Classified Ad Scams: selling a car
Scams and scammers using these names: Andy Mac
"you are required to deduct the cost of your vehicle which is $12200 when payment gets to you and refund balance which is $7600 to my client's shipper"
Are you looking to sell a car?
Did "Andy Mac" claiming to be from firstname.lastname@example.org contact you? Note that he says: "you are required to deduct the cost of your vehicle which is $12200 when payment gets to you and refund balance which is $7600 to my client's shipper".
That's a clue to a scam right there!
Here are the clues that this is a scam?
- First, you will notice the syntax and grammar. 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.
- Next, he wants to write a check in excess of the required amount. Why?
That makes no sense at all. If he hasn't got a bank account, he could always
pay in cash or get a money order.
- Then, he wants the "excess" from the check sent BACK to him or
to other individuals, often in many different locations, and always by Western
Union or Money Gram! Alarm bells should be going off by now. 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!
- And then there are the little clues; signs like the strange name changes.
Maybe, first he's "David Rapheal", then he's suddenly Shawn Nickolas, supposedly in
England, yet the first name has an American spelling and the last name is
spelled more like an Eastern European or Germanic origin.
- The scammers typically ramble on about issues ("you are required to deduct the cost of your vehicle which is $12200 when payment gets to you and refund balance which is $7600 to my client's shipper") that are irrelevant
to such a sale or rental; such as, how they are doing this for charity, or
recently moved to the UK, or are traveling in Africa right now. You as
a seller / landlord, don't and shouldn't care about these issues: you are
trying to find a legitimate buyer or renter for your item at a fair market
price. The scammer knows this and is merely trying to cloud the issue
and provide excuses for not complying with the basic requirements of a sale.
He's also trying to engender trust; one of the key elements of any con game.
- Look at the huge number of misspellings, weird use of capital letters, poor punctuation and made-up
words. Again, this is typical of the scammer filth
who live and operate in Nigeria.
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:
andy Mac [ email@example.com ]
Thanks for your reply . After your mail I got in
touch with my client on the details of your reply to our enquiry on the
vehicle's condition at the AD and evaluation of your ad it is satifactory
He really commended your vehicle from its features
in the advert and has instructed me to carry on with the sales at the
price of $12200 without negotiating further,since the vehicle is still for
sale and in good condition as described by the advert.
I am therefore happy to tell you that I have
concluded with my client and he has instructed me to carry on with the
transaction, He said I should let you know that payment will get to you in
a cashiers check of $19,800 which is a refund payment of a cancelled order
earlier made by him.
Due to companys policy this payment has to be made
out in this amount to you ,because company policy only allows a refund
payment on one cashiers check,this amount is expected to in part cover both
the shipping and any other expences that might accrue in the course of this
transaction ,so you are required to deduct the cost of your vehicle which is
$12200 when payment gets to you and refund balance which is $7600 to my
client's shipper,who will come for inspection/pickup for him to be able to
offset shipping & tax charges, and other cosmetic repair costs.
After payment has reached you and balance sent to
shipper, the shipper's agent will come for inspection, pick up (of vehicle &
signing of title papers).
Confirm this and forward your....
For payment to be made out to you as soon as
All other information needed in completion of this
transaction will be given to you in due course.
Your honesty, understanding and co-operation will be
highly appreciated. ,