western union. Then he would send the car down to me for me to inspect it, sound like a scam? I called him out on it and he said that he had no idea why they did that, which made me really skeptical because I thought the whole point of ebay was to use paypal because it is more secure…am I right or is this not a scam? And this is the email i recieved from ebaymotors when I emailed them

    Dear Mr. Harrison,

    Thank you for contacting eBay Motors.
    As you can see in the invoice, you are making a deposit which will only be released to the seller after you receive the product, inspect it and authorize us to release your payment to the seller. If by any reason, you won’t be satisfied with the car you will get a total refund. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to accept PayPal at eBay Motors Vehicle Purchase program because of the large number of frauds. We accept only Western Union because it’s much safer.

    So all you need to do is go the nearest Western Union office and make the transfer for your invoice. After that do not forget to reply with the MTCN transfer number Western Union will give you, sender firs name and sender last name so we can confirm your payment. After this, yes you will just wait few days for the car to arrive at your address stipulated in the invoice. Please keep the receipt from Western Union until the transaction is completed because that will be the proof of your payment.

    Hope everything is clear for you now Mr. Harrison, but if you have any other questions feel free to ask us.

    Best Regards,
    Paul Wilson – eBay Motors Sales Agent

    So please comment and tell me if you think I am making a right decision when I say that this is a scam? Im just trying not to get screwed.

  15. Leanne says:

    Hi Harrison,
    This is totally a typical scam. Ask them if you can go to the shipping company and have a look at the vehicle………for sure they will have another excuse.
    This has happened to me 3 times in about 1 month. They always say they will ship the vehicle at their expense. Last week I was inquiring about a 2005 VW Golf for $4000 (see previous comment) and the “seller” said they would ship me the car from MADRID SPAIN and I live way up north in MANITOBA CANADA, the cost of shipping would be way more then what I was supposed to pay for the car.
    I learned not to buy anything unless you can personally look at it and take it for a test drive.
    So glad you didn’t get scammed cause theres no way you would get your money back.

    Leanne

  16. Scott says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I found two cars and had similiar stories. One was how her son died in Iraq and couldnt look at the car anymore, and another needing to sell their only asset to pay off their mortgage (for a mere $2,950, including shipping as her husband works for DAS). The first one sounded more believable, but I refuse to give my personal address to strangers. And I never heard back from them. Thanks again for confirming my suspicions.

  17. BR says:

    It would be of immense help if someone knew who these scamasters are.

    It is obvious from the daily flood of fake ads being re-posted on Craigslist every hour for the same car, motorcycle, motorhome, atv’s, boats and even backhoes, and the methods they use to follow through, that this is a sphisticated group that has many individuals involved playing parts. I suspect they were formely running dating scams and when Craigsliist boaltsered that section, and they simply re-tooled their software for this SCAM to post and repost on Craigs.

    I do know from tricking one of the SCAMMERS that one of the perps used the word “mate” which provides at least some idea of where they oriiginate from. This is not a common US term.

    This is very spohisticated and verly likely organized crime which would be reduced if it were given national attention. Not everyone is aware there are so many crooks out there ready to steal from them.

  18. These crimes already have national attention. Report any one of them to your local FBI office and they will tell you they aleary have thousands of like reports.

    Sorry to disappoint you Mr. average American but we and our laws can’t do anything about it. The problem is – all of this stuff is originating overseas where our laws can’t touch them.

    And they are driven by a huge payback. They don’t care about us who know better. They understand that if just 0.1%, or 1 out of 1000 bite then they have made a lot of money.

  19. They don’t care about us who know better. They understand that if just 0.1%, or 1 out of 1000 bite then they have made a lot of money.
    Reply

  20. BR says:

    It is interesting that there is a sense of apathy with some of the posts here. It almost seems that there are those who would be happier if you ignored the problem with these SCAM ads, and we have to wonder, why?

    Situations don’t improve without involement, and the more the SCAM ads issue is communicated, the chances of the SCAMMERS profiting become less. Once their money source errods, the less they will post as they have to pay for their overhead to manage this scheme.

    I will re-state the fact that this is an elaborate SCAM that uses the fake escrow. They scammers post their messages at certain times of the day to ensure maxium exposure, and stop re-posting the fake ads in the evenings, so there is obviously an “industry” that controls this.

    Please complain and complain some more to those who control the postings lists (Craigslist), and it would also help to complain to your States attorney general and do not be persuded to become apathtetic by some of the “we can’t do anything” responses as that is simply an untrue statement as it takes effort and continued input by the public to control the SCAMMERS.

  21. There is more involved than you understand. These scams are run from other countries where our laws can-not touch them. And the locals who participate are just low-level mules being employed by these crooks.

    For example, I had someone try to buy $4,000 worth of equipment from me. The deal was that they would send a courier to pick up the equipment and I was to give the courier $600 of the check they sent to cover shipping. This was an obvious scam and I called the local FBI.

    They explained that the scam was being run from another country, probably Nigeria and that they – the FBI – were powerless to stop it because they have no jurisdiction in another country.

    And regarding Craigslist – they are doing what they can but Craigslist is an open selling environment. They do post a statement across the top of every page that states “Offers to ship a car are 100% fraud!”. What else do you want them to do?

  22. BR says:

    It is very likely that these SCAM originate off-shore, however, the ads are posted on Craigslist which is controlled in the United States, more precisely, California. In many cases there are also “mules” used to pickup wire transfers in the United States. Both of these are under US laws.

    Since the ads are mostly identical as the SCAMMERS repost them hundreds of times daily using software to circumvent Craigslist filters, Craigslist needs to, and CAN do a better job of controlling this.

    Keep in mind that all these ads are placed in areas such as “appliances” or “auto parts” or “kids stuff” which do not require registration and are designed to not have a source contact. Craigslist can greatly reduce the problem if they correct some of the deficiencies, but won’t unless people complain and complain again. Let’s keep in mind that sometimes effort is required as many things take action on the consumers part to make positive change.

    I encourage everyone to get involved and cotact Craiglslist and their States Attorney Generals office to voice their concern, We all know thwere is a problem, and the likely source is off-shore, but this CAN be reduced or eliminated if enough peopel get involved.

  23. BR says:

    As follow-up, I have contacted the CA Attorney Generals office and have received a reply. The representative, a M. Scott indicated they use information such as mine to develop information which might indicate the need for a formal investigation (by their office). If enough send Complaints, they WILL investigate. It should also be known that the ads the SCAMMERS use are limited in that the re-post the same ads month after month and are reposted literally thousands of times. If Craigslist developed filters to detect the same ads when flagged, it would greatly reduce the crooks abilities as they would have to spend time developing new ads, thus slowing the SCAM and reducing their ability to steal. This is what I would like Craigslist to do… and they can.

    I say this again, doing nothing ensures the problem will get bigger. I would ask that everyone who is concerned contact their own States Attorney General and keep the pressure on Craigslist as although they make money selling, I am sure they don’t want illegal activties on their board. It can only be fixed if people get involved.

  24. Victoria says:

    Wow. I’m getting screwed all the time, sometimes I don’t even realize what’s happening to me until it’s too late. I’d never think someone would fraud/hurt or do something bad to someone else because it’s so very far out if my mind to even do that to another person. I’m a very trusting person that I don’t even know how not to trust or be cautious *Gahh* … .. well anyways thank you for sharing this with us actually I’m trying to learn to be cautious (and it’s a mighty struggle) but this helps alot. Now I know what I should look for. Thank you again : )

    Victoria

  25. BR says:

    Sorry to hear that Victoria :(

    There are some things all of can do to slow these thieves and make it difficult for them to steal from us. Here are some things we all can do that can help:

    1. Keep complaining to Craigslist as their “flag” filters are ineffective in preventing the same scam ads from being reposted thousands of times on every major Craigslist city. Craigslist CAN fix this if enough people complain. The SCAMMERS will be forced to produce new ads which will slow their ability to send the same ads out in mass.

    2. Send a note to the abuse department of the provider of the email used in their SCAM ads. They NEVER use telephone contacts in their ads and always use free email services. Most use Gmail and they can block the scammers account if enough people complain. Again every time the SCAMMERS have to produce a new email for their fake ads, it slows their ability to reproduce their SCAM ads.

    3. Send a note to your state’s Attorney Generals office as I did. Regardless if they originate off-shore, the posting site is under U.S. and State control and Craigslist is not exempt from laws. The “mule” sites for payment pick up the SCAMMERS use are generally in the US as well, again under the laws of the jurisdiction of the State.

  26. BR says:

    UPDATE!!

    It appears the car SCAM ads on Craigslist ARE slowing!!!

    The ability for the SCAMMERS to re-post the same fake ads thousands of times has all but ceased, as they must now may have to register and their SCAM software does not seem to work any longer.

    This shows the complaining DOES work and we CAN stop these heartless crooks. They are the lowest of the low as their “stories” in their SCAM ads often include our military, or the untimely death as reasons for the “low-cost”.

    One key thing to look out for is that almost all the SCAM ads offer their fake cars for less than $3000.00. This is because the method they use to pick pockets includes Western Union which requires reporting on amounts above $3000.00. This is a solid “tell” the ads are SCAMS.

    Let’s keep up the good work keeping the vigilance and we can keep these crooks from practicing their craft.

  27. I had someone try to scam me. We are looking for a Jeep Wrangler for my husband. We found a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport for $1,860. I thought it sounded too good to be true. But I gave it a shot. Well today, I got an email from the “same person”, but different email address about a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Sport for $2,900. Both emails were worded exactly the same and the person was suppose to be a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. It makes me sick that people would try to do this to someone. I was almost a victim. Be careful everyone. If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!

  28. recieved this email in reponse to a posting on craigslist for an ATV that was being sold. I did a quick google search and found this site and figured I would share. I deleted this email and will continue shopping!

    ————————————–
    Hi,

    First of all I want to thank you for your interest for my ATV ( 2007 POLARIS RANGER). I sell it at this price ($ 1900 ) because i just finished the divorce with my husband. It has only 616 miles!!!The ATV is paid off,clean title,i have title in hand.
    The divorce has finished 6 months ago and the ATV is mine now. After the divorce I was forced to buy a new house. Following the financial crisis I can’t afford to pay the bank and I decided to sell the ATV. It has only been adult ridden and garage kept. As you can see by the pictures it is in excellent condition. I just had it serviced and put in a new battery a couple of months ago. This atv runs as good as a new one and has no dings, dents, or scratches.
    The ATV is located in DOUGLAS,GA, if you want to buy it.
    I’m very busy with my job and I’m out of town so I can’t meet in person with you so this is the reason why I chose to sell my ATV over the Internet.
    From the beginning you have to know that for the payment I request only secure pay, I prefer the payment to be done using eBay services (I will receive the payment only after you receive and inspect the ATV and only if you agree to buy it).
    We will use a safe payment method because I am affiliated at eBay and I have a purchase protection account. The last price for this ATV is $1,900. I will pay for shipping and handling(the loan of my previous buyer didn’t get approved) so there won’t be any additional shipping costs).
    If you are interested in buying it please provide me your full name and address for shipping so I can initiate the deal trough eBay.
    I will wait your answer (if you are interested to buy) very soon.

    Jennifer Taylor

  29. This scam is a classic. Your lucky it was super easy to spot (crappy english + obvious spoof email).

    A more elaborate trick is to steal the identity of the owner in addition to selling the fake care.

    Here is how you as a scammer make it work:
    1. you pretend you want buy a car but need to proof that the seller is legit
    2. you ask for vin/registration paper/photos of the car
    3. you ask for ID to ensure that the seller is legit
    4. you bail out the sale
    5. you wait until the car is sold
    6. you start selling the car you don’t own on craisglist dirt cheap with sob story (a classic is ‘I am the brother of the owner. He died and I am trying to sell his car for cheap’)
    8. when you get a potential bait you say will only ship the car because you are too busy to meet
    9. you send all the paper work/photos/ID you got from real owner
    10. you get your money via western union and voila!

    I always liked this saying “don’t buy anything from somebody you cannot reach with a crowbar”

    Henri

  30. Yes, indeed- “a classic”. You would not believe the amount of people that get sucked into this kind of scam.
    Luckily enough you were not foolish enough to proceed with the transaction!
    Buyer beware comes to mind..

    • JAYDEN says:

      Hi again,
      I will do my best to walk you through the process. As I told you in my first email, my medical team will deploy back to Afghanistan. Right now I’m at Nevada Army National Guard. I am only allowed to check my email. We have to stick to email for now.I advertised it on other states also to get more exposure and sell it faster. The vehicle is here with me at the base and the delivery process will be managed by me, ready to be delivered to its future new owner. The deal is handled by eBay so I don’t have much to do about it. I think I can have it there at your home address in 2-3 days. In addition, you get 5 days to try it out before buying it, and if you don’t like it, you can send it back at my expense. For more info on how it works, I can ask eBay to send you an email with more details on how to buy it. They will contact you shortly, as soon as have your personal details. If you would like to receive the email from eBay Motors with all the transaction information, please reply with your whole name, address and phone # and they will contact you right away.
      Thank you,

  31. A similar thing happened to me, but when i asked to see the car they kept making excuses,
    like another buyer is really interested, i think you should make a deposit asap.
    and avoiding my request to see it.
    i guess when someone is rushing you to make a purchase those red flags come up!

  32. Maria mendez says:

    I am so glad I read this I just received an email for a car I seen on craigslist, while looking to see if their were any scams for buying cars through eBay. This is what I received

    Hello,

    Thank you for your interest in buying my car. My 2002 Nissan Maxima GLE is in great shape, no engine problems, damages or hidden defects. It was always garaged and never smoked in. I`m a single mother with 2 children and I have to work very hard to maintain my family. I`m selling it so cheap because I have money problems. The price is $2,200.00. I want to tell you that I do not sell my car in payments and I do not trade. Since I don’t have anyone to help me with the sale I decided to make this transaction through eBay. Giving the nature of this transaction please note that my sale terms are final and nonnegotiable. In order to move forward I will need your full name, address and phone number so i can register the deal at eBay Financial Department. After that eBay will send you the payment instruction.

    Details about the car:

    Year: 2002
    Mileage: 81,750
    Transmission: Automatic
    Fuel type: Gasoline
    Engine: 6 Cylinder 3.5 Liter
    Exterior Color: Gold
    Interior Color: Tan
    Title: Clear
    The a/c is ice cold and the heat is hot!

    My best wishes and I’m waiting your response so we can move forward with this deal.

    Then I Asked for the Vin number and I received this next email but they had the same email address…..

    Hi again,

    The car is located in Atlanta,GA(i just moved here with my new job)already crated at the shipping company ready to be sent to any location anywhere in the US,like i told you i’ll like to use ebay purchase protection because is safe for both,let me tell you how it work:
    1. Buyer, seller reach an agreement (price and delivery conditions)
    2. Buyer sends money to eBay.
    3. eBay confirms to seller that the amount has been received.
    4. Seller performs the required services (shipping, insurance).
    5. Buyer accepts delivery and informs eBay about the acceptance.
    6. eBay releases the money to seller.
    As you can see, you will receive the car BEFORE any money is released to me. You will get the chance to inspect it, test drive it and everything you like while your money is still safely held in eBay’s account. ONLY after you confirm to eBay that you agree with the vehicle, they will release the money to me.
    If, for some reason, you disagree with the car (I assure you that is NOT going to happen since my car is in IMMACULATE condition inside and out) it will be shipped back to me on MY EXPENSE and eBay will send you your money back.

    I need your full name and full shipping address so i can open this deal with eBay.

    Here are some pics of the car http://s1180.photobucket.com/albums/x411/02maximagle

    I do not see why anyone would need all your information I have an eBay account, and the official website will ask you for your information. Anyways I emailed saying I do not want to pay for shipping or have to wait for them to ship me a car and here is what they emailed….

    First of all i wanna tell you that the shipping is already payed, so you don’t have to pay anything else, just the initial price ($2200). After eBay will receive your payment confirmation, they will start the shipping process, and the car will arrive at your location in maximum 48hours, and you will have 5days for inspect it. Funds will be placed on hold until you receive and inspect the car. In case you don’t like the car (is not our situation) you will ship it back at my cost and receive a full refund from eBay employee. Payment will be released to me only with your approval. If you are really interested, give me your information so i can open this deal!

    I just stopped emailing back. I hope this helps someone else.

  33. Richard says:

    I agree, the SOB is an asshole. I also kinda agree, maybe english is her second languages. What I don't agree is, your opinion the english is broken when, in fact it is almost grammatically correct, aside for not putting a proper punctuation.

  34. Mary says:

    I have the same email! It was at here house here and then it was in a different state. Emails are:
    To
    ReedDConstance3@yahoo.com

    Do you still have the car for sale? I’ll be going out to Brookfield to look at another vehicle and then I’ll have time after that. You can me at 414-xxx-xxxx.
    Thanks,
    Mary

    From
    Angella Helland ; (Note different email address)

    To
    (my email address)
    Hi,

    My name is Angella Helland and I’m emailing you regarding the2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 that I have for sale. It is in perfect condition, with no need for any additional repairs. Flawless exterior condition, no scratches and no dents. It has never been involved in an accident. The interior is in very good condition, also the exterior.No accidents, clear title, great mileage: 97760 and Automatic. I’m selling the car because my 22’s years old son died 3 months ago in a car accident. A drunk driver hit him and his fiancé. They were with her car on their way to his little brother’s birthday. It was his car and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it as soon as possible. The price that I’m asking is $2.350
    Just let me know if you are interested and where are you located.

    Thank you,
    Angella

    To
    Angella Helland

    I’m terribly sorry for your lose. What a horrible thing your family has to go through.
    I got hit head on by an old man 4 years ago and need something higher up for my back to get in and out of. I live in cudahy. Where is the vehicle at so I can come look at it. You can call me at 414-xxx-xxxx thanks for getting back to me.
    Mary

    (Note I put my phone number in twice and never received a phone call)

    From
    Angella Helland

    To
    Mary
    Hi again,

    I decided to explain you how the transaction works in a single mail ,so read this email carefully in order for you to understand the transaction.

    We will use only eBay to close the transaction.The car is in eBay custody at their shipping company sealed with all the papers(title signed by me, ownership, insurance papers etc) in Omaha Nebraska. The shipping is free because i supposed to ship the car to another buyer, then he told me that he doesn’t have money to pay for it. He already paid the shipping charges.The payment will be handled by eBay and they will keep the money on hold until the end of the testing period.This way we can both be protected and insured.You will receive the car in 48 hours depending of your location and you will have the chance to inspect it for 5 days.During the inspection period you can test the car or go with it at your local mechanic for inspection .The car will be delivered directly to your requested address as soon as eBay will have the payment confirmation from you. In case you won`t be satisfied, you can cancel the transaction and ship the car back on my expense.
    Email me your full name and full shipping address so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my buyer and they will contact you .

    Thanks

    I simply replied “No thank you.”
    (Note the choppy english too)
    Unreal how some people think we are so stupid to fall for crap like this!!!

    • steve says:

      Still going…

      Hi,

      Thank you for contacting me regarding my 2003 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Limited, that I have for sale. This car is in great shape (75.000 miles, Automatic Transmission, V6 4.0L Engine). I’m the original owner. It has no damage, no scratches, dents or hidden defects. It is in immaculate condition, meticulously maintained and hasn’t been involved in any accident…I do have the title, clear. I am selling it at this final price of $1,700 because my husband died 1 month ago (he had a heart attack) and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it a.s.a.p.
      Me and my daughter decided to sell the house and so we moved to my brother in New Orleans LA trying to start a new life.

      I want to use eBay services for the safety of both of us so if you’re interested in purchasing this car just email me with your full name, address including the zip code and phone number, so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my possible buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure.

      For more pictures here is a link to the car’s photo gallery: http://imgur.com/a/WLAXJ

      I look forward to hearing from you,
      Rosie Ramirez

      The car is already at the shipping company with all the papers in New Orleans LA. Like i told you the delivery process is paid by me and I want to finish this deal through eBay because they are the biggest company and we can both be protected and insured.As you can see, you will receive the car in max 2-3 days and you will get the chance to inspect it 10 days. In the inspection period you can test the car. The car will be delivered directly to your requested address as soon as I will have the payment confirmation from eBay. In case you won`t be satisfied with it you can cancel the payment and ship the car back on my expense.

      If you’re interested to purchase just email me with your full name,shipping address and your phone number,so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure.

      Thank you,

  35. Robert Breshears says:

    I just got this reply when I inquired about a Toyota Lancruiser on Craigslist…
    She/he didn’t even change the wording…. Pathetic!

    My name is Angella Helland and I’m emailing you regarding the2002 Toyota 4Runner SR5 that I have for sale. It is in perfect condition, with no need for any additional repairs. Flawless exterior condition, no scratches and no dents. It has never been involved in an accident. The interior is in very good condition, also the exterior.No accidents, clear title, great mileage: 97760 and Automatic. I’m selling the car because my 22?s years old son died 3 months ago in a car accident. A drunk driver hit him and his fiancé. They were with her car on their way to his little brother’s birthday. It was his car and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it as soon as possible. The price that I’m asking is $2.350
    Just let me know if you are interested and where are you located.

    Thank you,
    Angella

    • Mary says:

      I wish there was some place we could report her/him! Playing with people’s emotions is just wrong! I think I’ll call the news station maybe they will investigate this.

    • JLC says:

      We must have had the same seller. I got the same drunk driver, dead son and fiancé story. Very grateful I read the article before going through with the sale.

  36. Danielfx says:

    YES THAT HAPPEND TO ME TODAY! LOOK THE EMAIL

    Thank you for contacting me about my 2005 Nissan Maxima SE that I have for sale. The car is in great shape (95,000 miles, automatic transmission and a 3.5L V6 FI DOHC 24V engine). I’m the first owner. It has no damage, no scratches or dents, no hidden defects. It is in immaculate condition, meticulously maintained and hasn’t been involved in any accident. I do have the title, clear.The price is firm,$2,000. I’m selling it because my husband died 1 month ago (he had a heart attack) and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it asap. I, along with my daughter decided to sell the house and so we moved to my brother in Philadelphia trying to start a new life.
    I want to use eBay services for the safety of both of us so if you’re interested in purchasing the car just email me with your full name, complete address and phone number, so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my possible buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure.
    Here are some pictures with the car: http://s809.photobucket.com/user/maximaforsale123/library/

    I look forward to hearing from you

    BECAREFUL!

    this its the link: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4143759339.html

    • John says:

      I’m in Virginia and just reported this exact scam to Craigslist. The supposed sale was for a 2002 25ft Airstream Safari RV. I also throw in my thanks for posting the scam along with the persons name.

  37. christinalange says:

    From Amanda Harrison: sound familiar anyone?

    “Thank you for contacting me about my 2005 Honda Accord LX that I have for sale. The car is in great shape (54,000 miles, automatic transmission and a 2.4L L4 PFI DOHC engine). I’m the second owner. It has no damage, no scratches or dents, no hidden defects. It is in immaculate condition, meticulously maintained and hasn’t been involved in any accident…I do have the title, clear. I am selling it at this final price of $1,950 because my husband died 1 month ago (he had a heart attack) and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it asap. I, along with my daughter decided to sell the house and so we moved to my brother in New Jersey trying to start a new life.

    I want to use eBay services for the safety of both of us so if you want to buy it, just email me with your full name, complete address and phone number, so I can notify eBay that you are my buyer.

    I look forward to hearing from you”
    amandaharrison635@gmail.com

    nd then a second email:

    “Please give me a little time to explain you the process of this transaction.
    As I told you in my first e-mail, we just moved to my brother in New Jersey. Before leaving I had prearranged the deal with eBay services so my presence isn’t necessary. The vehicle is now located in New Jersey, at the shipping company, ready to be delivered. It will arrive at your address in 1-3 days. The shipping costs are included in the total price of the car ! You will have 5 days to test and inspect the vehicle, starting from the moment you receive it. So if you want to buy it, I need the following details from you: complete name and address; phone #.
    After I will have all this details I will forward them to eBay and I will proceed with this transaction. eBay will contact you with all the details that you need to complete this deal and also to see that I am covered by them and that I am legit seller. Waiting your email with the requested details.
    Thank you!”

    No thank you!!

    • Elizabeth says:

      She is at it again!
      Amanda Harrison
      7:18 PM (2 hours ago)

      to me
      Hello,

      I’ve received your email regarding the 2007 Toyota Camry. The car is still for sale. It has 73,807 Original Miles, Engine 2.4L Electric & Gasoline, Auto Transmission, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Power Seats, etc. The car is in great condition inside and out. I’m asking $2,400 for it, not negotiable. The car belonged to my father who passed away this year after a long bout with cancer and brings me a lot of memories that make me suffer and this is the reason for what I want to sell it as soon as possible. I am in the Air Force and we are preparing for an important mission so I hope that I would find a serious buyer in a few days. If you have any other questions, or need more info and pics please free to ask.

      Sincerely,
      Lt. Amanda Harrison

      SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. tropica sees says:

    CAVEAT EMPTOR people. No matter where or what you buy PLEASE! Were you born tomorrow? Paradise land only 99 per acre? It is said there’s a sucker born every minute[d hannum] but with the population 5.5x larger than when that statement was made [1869] the rate has increased to [your estimate here>…..] WAKE UP! Craigslist rules! Abolish stupidity! Stop using ebaypal! Stop paying federal WAR tax! kabloogafluibloobloog….[madman dragged off stage]

  39. Tina says:

    Just got an email exactly like all the ones posted here

    The actual email:
    Hello,
    Thank you for contacting me about my 2003 Toyota Camry LE, Automatic.It has 87,000 miles,VIN: 4T1BE32K73U162405.The car has no scratches or any kind of damage. I am located in Fort Wayne,IN.I can’t afford to take days off my work for this sale so I’m trying to sell them online. The price that I hope to obtain is $1,600.I am selling the car because I will be sent back to Afghanistan and I have no use for it anymore. The price is low because I need to sell it before Feb 5. I know that my current situation is pretty special I want the deal closed only through eBay’s Buyer Protection Program in order for you to be 100% protected. You will make the payment to eBay and ONLY AFTER you receive the car and inspect it for 5 days eBay will release the payment to me.This price includes all the shipping taxes and fees. If you will take it for this price, I am willing to handle the shipping.It will be shipped by DAS Auto Transport Services to deliver the car to your door.You will receive the car in about 3 days.
    If you want to complete the purchase please send me your; Full Name and Shipping Address and phone number and I will notify eBay that you are selected as my buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure.

    Here are the pics of the car :
    http://s1013.photobucket.com/user/bryand62/library/

    (if the above link does not work copy and paste it into a new web browser window)

    My best wishes and I’m waiting your response so we can move forward with this deal.
    Thank you and have a nice day,
    Thank you,
    Lt. Bryan Dechart

    I’m going to ask to test drive the car since his “location” is close by.

    Thank you for your post, it truly helped.

  40. Chuck says:

    another example scam: (2006 Airstream Camper $3000)..

    Hi there,

    Here are the pictures with the camper http://jpegbay.com/gallery/003363326-5.html#5 . As I told you in my first email, I recently got divorced. I got a new job and moved to Birmingham,Alabama for a new start. The camper is already at the shipping company in Alabama sealed and ready for the shipping. My presence won’t be necessary because I prearranged the deal with eBay Motors. The deal includes free delivery and it will arrive at your address in 3 days. You will have 5 days to test the camper or inspected anywhere (dealership or personal mechanic). If the camper doesn’t match my description or if you’ll find anything wrong with it, you can send it back at my expense without questions asked, but I’m sure that it will be not the case.
    If you are interested in knowing more info about how it works, I can ask eBay Motors to send you an email with more information on how to purchase it. eBay Motors will contact you shortly after they have the details with all the information that you need to complete this deal and you will also have proof that I am covered by them and a legitimate seller. If you would like to receive the email from eBay Motors with all the transaction information please reply with your full name, shipping address and phone # and they will contact you right away.

    Regards,Aria

  41. Mabel says:

    Omg i cannot believe alll this.. and looking at the dates it’s been going on for years and the scammers are still doing it. Im actually in the middle of going back and forth with someone called Janette Scott and she gave the same story about her son dying with her fiance going to the little brothers bday party because of a drunk driver. I was so excited about that I have her my name, address and phone number. But after researching about this I quickly sent her an email telling her to cancel everything because it had discovered that this was all a scam and to at least change her story.
    At first I believe it i was like well i mean it’s possible that after a loss like that anybody would want to get rid of the properties because of the memories but when she told me about shipping it to me at no cost i was like hmmmm?? so i started doing the research. By the way.. another thing that got my attention was that i was emailing her from CA late at night at around 9pm local CA time, and she was in GA, its 3 hours ahead over there and she was up replying to my email late at night??? i thought she had to work!

    Thanks for this post!!

    below is the last email she sent me. She was selling me an ACURA TL 2004 for $1700!

    On Mar 12, 2014, at 1:51 AM, “janette scott” wrote:

    Hello again,

    Thanks for getting back to me. As I told you in my first email,I got a new job and moved to Macon, GA. The car is now at the shipping company warehouse in Macon, ready to be delivered. I prearranged the deal with eBay Motors so my presence isn’t necessary. let me explain how it works:

    The shipping cost is included in the total price of the car You will have 5 days to test it and inspect the car prior to make any purchase and if by any reason you find something you don’t like about it you can send it back on my cost. I have forwarded your details to eBay and they will contact you with an invoice soon!let me know when you get it.The shipping is free i will take care of it and i will send the car with all the papers vehicle registration, warranty papers,transfer papers etc.

    Once again I assure you that the car is in perfect condition just like I describe it. The title is clear and will come with the car I’m sorry this isn’t a local deal but I hope I can make it up with the great condition and the great price that I’m selling the car.

    Thank you,

  42. This is fresh from today 5/4-2014 CRAIG’s LIST.

    LOOK OUT, same tired theme, total BS!

    > Hi, Thank You for your interest in my 2001 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that I have for sale. It is in perfect condition, with no need for any additional repairs.The interior is in very good condition, also the exterior. No accidents, clear title, great mileage 69,000 and automatic transmission. I’m selling the car because my 22’s years old son died 3 months ago in a car accident. A drunk driver hit him and his fiancé. They were with her car on their way to his little brother’s birthday. It was his car and it brings me bad memories and that’s the reason I want to sell it as soon as possible. The price that I’m asking is $2,200
    > Just let me know if you are interested and where are you located.
    >
    > Thank you, Rebecca R. Brooks

    ====

    On May 3, 2014, at 5:32 PM, “Rebecca R.Brooks” wrote:

    > Hi again,
    >
    > I decided to explain you how the transaction works in a single mail ,so read this email carefully in order for you to understand the transaction.
    > We will use only eBay to close the transaction.The car is in eBay custody at their shipping company sealed with all the papers(title signed by me, ownership, insurance papers etc) in Omaha Nebraska. The shipping is free because i supposed to ship the car to another buyer, then he told me that he doesn’t have money to pay for it. He already paid the shipping charges.The payment will be handled by eBay and they will keep the money on hold until the end of the testing period.This way we can both be protected and insured.You will receive the car in 48 hours depending of your location and you will have the chance to inspect it for 5 days.During the inspection period you can test the car or go with it at your local mechanic for inspection .The car will be delivered directly to your requested address as soon as eBay will have the payment confirmation from you. In case you won`t be satisfied, you can cancel the transaction and ship the car back on my expense.
    > Email me your full name and full shipping address with the phone # so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my buyer and they will contact you .
    >
    > Thanks

    • Lacy says:

      Thanks for posting this reply! I was looking into a car on craig’s list. Same theme, husband died a month ago of a heart attack and the car brings bad memories and that is why the price is low. Now they’re moving/moved out of state. Wanted name, address, etc. to notify E-Bay services who they are using to sell it (even though it was listed on CraigsList) and will contact me with full procedure explanation.

  43. DM says:

    As a follow up to my last post, I entered a lot of the scammer’s words from their ad into Google. It gave me two further mT he’s: a current eBay US advert that appears genuine, and one in Russia! The scam I almost fell for dying the copied advert and pictures, is on Gumtree and I have now reported it. Thanks again for flagging this scam.

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  44. Samuel Betancourt says:

    My god…. I’m going through this who phase of having to buy a car on my own which it sucks so far. But the fact that I almost fell for a scam today about a woman who’s husband died of a heart attack a month ago and needed to get rid of her 2003 Toyota Corolla for $1,500. Now I have done my research and that price was extremely sketchy. Then…… I read this. Now I finally have something to give me some type of closure. I at least want to catch this person, I asked if they could give me their phone number so now all I have to do was wait. Thank you so much for bringing this type of scam to the public. You just saved me a possible spending of 3k that I basically can’t afford to lose at this moment so thank you.

  45. Dwayne Fernandes says:

    Hey, Thanks for this. Unfortunately it was too late. I was waiting for my motorcycle to arrive and wasn’t getting any replies from the seller. I started doubting everything and started looking up scams. After reading everything you posted – which was very similar to my emails – I was convinced I had been scammed. I called ebay (the real one), GreenDot and filed a complaint on http://www.ic3.gov. We’ll see what happens. My dreams have been stollen from me along with all of my savings. It hurts.

  46. brian brewer says:

    I answered a ad for a motorcycle on Craigslist for a2007 dyna wide glide. She just got divorced and only wants 3000 USD for it. Same story as above, shipping the whole thing. I should have some big fun in string them for as looking as I can!!;

  47. Siwei says:

    This blog is really useful. This is my story:

    First E-mail:
    My 2002 Toyota Camry is still for sale,it has no problems at all and is lien cleared. My asking price is $1,600. Probably it deserves more, but I’m asking this price because it was my son’s car, he loved it very much, but he didn’t enjoy it…He died in a bike accident 9 months ago and now…I don’t need it anymore. It brings me very bad memories and I want to get rid of it.It has 65,490 miles,I have a clear title for it,no liens or loans and never smoked in.If you’re still interested please let me know.

    Second E-mail:
    The car is located in Boise ,ID at DAS ( Dependable Auto Shippers ) headquarters, in the container, sealed and ready for shipping. I would like to use eBay Vehicle Purchase Protection,so we can both be protected and insured.You will have 10 days so you can inspect the car. Once you have inspected the car and decided to keep it, you will confirm your decision to eBay and only then they will re-route the money in to my account, but if by any reason, you won’t be satisfied with the car you can return it back for a full refund of your money. I will take care of the shipping, don’t worry. You will receive the car with all the necessary papers (clear title, bill of sale, user’s manual, insurance etc). Just get back with your full name and full shipping address and I will get everything started as soon as possible, then eBay will contact you with more further instructions.

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