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Buyer Beware / Sophisticated Scam going on.

Hey guys, just thought i'd share this with you- I am always in the market buying older Porsches, as i'm a dealer and deal in Air cooled 911's most of the time. We all know how crazy the market has been, and lately scammers have taken things to a new level. A client of mine in France just almost lost $70,000 sending money to a scammer (i'll post link to scam ad below)

*This mostly is a warning to those of us that buy sight unseen & maybe comfortable with the process.

I'm usually buying cars from other states sight unseen and try to use common sense & preventive measures to avoid any scams or bad cars. There is a new very sophisticated scam going on that could easily fool even someone as cautious as myself.

We have all seen the air cooled cars listed for $10,000, $15,000 and those are obvious scams..but lately i've encountered this scam where the scammer actually connects the buyer (victim) and the real seller together-

*Here is how it goes, scammer sees car on a site like hemmings, takes the pictures and description and makes an ad on craigslist, the price isn't too cheap as to not alert suspicion , but its still quite a bargain -Scammer contacts seller acts like an interested buyer, asks for videos, pics of title, and all info possible...

*The victim sees the car on CL contacts the ad, now you are contacting the scammer, asking questions, scammer simply copies and pastes your email and emails the real seller, then responds to you- so you are actually getting real answers to your questions, say you ask for copy of title, scammer will have it and send to you, but they are photoshop the name on title-

*you want to be extra cautious and ask for videos of the car, guess what scammer has videos of the car, has everything you want- and sends over to you, now you are starting to trust and maybe ready to send him a deposit or even pay in full for the car...and many have been scammed this way lately-

Below is the ad where my customer almost got scammed but thankfully i offered to investigate for him and found out it was a scam, looks like scammer lowered price even more now-

there is also a white 964 for sale here on pelican where the real seller never put the car on CL but someone did and acting like they are the owners.


https://columbus.craigslist.org/cto/d/1973-porsche-911e-coupe/6352983929.html (flag it )

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/d/1992-porsche-911-c4/6370347249.html FLAG IT!

Last edited by Tarek307; 11-06-2017 at 11:12 AM..
Old 11-06-2017, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for sharing. I wonder what would be a good way for buyers to protect themselves from this type of scam?
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Old 11-06-2017, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mgar88 View Post
Thanks for sharing. I wonder what would be a good way for buyers to protect themselves from this type of scam?
i don't want to say "buy from a trusted good rep dealer" since i'm a dealer lol..but i'd say either try to hire someone to go look at the car for you, or ask for sellers id, to match with title, ask for video chat, (but even video chat, they could go act like they are looking at the car and tell seller they are showing it to a friend)
Old 11-06-2017, 11:56 AM
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Looks like the OP's a newbie in this line of work. Here's a reminder ...

"Fraud is everywhere in this business. Believe nothing, believe nobody, expect disappointment."
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:09 PM
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Watermark your photos. This helps tremendously.
Old 11-06-2017, 12:15 PM
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Buying cars off Craigslist sight unseen is sketchy to begin with. So many scammers on that site.

Last edited by specialtyoneinc; 11-06-2017 at 05:56 PM..
Old 11-06-2017, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pmax View Post
Looks like the OP's a newbie in this line of work. Here's a reminder ...

"Fraud is everywhere in this business. Believe nothing, believe nobody, expect disappointment."
Well Pmax, we cant' all be experts like you, but hey i do what i can..always a nice positive response from you
Old 11-06-2017, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarek307 View Post
Well Pmax, we cant' all be experts like you, but hey i do what i can..always a nice positive response from you
I'll repeat ...

"Fraud is everywhere in this business. Believe nothing, believe nobody, expect disappointment."
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Old 11-06-2017, 03:50 PM
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Easiest way to smoke out a scam is to offer to come to the car. Tell him you'll buy a plane ticket right now or hook up your truck and trailer and be there tomorrow. If the seller says he will have coffee waiting, it's probably not a scam and you can proceed. If the seller says he needs to buy it now, his phone is ringing off the hook, run. If the seller says he isn't with the car, run. If the seller offers to ship the car to you free once it's paid for, run. If you can't talk to someone on the phone, run.
Bottom line, use common sense and slow these guys down, if they won't slow down, run.
I can honestly say I've never bought a phantom car, I've bought many a car that didn't match the description when it arrived, but I've never sent money on a car that didn't exist.

--Adam
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmax View Post
I'll repeat ...

"Fraud is everywhere in this business. Believe nothing, believe nobody, expect disappointment."
See, that doesn't really help anyone not get scammed, it's just know-it-all doom and gloom, but not useful information. How about think for a minute and come up with some info that might help someone not get scammed, other than a blanket statement that basically says, "If you buy a car in the business, expect to get screwed, and you probably will be."

---Adam
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unobtanium-inc View Post
See, that doesn't really help anyone not get scammed, it's just know-it-all doom and gloom, but not useful information. How about think for a minute and come up with some info that might help someone not get scammed, other than a blanket statement that basically says, "If you buy a car in the business, expect to get screwed, and you probably will be."

---Adam
Right on. I'm with Adam on this one. You have to stay positive and get out there and find something that works for you. Expect to have fun.
Old 11-07-2017, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unobtanium-inc View Post
Easiest way to smoke out a scam is to offer to come to the car. Tell him you'll buy a plane ticket right now or hook up your truck and trailer and be there tomorrow. If the seller says he will have coffee waiting, it's probably not a scam and you can proceed. If the seller says he needs to buy it now, his phone is ringing off the hook, run. If the seller says he isn't with the car, run. If the seller offers to ship the car to you free once it's paid for, run. If you can't talk to someone on the phone, run.
Bottom line, use common sense and slow these guys down, if they won't slow down, run.
I can honestly say I've never bought a phantom car, I've bought many a car that didn't match the description when it arrived, but I've never sent money on a car that didn't exist.

--Adam
...About 2 years ago I hooked up my trailer and drove across Houston to go look at and hopefully come home with an early 911. When I got there and knocked on the door of the address given the lady of the house had no idea what I was talking about. Some sick minded individual got his rocks off on sending me on a wild Craigslist goose chase. I'd hate to buy a plane ticket to have the same thing happen.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmax View Post
I'll repeat ...

"Fraud is everywhere in this business. Believe nothing, believe nobody, expect disappointment."
Boogeyman.

Ask for a phone conversation or as Adam said offer to go see the car. And be sure to flag the listing once you figure out it is fake. This scam isnít new. Itís been going on for several years now. We have discussed it here before.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmz View Post
...About 2 years ago I hooked up my trailer and drove across Houston to go look at and hopefully come home with an early 911. When I got there and knocked on the door of the address given the lady of the house had no idea what I was talking about. Some sick minded individual got his rocks off on sending me on a wild Craigslist goose chase. I'd hate to buy a plane ticket to have the same thing happen.
Yeah, but the alternative is much much worse, you wire money to someone and never see the car, the seller, or your money ever again. I've driven to look at some real dogs and driven home happy, without the car. Wasting a day on a plane or in the truck is far better than buying a horrible car or no car at all.

---Adam
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Unobtanium-inc View Post
Yeah, but the alternative is much much worse, you wire money to someone and never see the car, the seller, or your money ever again. I've driven to look at some real dogs and driven home happy, without the car. Wasting a day on a plane or in the truck is far better than buying a horrible car or no car at all.

---Adam
You make a very good point Adam.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:29 AM
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One thing they do with these ads is list the car in areas other than where the car is. I’ve seen ads on Denver CL with the car supposedly in Houston or elsewhere. As soon as I said I wanted my cousin to come look at the car they went radio silent. Always ask to see the car even if you don’t intend to see it.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Monson View Post
One thing they do with these ads is list the car in areas other than where the car is. I’ve seen ads on Denver CL with the car supposedly in Houston or elsewhere. As soon as I said I wanted my cousin to come look at the car they went radio silent. Always ask to see the car even if you don’t intend to see it.
This. If the guy isn't physically with the car, I'm not a buyer.

Another thing I do is MANDATORY phone call. Then I say, "hey take a pic of this for me" and it will be some meaningless feature not included in the main pics. I ask if it can be done right away, like in moments. And I have him text it from his phone right to mine.

This usually can only be done by the real seller. If I have to wait hours and hours then it's suspicious.

Always worked for me.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:13 AM
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Buying cars off Craigslist sight unseen is sketchy to begin with. So many scammers on that site.
I'll always prefer buying from a local private buyer off CL over any dealer or flipper type business outfit.

You can be scammed anywhere, CL or not.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:49 AM
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I'll always prefer buying from a local private buyer off CL over any dealer or flipper type business outfit.

You can be scammed anywhere, CL or not.
And being in the bay area you have that luxury, as does someone in LA, NYC, or another major metropolitan area. But what is a guy in Boise supposed to do if he wants a Porsche, probably not too many popping up on craigslist for him to go look at on a Saturday. Again, not useful info.

---Adam
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Unobtanium-inc View Post
And being in the bay area you have that luxury, as does someone in LA, NYC, or another major metropolitan area. But what is a guy in Boise supposed to do if he wants a Porsche, probably not too many popping up on craigslist for him to go look at on a Saturday. Again, not useful info.

---Adam
Adam,
Youíre wasting your time. Heís doesnít care. Heís quite content in his troll role around here.
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:35 AM
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