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I am pretty naive about these scams but I managed to figure out the one I was almost involved in.
Background: I have a 1960 Fleetwood, weighs about 4900 lbs, that I wanted to sell. So, I posted on a local Cadillac club website, and the following email exchange ensued:
AM INTERESTED IN BUYING THIS ITEM YOU PLACED ON NET FORSALE...HOWEVER,I WANT TO KNOW THE BEST PRICE FOR IT AND ALSO TO KNOW IF IT'S AVAILABLE FORSALE.DO SEND THE PICS OF IT TO ME AND PLS DON'T HESITATE TO LET ME KNOW ANYTHING YOU FEEL I'D KNOW ABOUT IT.WAITING FOR YOUR SWIFT RESPONSE.
Cool, I think, maybe someone wants it. The all caps concerned me a little, but the site where the for sale notice was posted is a little obscure so I didn't worry too much.
I replied, probably releasing too much personal info:
I'm asking $12K but could negotiate. I will send you the pics that I have tonight or tomorrow (don't know what folder they're in...). The car is in good shape, but is unrestored. It does have some underbody rust, but I drive it pretty frequently. It was stored inside until just recently, when the addition of a motorcycle to the family put it outside. I'm in (put town where I live) if you'ld like to come see it.
So he replies:
Thankns for the mail u sent and i will want you to know that the price is ok by me..but do send the pics of it to me so that we could finalise discussion on the paymenT..
So, I find some pictures and send them off. I am somewhat suspicious now, but want to play along to see where this goes. Also, I'm still hoping that maybe this is the real thing (did I mention I'm naive... )
THANKS FOR THE MAIL AND ALL OF THOSE PICS ATTACHED TO IT U SENT ...I REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT...HOWEVER,I WANT U TO KNOW THAT THE PRICE IS OKAY BY ME AS I HAVE SAID ON MA PREVIOUS MAIL AND AS FOR THE SHIPPING THAT'LL NOT BE A PROBLEM FROM ITS CURRENT LOCATION ..I HAVE CONTACTED A SHIPPING COMPANY THAT WILL HANDLE THE SHIPPING...SO THAT'LL NOT BE A PROBLEM...OK
AS FOR THE PAYMENT I'LL BE PAYING WITH A CHECK WHICH'LL BE CASHED EASILY...I WANT U TO KNOW THAT I'LL BE SENDING YOU A CHECK IN WHICH U'LL DEDUCT YOUR ASKING $12000 AND YOU SEND THE REMAINING BALANCE TO THE SHIPPING COMPANY THAT 'LL BE COMING FOR THE NEXT DAY PICK UP AT YOUR PLACE...TO MAKE OUT THE CHECK I'LL NEED UR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS WHERE THE PAYMENT' LL BE SENT TO AND PROBABLY UR PHONE #....DO SEND THE INFO TO ME ASAP...
HOPING TO HEAR FROM U SOONEST..
What?! OK, now the red flag has really gone up. I mean, really, why would anyone want an unrestored, 4900 lb hunk of rust shipped?! So I respond, exaggerating a little:
are you kidding? shipping? this thing weighs 6,000 lbs!
he (Warren Smith is the name he gives) replies:
The shipping will not be a problem from it current location that why the shipping company will handle everything no matter the weigh ok..so to make out the payment and finalising the transaction send me the info on how to make out the check so that i could send out the payment ASAP..OK and probally ur phone nos ok..
where will we be shipping to? and what kind of check?
the guy must be feeling pretty good now... And, I notify the local Cadillac club about this whole exchange.
thanks for the mail ..will be shipped to IN and its am paying with a certified cashier check drawn from a US bank and will be cashed easily by you..ok...
Indianna? they don't have antique Cadillacs in Indiana? whatever... that was the last communication from him. I reported the whole exchange to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and have heard nothing more.
It was kind of fun while it lasted.
I decided to keep the Cadillac and restore it myself.
Eight Retired Moderator
Joined: 11 Sep 2004
Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:53 pm
Welcome to Eater, drivermom. It's all very well you being self-deprecating and saying you're naive, but you seem to have spotted this scam pretty damn quick. Congrats on saving yourself from a mess, and please feel free to find a lad to exact your revenge on. It's not a good idea to bait that one since he has personal info on you, but we have plenty more where he came from.
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