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Scammers


fastlarry

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Got my bike up for sale on Craigslist and Cycletrader. I get these strange text messages asking for pictures and more information. Often in broken english they offer to buy the bike, sight unseen, using Paypal. What, exactly, is their game? They always want an email address, too. I play with them asking them to call me, or stop by and look at the bike. I know they are scammers, but I don't know the mechanics of how they get ahold of my money. I'm sure some of you know the answer.

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I think most people use their e-mail address as their PayPal name. Once a scammer knows you have an account, and they have your username, they only have to guess your password. I hope it's not 1234. :-D

 

Seriously, I once "played along" with an apparent scam when I was selling a rare car on Craigslist. It had several red flags, small deposit from the buyer's "friend" in the US, buyer in foreign country, wanted to wire transfer the balance, buyer seemed too trusting of my ad (not enough questions about the vehicle). A few weeks later, I had my money from a foreign account and a shipper showed up to take the car to Poland. I was checking regularly with my bank to make sure that they knew what I was doing and to minimize risk. Amazingly, it all worked out. BTW - I am not recommending this, just saying that not everything that looks like a scam is one. On the flip side, the most effective scams do not look like scams at all.

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There are many scammers for sure (especially when they ask for your email address or want to use Paypal instead of a bank transfer), but always remember Eastern Europe is a huge market for used vehicles.

Part get sold locally, but the bulk gets dismantled and turned into spare parts due to cheap labor: a lot of those parts often turn up on on ebay.de at prices so low you cannot but wonder if they came from stolen vehicles (which sometimes is the case).

 

Mind we are not talking about the small guy working alone in his garage in the evening to turn an extra profit, but large scale, well organized outfits. I often see lorries on the highway loaded with older cars or bikes. They are always very new Mercedes or Scania on Slovakian, Polish etc plates: they have agreements with dealers to pick up those bikes and cars that are deemed "impossible" to sell and often stop along the way to pick vehicles from private sellers.

 

 

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My daughter decided to sell her gran piano here in the UK on Ebay

 

she got an enquiry from New Zealand. He asked for her bank details. She asked the bank if giving her bank details and they said it was ok.

 

Sold for $10k and specialist transport came and got it to ship!

 

Pete

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In addition to the comments above about your accounts and passwords being used, they also collect email accounts and sell them to advertising outfits for pennies. You will then be the receiver of spam emails offering you riches beyond your imagination. A good way to get lots of porn providers sending you opportunities.

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Hi guys. I advertised my 2010 R1200RT on www.bikesales.com.au a couple of months ago. Among the genuine enquirers was one scam (said he could not be contacted via bike sales email as he was on an oil platform at sea, etc.) I cut and pasted a part of his message into Google and up came two scam references. When I checked the sites they quoted his messages verbatim. Suggest you could do the same when in doubt.

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At work we do International transactions all the time. Within the United States or Canada, we don't have a problem with credit cards or PayPal. But, the address must come back as verified, and the transaction must appear to be normal.

 

International orders must be done with a wire transfer. This is very common for International orders. If I listed a bike on Craig's List, and someone does not want to see it, then I want a wire transfer or they can FedEx me a Certified Bank Check. When the check clears, then I'll release the bike.

 

Also remember that wire transfers can be reversed for 24 hours after they arrive. I always ask that they Email me the bank wire transfer form once it is done. I then take the form to the bank for them to watch. 24 hours after the funds have arrived, I then release the item to whom ever they want to pick up the bike.

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At work we do International transactions all the time. Within the United States or Canada, we don't have a problem with credit cards or PayPal. But, the address must come back as verified, and the transaction must appear to be normal.

 

International orders must be done with a wire transfer. This is very common for International orders. If I listed a bike on Craig's List, and someone does not want to see it, then I want a wire transfer or they can FedEx me a Certified Bank Check. When the check clears, then I'll release the bike.

 

Also remember that wire transfers can be reversed for 24 hours after they arrive. I always ask that they Email me the bank wire transfer form once it is done. I then take the form to the bank for them to watch. 24 hours after the funds have arrived, I then release the item to whom ever they want to pick up the bike.

 

And remember that the whole business of money transfers is now rife with fraud (this from a bank investigator/former FBI friend of mine). In any instance, I'd work closely with your bank to ensure that you're covered.

 

But, as others have said, while there are many scams out there, a surprising number of long-distance purchases are legit. Just approach with caution.

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I've had a couple of scammers when I sold one of my bikes. As is common with scammers, the original email about my bike contained detailed descriptions of complications related to the way that they must perform the transaction.

In scamming emails, the language is often way too polite and wordy for a bike purchase enquiry.

The best action for scammers is don't respond.

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