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Scam of the Week

I’ve been trying to sell my motorcycle (2003 Nighthawk 750) on Craigslist. The last time I sold a bike on Craigslist, it was a success. I had interested buyers come look at the bike, and the second person to see and ride the bike bought it.

This time around, things are different. I’ve been contacted four times. The first time it was from a service that offered to sell the bike for a fee. The second offer seemed serious, but the guy was more than 20 minutes late for our meeting to see and test ride the bike, so I left. I was tired and hungry, and I probably should have swallowed my pride and stuck around, but interactions I had with the man via text made him seem untrustworthy, and I thought maybe he was keeping me waiting on purpose in some kind of power play.

The last two people to contact me wanted VIN reports from a specific site I’ve never heard of before (and won’t name because I don’t want to give them any exposure). The first one started out asking me if the bike was still for sale. When I told him it was, he asked if I had a VIN report from the website I refuse to mention. When I told him I didn’t have one, he asked me to buy one from the referenced site. I told him that such reports are often worthless because many shops don’t report repairs to whatever agency keeps track of them. I offered to take the bike to any mechanic he wanted (within reason) and I never heard from him again. Then, earlier this week, I got another e-mail from a man named Todd. Todd asked if the bike had ever been in a major accident. I told him it might have been in a minor accident before I bought it with 6,000 miles on the odometer due to a couple tell tale signs most experienced motorcyclists would notice. He thanked me for my honesty and asked for a VIN report, again referring me to the same website as the last guy. That is when I figured out it is a scam. Someone is sitting at a desk somewhere trolling Craigslist and convincing people to buy VIN reports, pretending to be interested in the motor vehicles for sale.

I responded to Todd that if he shows me he is serious by coming to see the bike and test ride it, and the only thing keeping him from buying it is a clean VIN report, I would buy a VIN report from Carfax on the spot (on my tablet or phone). I never heard back from Todd.

What a scam. Luckily, I’m in no rush to sell the bike.

The sad thing is someone who is in serious need of a quick sale might just fall for a scam like this hoping for the best.
I used a consignment at a motorcycle dealer for the last cycle I sold. I could have gotten more selling it myself but the fact I did not have to deal with idiots made it worthwhile.

Thanks for the heads up. Why don’t these jerks get real jobs.

The website is probably a phishing site to get your credit card info. Personally I’d contact the police and let them know.

BIKES , BIKES , BIKES . . . the RUN FOR THE WALL came through Gallup NM this morning.

With CL you have to be very selective on who you would deal with. I specifically mention “no e-mails” in my ad and would delete any that come through. In my book, anybody who does not want to talk to me, does not want my item. I also screen the calls, if it is from some wacky area or the guy/gal sounds a bit off, I just ignore them. I never change my plans to show something. I have never provided a new carfax report, usually I would have an older one from the time I bought the car used and I would say I have owned the car since. If you want one, pay for one and get it, it is for “buyer’s reassurance” and I am not a dealer.

Transaction is only cash, or done via direct transfer from the bank while I am standing there next to the buyer.

I was selling something, cashiers check or cash. I can only get a personal check from my brother that lives out of state! Sorry. Ebay used to be good for selling stuff, last time around a few fine, but one platter “A big chip that has been filled and painted, I want to return it.” no such thing I saw when listing and going to a broker that ships out of country.

Send me a pic. 3 weeks of on and off email and no pic, he is like give me a price for it that is within your profit margin, I gave him $15 off just to be done with it, scam all the way as far as I can see. Had to relist 2 items due to no shipping out of country won by bidders in China. There is no usps tracking once it arrives in China too risky for me.

The internet has become a favorite place for classified-ad scam artists it seems. There’s a guy in the news here in the SF Bay area who had a sort of business in car scams, a going concern so to speak. Apparently he was buying cars from sites like Craiglist, paying with fraudulent checks, then selling the car the next day at a discount, but only for currency, effectively stealing the car. And there’s been recent reports in the newspaper of owners meeting up with the potential buyers to show them the car, only to watch the “buyer” get in the drivers seat for a look, start it up, and drive away, neither the car nor the buyer ever to be seen again.

I’ve seen a public service announcement recently put out by the county Sheriff’s office. They recommend that you do your dealing in on line sales and purchases right at the sheriff’s department.
They even have a few spaces in the lot designated just for that purpose and with security cameras aimed at each spot.


Thanks for the heads up. I’ve never heard of that scam but it’s not surprising. The internet has opened up a whole new world for scams.

I wonder if Carfax and AutoChek, etc are actually behind something like this? I can see a shell company boiler room full of telephone flunkies making call after call while drawing a wage + incentives for each one steered their way.

I get a call just about every day at about 10:30 from a toll free number. I never answer but I’m told they are robo calls just to see if its a real number or not. If it is then its sold to the marketers along with thousands of other numbers.

I understand you can maybe make a little money selling your own car but sure makes just trading nice and no hassle checking to see if the bills are real or not. One of the places around here that buys cars has a pretty good reputation but of course they have to make money too and don’t know if they buy bikes. Starts with car and ends with max.

Aren’t you on the Do Not Call list? I get some calls, but they’re all charities. I get lots of calls, actually. I can’t imagine how many there would be if I allowed commercial callers.

“Aren’t you on the Do Not Call list? I get some calls, but they’re all charities. I get lots of calls, actually. I can’t imagine how many there would be if I allowed commercial callers.”

I am registered with the Do Not Call list, but because overseas boiler room operations don’t fear US law enforcement, I still receive bogus calls. (I don’t have Caller I.D. because I am a poor pensioner…) Most of the calls–which are almost always attempting to sell me a solar panel system for my roof–are obviously coming from somewhere on the Indian subcontinent.

Anyway, I finally figured out how to tell when a caller is from Mumbai–or wherever–overseas.
When I pick up the phone, if there is a longer delay than I would normally expect before a caller said something, I hang up. It appears that it takes an extra few seconds for their equipment to connect, so that is my signal to hang up.

Additionally, some of them use a calling system that emits an electronic “chirp” as soon as I answer. If I hear that chirp, I immediately hang up.

I gave up on CL a couple of years ago. I recently ran an ad for a friend of mine who needed to sell her laptop. She is not computer literate so I ran the ad for her on CL even though I told her it was not a good ideas. After getting so many SCAM responses…I just bought the laptop myself at her asking price. One guy contacted me and wanted me (thinking it was a female) to meet him at secluded area so he could test the wireless card for it’s strength. I contacted the man and told him to meet me in the boonies at 2AM. I hope his car broke down and stranded him out there.

Aren't you on the Do Not Call list?

You’re kidding right? I’ve been on the do-no-call list it’s first week. I get at least 10 ILLEGAL unwanted calls a week. I’ve submitted numerous complaints to the do-no-call-list complaint site…For over a year I got a call at least once a week from the same number…The do-not-call list is a joke.

I used to get a lot more calls before I got on the Do Not Call list. No kidding. I might get commercial sales calls, but I use caller ID and only answer the ones I recognize. If a call comes in that I want to take but ignore, I can always call back or pick up while they leave a message. I even get caller ID on the TV in the basement. I imagine it is because I have VOIP and the DVR hooked up to the TV down there. When I pick up it is almost always a “charity”. I put it in quotes because most of those “charities” keep half of the proceeds from donations. We do get occasional calls from generous angels offering to fix our Windows PCs. We also get calls from “police” detectives informing us to pay our fines with a credit card at a convenient site. The real police like to be informed when these calls come through even though there is nothing they can do about them. The phone numbers on caller ID appear to be US numbers, but they are often spoofs.


I’m on the “Do Not Call” list and it’s really a joke

There are so many calls that are NOT charities. Carpet cleaning services, for example

Caller ID is also something of a joke. One of the “tricks” seems to be to assign a person’s name to the phone number. Now your phone says “John Smith” is calling, and you pick up, because it could be a real person, not wanting to sell something, but it’s just some business trying to install a new ac system in your house. They know if they used the caller ID “Polar AC sales and service” you’d never pick up the phone

Sometimes those Robo calls are various telemarketing organizations that use Robo calling to stay ahead of an actual call that will soon follow.

If someone answers the phone on a Robo call and hangs up the call will log in that someone is at home while the telemarketer is on the phone with someone else. Now they know that you’re at home the number goes into the que so the PITA telemarketer won’t waste time waiting for an answer from someone who is not at home.

I’ve been on the Do Not Call list since its inception and get deluged with charities and politicians wanting my vote. Those are all just as bad as someone selling magazines or whatever.

Yeah, I’m on the list too but the calls are computer generated and using bogus caller ID numbers. A favorite says its me calling myself.

I am now using nomorobo, a service that checks every call you get. If it’s a known robo source it hangs up after one ring.

If I hear the time lag I know it is spam. Every now and then I wall answer a call, spent maybe 10 minutes on a political survey the other day, the guy sounded like a stoner, but I felt sorry for him having to do the job. We have the caller id, and I and wife are like if it is important they will leave a message.