[s-cars] Online fraud

Eric Phillips gcmschemist at gmail.com
Mon Oct 16 20:45:14 EDT 2006

Wow, a lot of interesting discussion.

When I bought my S6, I talked to the guy in Boulder for two months
ahead of the date I arrived.  I talked also to a place in town that
worked on Audis and did PPIs.  I had the guy take the car over there,
and I paid.  Then I took the car to another place on the day I got
into town.  Just to verify the stuff the first guy told me, and to
have a compression check done.  Just in case.

Anyway, when it came time to pay, I used cashier's checks.  For the
exact amount.  I thought about carrying the $10k+ in bills, but
thought better of it because of the $10k limit on cash that law
enforcement uses as a trigger for suspicion of drug crimes.

I guess the guy trusted me.  I also took his plates, and drove 1100+
miles on them.  Maybe he was naive, or just an excellent judge of
character.  :)

But boy, he sure tursted me a lot further than I trusted him, in
retrospect.  I feel a little badly now.  Of course, it never occurred
to me that I was in a position to look like some kind of scammer.

He did ask me to add the car to my insurance prior to my purchase of
the car.  But I didn't show him any proof.  Yeah, I did have the

This conversation has been an eye-opener for the next time I buy/sell
a car.  Especially if the buyer/seller is out of the area.


> Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 17:12:12 -0400
> From: Brett Dikeman <brett at cloud9.net>
> Subject: Re: [s-cars] Online fraud (car related,        delete if you're not
>        interested)
> On Oct 16, 2006, at 4:29 PM, Joe Pizzimenti wrote:
> > Probably not, back when I was selling my s-car, I got a bunch of
> > scam e-mails and phone calls from "Steve Anderson" from the
> > midwest.  I knew it wasn't any relation to the Andersons, but a
> > familiar name will sometimes do it.  He wanted to fly to NY, give
> > me the check and drive the car back.  Screw that, you can fly to
> > NY, give me the check, go sightseeing and I'll give you the keys
> > when the check clears.
> >
> > Some people fall for it, I guess.
> >
> I know of half a dozen people who have bought cars in precisely this
> manner, though I think cashiers or bank-issued loan checks were
> involved.  Not sure; didn't really ask.
> I recall reading about a guy who was convicted of drug trafficking
> because he had several tens of thousands of dollars in cash on him
> which was found during a traffic stop; he was picking up some sort of
> truck or farm equipment and paying in cash, but that didn't matter;
> they threw away the key and pocketed the cash.  I can't see the
> Department of Homeland inSecurity looking cheerfully on an airline
> passenger carrying enough cash to buy a car...
> They need to have plates and insurance to legally drive the car home
> (NEVER let someone use your plates, no matter the distance!)  To
> board the airplane, they needed photo ID which will match their
> boarding pass.  If it is a personal check, the name and address
> obviously should match ID, insurance, registration, etc.  Write up a
> bill of sale.  Etc etc.  That's plenty to go after them with later if
> the check bounces, and as long as it's over $5k, you'll get plenty of
> interest from law enforcement.  If the check wasn't legit, I would
> think that would fall under theft or fraud, and both "vehicle" and
> "crossing state lines" notches penalties up quite a bit up the jail-
> and-$ scale, probably.  Has anyone personally experienced or heard of
> this kind of scam being pulled off?  Doesn't seem worth the
> considerable risk or effort.
>   You can report the vehicle VIN and plate as stolen, which would
> make driving from NY to the midwest pretty hazardous. For example,
> state cops in several states are now using hand-held cameras with
> optical character recognition, and they're connected to laptops
> populated daily with federal stolen vehicle registry data.
> Reportedly, the Virginia state police were getting a demo from the
> company next to an interstate and a few minutes in, the unit picked
> up plates on a stolen u-haul truck.  Hell, even the hotels/motels are
> tracking this stuff now.  A hotel out in the midwest -demanded- photo
> IDs from my father and I, as well as the plate numbers of the truck
> and trailer a few years ago on the way out to Mid-Ohio.  A plaque on
> the desk politely explained this was because of "post september 11th
> security concerns."  What a bunch of BS...

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