Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by F360@20, Jan 21, 2004.

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  1. F360@20

    F360@20 Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    San Diego
    ok, typing this fast so please excuse grammer.

    Alright been looking for a new daily driver. I found last week a 02 M3 with 21,000 miles on it. Asking 31,000 (way to good to be true but what the heck lets check it out) so I write a email asking about it and i get this back today.

    The ad is still available

    My car has never been damaged in any way. It's condition is outstanding and most
    important i have a
    clear title. The odometer shows 21,700 Miles. The problem is that i had to move
    with my
    family in Germany , Europe. I brought the car here with the intention of driving it
    but when i found out about the very high import dutiesi have made up my mind and
    decided to sell the vehicle back to the USA.
    I am willing to cover the air freight to the USA. The transaction must take place
    with the use of an on line escrow company that my son reccomended, this service
    handles these kind of transactions. They are going to keep your funds until you
    receive and
    inspect the vehicle. Only with your authorization they will release the
    funds to me.
    Please let me know if you are willing to buy under these circumstances and if yes
    ,please let me know what else you may need.
    The price is negotiable, i am ready to find out what your best offer is.


    So, I mean is that legit or SCAM? What should be me next step. Keep moving or walk away?

    Thanks for your help guys.
  2. Ferrari 1

    Ferrari 1 Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
    Fort Lauderdale
    Full Name:
    Benn Correale
    My experience has been that if a car has a story attached, such as this, it's usually not worth the aggrevation, even if it is a real car. I'm sure if it's too good to be true, something is amiss. Tread cautiously.
  3. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Formula 3

    Apr 20, 2002
    Check who the escrow company is if you're going to explore it further.....
  4. darth550

    darth550 Six Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jul 14, 2003
    In front of you
    Full Name:
    If you want to take this to its' logical conclusion...the FIRST thing you should do is insist upon an unbiased third party escrow (In the States with an address). If he disagrees then you'll know. One harmless email is all it will take to find out. :)

  5. henryr

    henryr Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 10, 2003
    Full Name:
    Juan Sánchez Villa-L
    IT'S BS. i posted an ad becuase i'm looking for a 550. well anyhow, i have received all sorts of emails with the same and other variants of the story claiming a "Great deal"
  6. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ

    Apr 3, 2001
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    it's BS... flat out BS.

    this should be your big red flag.

    if you buy into this, you'll be just like the others that were scammed. you'll end up with nothing but a bank account or loan to pay off for the agreed upon amount. I hope you realize that the car doesn't really exist. I come across these scams all the time, and some people fall for them, others understand the 'too good to be true' aspect of taking a person's word for granted.
  7. F360@20

    F360@20 Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    San Diego
    Darth, I sent the email off with what you said.
  8. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I think there was a thread about this a few years ago... There was a lot of talk about some scammers setting up fake escrow companies. I'd definitely ask some more questions. 31k OBO for an '02 M3 just seems too low... couple other oddities:

    1. He wants to use an escrow company his son recommended. So much for an independent 3rd party money-holder.

    2. He's moving to Germany, Europe. At first I thought he meant he was moving to Germany, USA. DUH. Looks like it was written by a 12 year old.

    3. He'll pay for air freight. HUH? Is that even available? I know shipping a car across the ocean via the water is expensive, but damn. 31k minus the cost of air freight.. might as well give it to you.

  9. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Honorary Owner

    Oct 23, 2002
    Full Name:
    Jim Glickenhaus
    Are you serious?
    Let's see.
    US duty. 10%
    Air freight 10K
  10. F360@20

    F360@20 Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    San Diego
    Ok, Ill give it up. hahaaha I new it looked to good to be true but ive never got way into like what makes it a scam and what does not. Besides the point of a 45,000 car for 31,000 thats why I ask you guys, You guys are the B.O.M.B bomb!

    Ferrari chat-keeping an eye on the little guy.
  11. tvrfreak

    tvrfreak F1 Rookie

    Mar 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    F K
    Good advice from Darth. But it's a scam. You don't expect people to come out and say it's a scam but we are used to the poor English and obvious BS content from the Nigerian-type scams. It's getting more subtle and harder to detect, and very tempting. They make the price just appealing enough, but not throw-away. They make the background story plausible (and weave in the need for urgency, limiting your opportunity to do research/due diligence). They invoke third-parties, such as escrow companies. It just sounds so tempting. But it's a scam.

    If a car was shipped to Europe and found to be very expensive to register, the owner would be given ample time to re-export the car. And if the owner is originally from the US, he should definitely be able to arrange for it to be kept somewhere in the US until a proper offer is received. Even if he was not able to arrange for a relative or friend to look after his car and show it to interested buyers he could use any number of consignment places .

    And the offer to ship by air at the owner's expense is ridiculous. It's expensive, and is only done for very high-end cars or racecars. It's 7-10 days to ship by ocean to the East Coast from Bremerhaven or Rotterdam. Why would he offer to pay at least five times as much to ship by air?

    This type of scam uses a fake escrow company. Either one that does not exist, or is really someone working for the buyer posing as an unbiased third party. Sometimes the person doing the escrow does not even know that he is party to a scam. They are hired through newspaper or web ads and just told to receive funds and forward them IMMEDIATELY in order to get paid.

    Use your own escrow company, or insist on receiving the car and title in person. You would spend $800 bucks or so to fly to Germany and get this car at a $10,000 discount, wouldn't you?

    It's going to be REALLY hard to detect scams when even these tell-tale signs disappear from the ads.
  12. MarkG

    MarkG Formula Junior

    Nov 3, 2003
    Colorado Springs
    Full Name:
    Lets analyze this e-mail line by line just for the heck of it: (sounds like author may be ESL so lets take that into consideration)

    The ad is still available (cool, but how about the CAR!)

    The odometer shows 21,700 Miles (nice, but what is actual miles?)

    move family in Germany , Europe (as opposed to Germany, Asia?)

    when i found out about the very high import duties (shouldn't that have been acertained BEFORE shipping car to Europe?)

    I am willing to cover the air freight to the USA. (Air vs Ship???)

    transaction must take place...(MUST ...sounds like a 'contract of adhesion' to me; this qualifier just doesn't pass the smell test)

    Please let me know if you are willing to buy under these circumstances (see above; if not willing, what will his counter-offer be?)

    The price is negotiable, i am ready to find out what your best offer is. (sounds like a fishing expedition)

    Caveat Emptor
  13. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    My mom saw on Oprah (seriously, lol) the same scam. The escrow company was fake. Some doctor lost 50k on a BMW.
  14. F360@20

    F360@20 Karting

    Nov 24, 2003
    San Diego
    O and by the way. I just wanted to say to everyone thanks for the fast response!
    Look at the times everyone posted! its frecken great

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