How To Spot A Scammer
There are many many different types of scams so please do not take the information on this page as a complete list of anything that could be a scam. This page is solely intended to give you more information about how the scams currently work and to give you some basic tools to help you spot a potential scammer.
Most scams follow a few basic premises that are designed to appeal to your desire to sell your car as quickly as possible for the most money possible. Because of this, most scams follow a basic outline that you can use to spot them. If a potential buyer displays any of the traits listed below you should be suspicious, if they display several of the traits you should avoid the transaction at all costs
- The Buyers initial email may not refer to your car with any specificity but rather say they are interested in "purchasing your item". This is because they have been contacting everyone in the list and are just copying and pasting the same text into their email to you.
- They will be willing to pay you up front for the car without seeing it.
- They will offer to pay by cashiers check, certified money order or some other form of paper check. This check will be forged, and very well too, you will most likely be able to take it to your bank and deposit it even if it's from the same bank as issued the check. The issuing bank however will not pay the check because they will not have a record of receiving funds for it. This often takes up to 3 weeks to occur, if you deposit the check the money will be charged back to your account
- They will often offer to pay you more than the asking price for the vehicle, ostensibly to cover shipping costs and such or they will offer a story that they are representing the buyer and that the extra money represents their commission from the buyer.
- They will ask you to send or wire them cash for the extra amount sent to you minus the price of the car and even a bonus for your trouble in sending the money
- Often the person contacting you will say they are representing the buyer
- They will offer to buy the car without having seen it or having it checked out and they will work out the shipping details after the sale is made.
Protect yourself from scammers and follow a few simple rules:
- Do not ever send the buyer money, if the transaction involves you sending them money this will ALWAYS be a scam and will never be a legitimate deal.
- Always have their bank deal with your bank directly to wire money to you.
- Find out everything you can about the buyer, the more information you want about them the more likely they will move on to the next "mark". For them it's a numbers game, they will throw a hundred darts at a board in hopes of finding one sucker.
- Look them up in public records, search our database of members and find out if anyone else in their area knows them. Rodders are a close community, if no one in town knows them and there's nothing in public records they probably aren't legit.
- When you reply to their email ask them what they were inquiring about. If they have no idea what you're selling but they're excited to buy it they're probably a scammer.
If you have tips we can add, please contact us so we can update this information.