Online Auction Motorcycle Scams - Robert James,

eBay and Classified Ad Scams:
Scammers Posing as Buyers
for a motorcycle  - Honda XR-100 Dirt Bike

Scams and scammers using these names: Robert James,,
"payment will be by certified cashier's check or money order"

Are you looking to sell a motorcycle? Did "Robert James" contact you? Note that he says:

"payment will be by certified cashier's check or money order". 

That's a clue to a scam right there!

Here are the clues that this is a scam:

  1. The buyer claims that he or she is not currently in your country.
  2. They want to pay by check or money order
  3. They want to include extra money in the check
  4. The buyer wants you to send the extra money from the check by Western Union to someone else.  Western Union wires and Moneygrams are not only untraceable, they're irretrievable.  Once the recipient picks them up (which can be done at ANY Western Union office in the world), the money is gone, gone, gone!
  5. The buyer is willing to buy the item sight unseen.
  6. Often, the writing is poor, also.  Often, is it not pathetically bad, it's just plain strange. It looks like it was written by someone who is not a native English-speaker, and writes very rarely in English. This is very typical of scammers, who largely are in Nigeria and have little formal education and probably none in English.

An actual email that illustrate this type of CraigsList scam:

Any highlighted passages below are to draw your attention to typical scam clues:

Email  - from the scammer:

==================Honda XR-100 Dirt Bike - $1250 (Greenville, MI) Sunday, April 20, 2008 6:26 PM

From: "robert james" < >

Add sender to Contacts


                  Thanks very much for your response ,The reason I am sending you this email is to make final reconfirmation of the item and im okay with price. Also to let you know that payment will be by certified cashier's check or money order. In view of this I need you to email me any information that may be required to send the payment as I do not want to send  the check or money order to a wrong location lest they get into the wrong hands.

     Regarding the shipping, I have a company that takes care of the pickup of my consignments for me and ship to my destination   in the U.S.A, you do not worry about shipping, the company will send down a representative to arrange the sales documentation and the pick up from your end for onward transfer to my destination.

     I also want to alert you on the fact that you will be receiving an overdraft check, which will cover the money for the pickup (pickup and shipping to the final destination) as well as the money to be  paid to the company that will take care of the pickup and the documentation with you.  So please, as soon as you receive the payment, go and cash it immediately, deduct the money that accrues to you, and send the balance to the Head Office of the company that handles the shipment.The check will be in your name to make it easier for you to receive payment, please reconfirm your details one more time.I will give you the details of the company that will be shipping the Item as soon as we seal this deal.Once the money is received by the agent  ,the shipping agent will contact you immediately to arrange the documentation as well as the pick up immediately.So in view of the above,  here are some of the details I will need  for final issuance of the check or money order  to you.

(1)  Full Name

(2)  Mailing address, no  please

(3)  your direct telephone number both home and cell.?

{4} Please accept my offer

Once you get back to me with all the above, the check or money order  will be issued out immediately and it will be sent to you .Hope to hear from you immediately.Looking forward to your swift response.i will also be offering you extra $100 for keeping the Item for me till the shipper comes for the pick up.Thanks for your concern over my need.


And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive.  We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!




For a comprehensive list of national and international agencies to report scams, see this page.