[s-cars] Online fraud (car related, delete if you're not interested)

Joe Pizzimenti joe.pizzimenti at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 07:33:34 EDT 2006

Those half a dozen people you know are representative of 6 people I would
never sell my car to.  This one was one of those Capital One checks, which
is even easier to forge than a cashier's check.  Like Lee said below,
possession is 9/10ths of the law.  I'd rather make sure I'm not going to get
screwed on $15k than sleep comfortably in my bed knowing that I have some
imaginary legal recourse against someone who may or may not be using his own
I suggested to him that he should fly out, check out the car, give me a
check, I deposit it, fly back and I'll let him know when the check clears.
He'd take the title with him and come back with plates.  He said he couldn't
afford to do that.  I said he couldn't afford the car, and the best of luck
and godspeed in finding another s-car.
You can pick up or swap license plates at any rest area.  Not that hard to
do with a drill and with a car as nondescript as an s-car, it would be easy
to sneak by police.  Hell, I'd even venture to guess that he wasn't even
from the midwest, so any notices going out to the barracks along I-80 would
have been a lost cause.


On 10/16/06, Brett Dikeman <brett at cloud9.net> had too much faith in
> 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...
> Brett

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