It is so easy to fall victim to a Craigslist Auto Scam. Recently I fell victim to one. I wasn’t sought out initially but, once I showed interest, the scammer did a decent job of sucking me into their scam.
Looking for a Truck on Craigslist
I was looking for a truck on craigslist both here locally in Maine and down in the Florida as my mom and dad spend the winter down there. I went looking at old trucks in Maine and many times they are a bit rusty especially underneath on the frame. My reasoning for including the Florida in my searches was because if I could find a decent deal near my parents, my dad could check it out for me. I could then send money for the purchase. Well, I found one, sort of but, it ended up being a scam. Here is how it played out. I found the listing below which by my calculations was about $2000 under what the truck was worth. That should have been my first scam sign but, my excitement got the best of me.
I called the phone number 2-3 times and it always went to an unset up voice mail. I email the contact and it took about 24 hours for the person to get back to me.
I asked for more pictures and explained that my dad lived in the area and that he would drop by to check out the frame and buy it for his asking price if everything checked out. I gave him my dads phone numbers to coordinate the meeting. He replies with a story that the truck is in Omaha, Nebraska which seemed a bit strange but, I was excited about the truck and the thought of a scam hadn’t hit me yet.
The scammer even sent me a working Carfax link to look up the history of the truck. Then he or she tells me that they want to conduct the transaction through Ebay in order to ensure that we are both 100% protected! Wow how thoughtful. I fell right into it and sent him my office address. See below.
I then receive the email from Ebay. See below.
I explained that I had to speak with him before the purchase and he said that he couldn’t because his cell phone didn’t work in Greece. I got suspicious and then brought the entire list of emails to my coworker. He got suspicious as well and noticed that the email address in the above email wasn’t from Ebay at all. It was from a domain customerhelppurchase.com which after further investigation was registered this month! Red flags went up and I realized that I was the victim of a scam. Bummer, I really liked the truck and now I’m receiving more spam (e.g. carfax[at]carfaxconsumer.net). I also think of the personal information I gave this person (email, address, phone and my dads phone).
Sometimes the only protection you can get is your own common sense. Thankfully I had some. Please be careful out there and learn from my mistake.