Another 355 Scam?

Discussion in '348/355' started by Theo, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. Theo

    Theo Formula Junior

    May 6, 2002
    Westford, MA
    Full Name:
    Theo Pappas
    I am looking at this 99 F355 GTS I found on He wants $57k for the car but he is in Rome. Below is the email exchange between us. My gut is telling me it is a scam but would like to get people's thoughts.



    1st email....


    Thanks for your interest. First of all I must
    inform you that I'm currently in Rome, Italy and also that the
    F355 is here with me and it is in a perfect condition. If you are really
    interested we can work something out... I can ship out the car to you or something
    like that. What do you say?

    Now, to tell you something about the car. The car's history is very simple. I am the first and only owner of this car, which was custom ordered around September 1998, and delivered in February 1999. Copy of the original sticker available.

    Approximately 1000 miles ago, the following servicing was performed at Ferrari of Orange County:
    New F1 transmission seals
    New clutch
    New pressure plate
    New catalytic converters
    New motor mounts

    I have copies of service receips available if you want I can email them to you.
    I've moved this year to Italy and this car has to go. The price that I ask is $57000 non negotiable.

    I have a clear title which you will receive with the car. It can be registered into your name, so stay cool about this.

    The car is US street legal, does not need any conversion and it meets all DOT and EPA regulations. You can check the VIN (ZFFXR42A7X0114882) on

    When I brought the Ferrari in Rome, I tried to register it, but I found that the import and register taxes are very high. I was very dissapointed, because I love this car and I would keep it for me and now I am forced to sell it. I can't sell it here in Italy or in Europe, because it is US street legal. You can see this, if you will check the VIN. The car was registered in US before. This is the reason that I want to sell the car in USA because european people do not like it prepared this way. The other offers that I have are also from the US.



    2nd email......

    Hi Theo,
    The F355 is still available. The last service was done on Jan 2004.The 30K was not performed yet, you'll have to take care of it , I know that it will cost you arround 5K. The car was never involved in an accident, and has never been raced.

    I have to tell you that I have other serious offers that I have to consider and I will make a decision regarding this sale function of time of payment and price.

    As you already know, the price I hope to obtain is $57000 (this price does NOT include shipping and insurance, shipping via Lufthansa Air Cargo will cost you an extra $2500) and if you agree with this price we can start to complete the transaction.

    The payment must be done using a money transfer service.

    I prefer money transfer (wired cash) because in this way I will ship the car in the same day you make the payment.
    I know that the best deals are closed when the risk involved is minimum. You will arrange payment through Western Union (

    In case you want me to ship you the car right now you have to make me a payment of $5000 (and after you receive and inspect the car you have to send me the rest of the money). The inspection period is 5 days. (Once again, the balance is expected after the 5 day inspection period by certified check)

    I have something SAFE for you because I want you to be sure that you will receive the car and I hope we will collaborate in the future.
    Look at what I can do for you:

    - you will make the $5000 transfer to my location but not to my name (you will use your best friends name for example as receiver's name) so you can be sure that I will not pick up the money until you get the car; so you make a deposit at Western Union and you will give me the transfers details (SENDER'S NAME AND ADDRESS, RECEIVER'S NAME, MTCN) so I can check that the deposit was made.

    After I verify it, I will send you the car immediately.
    - only after you will receive the car and check it if it's OK, you will have to change the receiver's name of the transfer to my name so I can collect the 5K.

    So until you will have the car in your hands the money will be deposited on your best friend's name at Western Union Agency.

    I think it is better to not inform Western Union that you will change the receivers name in a few days because it is possible they ask you to pay the fees twice (fees that are quite big for such an amount),also when you go to a Western Union office to make the transfer,please don't tell them the reason you send the money because here in this country I must pay some additional taxes when I receive the funds.

    Please say you send the money to your friends or to your partner.
    It's like your friend/partner is in Italy and you want to send him this amount of money!
    I will be happy if you can trust me and make the transfer directly to my name but because it is our first deal I've proposed you this very safe and efficient method so you can only deposit the money first and after you get the car I'll be allowed to cash it.

    On the other hand, I will take you as a serious and possible buyer (this way I will loose all the nonpaying buyers that I occur everyday) and arrange a further deal but in this case you have to come in person to the car´s location to see the car and take it back with you or you can send a friend or agent that lives near by to inspect the car and pay the rest of the money.
    If you agree with this method you can transfer $1000 from your home:

    Or you can transfer the payment using your credit card via phone calling 1-800-CALL-CASH service of Western Union that is a free of charge phone number and is available 24 hours a day.

    After you've completed the transfer you will receive a confirmation that will allow me to track the transfer.

    Here are the details that I need:

    - sender's name and address;
    - receiver's;
    - exact amount wired;
    - MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) (10 digits)
    - if it is possible a scanned copy of the receipt format .JPEG for me to add to the files.

    As soon as the payment will be confirmed and the money properly sent,I will IMMEDIATELY proceed with shipping if you've sent me $5000 or I will hold the car for you if you've deposited $1000.

    In case you've paid the money I will ship the car via Lufthansa Airplane Cargo insured and it will take 72 hours until you will have it at your door step.

    The amounts of payment are fully refundable if for any reason you do not accept the car or if the car has scratches, hidden defects, or it is not as advertised. I will even pay for the shipping back to my location if you reject the car but since it is a state of the art and works and looks perfectly I think it won't get to this.

    Here is my name and address you need for the Western Union transfer:

    My details:

    First name: DOUGLAS
    Last name: HAYASHI
    City: Rome
    Country: Italy
    address: Via Piave, 61
    Zip Code: 00187

    If you agree with these terms, let me know and I will be more than
    glad to start to complete the transaction with you.

    Thank you and I hope that you will have the pleasure to drive this car.
    I am waiting your answer ASAP
    Thank you and kindly regards!

  2. Kds

    Kds F1 World Champ

    Fly over there and do the deal after he sends you the proof that he shipped the car to Rome.

    I am sure that he has a lot of documentation from Italian customs...and shippers...etc....if he can't or won't produce the papers...I say scam.
  3. LetsJet

    LetsJet F1 Veteran

    May 24, 2004
    Full Name:

    I have seen this type of wording before. Further, 60 Minutes just did a story on con men using Western Union as there prefered method. They commented in the story that at one WU branch they est. over 80% of the transactions were scams.

    Personaly, I'm sorry to say, this sounds like a scam.

    I suggest two things:

    1. You could travel to Rome and do the transaction and shipping yourself
    2. You could use an escrow company (one that is not a scam). Maybe your banker could provide a name.

    My thought is, once you recommend this, the car will have been sold or some other story.

    Good luck
  4. riverflyer

    riverflyer F1 Rookie

    Nov 26, 2003
    Mendocino, Ca
    Full Name:
    This is for sure a scam. I would waste no time on this deal.
  5. future328driver

    future328driver Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 10, 2001
    Dallas, Texas
    Full Name:
    Ken Thomas
    Not only are his terms enough to raise suspicion, his low price should send warning bells.
  6. don_xvi

    don_xvi F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Outside Detroit
    Full Name:
    Don the 16th
    Yeah, it's a scam.
    For someone that didn't do his homework on the assertion that the car can't be registered over there because it's a US car (sounds fishy anyways), he's got a lot of research into how you can pay him. He shouldn't be willing to ship the car with only $5000 in someone else's name, anyways. Besides, I dont' think that the name that a WU is sent to is worth anything, as a matter of fact, I don't think you even need a fake ID, I think that ANYONE can go get the money with the information he asks for to "verify the money's been sent". Run, don't walk.
  7. notoboy

    notoboy F1 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2003
    Full Name:
    Its a scam.

    I bought a Vespa through ebay and the guy did everything possible to assure me that he was legit in every way. I sent him the money via Western Union and he skipped town almost immediately. Lucky for me, I tracked the Vespa down and finally got it after much trouble and another $1000+.

    If I didn't speak Italian and know people in Italy, I woulda been completely screwed.

    Don't do it!
  8. Theo

    Theo Formula Junior

    May 6, 2002
    Westford, MA
    Full Name:
    Theo Pappas
    Thanks for your feedback. I was think the same thing, scam. Should I confront the guy (send email?) or just no reply?

    This is what makes FerrariChat so great!


  9. etip

    etip Formula 3

    Apr 4, 2004
    Washington State
    Full Name:
    just walk away....
  10. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    It's a scam, want to know why? Here you go...

    - The guy's name is (claimed to be) Douglas Hayashi. I know Doug personally, but I don't know where he is at the moment. Certainly not Rome, not away from the wife and kid, or even take them with him away from his investments on the West Coast.
    - I know he didn't take it to Europe, away from the West Coast Tracks.
    - I know it has been tracked before, not raced, but close enough with AMB transponders attatched to it. The seller claims it has not.
    - The VIN on the car even matches up to Doug's '99 355, so it will come up clean as can be, because it looks right.
    - Here's Doug's prior ebay attempt at selling the car:
    - Here's Doug's info on the car itself, when he is/was selling it at $95K: (scroll to near the bottom of the page)

    Anyways... file a report with ebay and send a note to Doug to inquire about his car and to let him know that his car is being sold from Rome on ebay. Doug's address is: dougha at msn dot com.
  11. FasterIsBetter

    FasterIsBetter F1 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2004
    NoNJ/Jupiter FL
    Full Name:
    Steve W.
    See how easy it is for these internet scammers to make it seem like the real thing? He obviously hijacked the legitimate ad, using the VIN and pictures and information he gleaned from the original to make it sound good. The crap about not being able to register it in Italy, problems with taxes, is a dead giveaway that it's a scammer. Total nonsense.

    If you can afford to spend $57K or $95K or more on a car, you can afford a few hundred dollars to go and look at the car in person and see for yourself that it is for real, whether its in the US or Europe or wherever. $5 or $50 or $100 is one thing. But if you're prepared to spend any significant amount on a car, make sure you see it and touch it yourself and inspect both car and title papers, or have someone you know and trust do it for you. Only then do you make a deal and arrange exchange of payment for receipt of title and car. My $.02.

    Caveat emptor.
  12. Niteroi

    Niteroi Karting

    Jun 1, 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    I've been dealing with this guy since saturday. After some research I found out that this car is owned by Doug Hayashi, as you can see it in his website ( and called his friend Wayne Mello (also in the same website, owner of, he told me that they were selling the car on ebay and some guy asked for pictures and a copy of the title, and now he's been using it for that scheme...

    Funny thing is, when I asked the guy for his phone number he told me he couldn't talk over the phone due to hearing problems!!

    Well, the guy definetly had a lot of info about that car...
  13. Slomo

    Slomo Karting

    Nov 22, 2003
    Bellevue, WA
    Full Name:
    David Chambers
    Scam. But if you were convinced it was real, you can fly to Rome on a weeks notice for under $1k. Nice little trip, see and drive the car, arrange shipping yourself. In this case though, it would be wasted time.
  14. Niteroi

    Niteroi Karting

    Jun 1, 2004
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    Just got a call from Doug Hayashi confirming that it is a scheme.
  15. SrfCity

    SrfCity F1 Veteran

    Nov 1, 2003
    Orange County, CA
    Good catch on the Doug H thing. I saw the almost exact same scam for a Shelby Cobra, a while back. Bottom line is, on the sketchy deals if you can't make like you want to physically see the car and do it if it seems real, forget it.
  16. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2004
    Southern California
    I would never buy a used car, especially a Ferrari, without first seeing it and meeting the seller. I know that others have done this successfully but they're surely more trusting than me.
  17. Doug Hayashi

    Doug Hayashi Rookie

    Dec 16, 2003
    Thanks for the heads up.

    John F. from back east let me know last week that some guy from Ohio was trying to sell my car on for 57k. I berated to delete it, and they finally did.

    Today, Wayne told me there is an ad in the LA Times, with some other scammer trying to sell my car.

    At the moment, the car is no longer for sale. My house closes escrow today, so I'll keep the F355 a little longer, as I don't have to worry about house payments. :)

    I changed my website ad to so people will be forewarned that fraudulent people are out there trying to sell a car they do not own.


    Renting a house until the Real Estate Market crashes
  18. Theo

    Theo Formula Junior

    May 6, 2002
    Westford, MA
    Full Name:
    Theo Pappas
    Hi Doug,

    I'm glad you're on this board and could personally confirm this is a scam. Do you want me to reply back to this piece of S&!@ that he's been identified? If you want to do it here is his address:

    Got to love FerrariChat!

  19. ashsimmonds

    ashsimmonds F1 World Champ

    Feb 14, 2004
    adelaide, australia
    Full Name:
    Humble Narrator
  20. Evolved

    Evolved F1 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA

    Don't housing prices only go up???

  21. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    I wouldn't even bother emailing him. I would contact AOL before anything, informing them that this account is being used for fraudulent activities.
  22. beezerhound69

    beezerhound69 Karting

    Feb 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    This is 100% absolutely a scam...what timing...My friend was lined up to buy a car in Spain under the EXACT same circumstances on Tuesday. Western Union flagged the transaction and let him know that there was a big scam ring going on with the very scenario you have just described..

  23. milstanselnino

    milstanselnino Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jon P.
    Those crooks are slick. Thank you for sharing
  24. Paintshield

    Paintshield Formula Junior

    Dec 23, 2004
    Grantham UK
    Full Name:
    Tom Wakeford
    Hi This is definitely a scam, there was a Guy running something like this out of Milan an American who is currently arraigned on Charges in Suffolk county New york for exactly this kind of thing he has associates in Italy and they may be running the scam still in his abscence. I know this because I had an intimate involvement with him on a seperate scam attempted on me.

    He is up on 7 seperate counts, not sure about posting his name here for legal reasons but he has been discussed on the board before.

    He used Western Union as well to get his funds and set up shell companies all over the place to hide his funds (or victims funds I should say).

    If you think you might have been ripped off between 2000 and 2004 using this you should get in touch with Suffolk County DA's office.

    If you PM me and want the contact details and the guys name to verify it against your experiences so you are not publicly embarrassed I will be happy to give you all the info.


    (lock em up lose the key)
  25. EnzoFreak

    EnzoFreak Rookie

    Dec 24, 2004
    anyone want to buy a 1999 Ferrari F355 GTS F1?


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