Scammer Database

Scam – 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited

Posted in database, ebay spoof, scammer by Chief on August 25, 2010

A reader submitted this article which appears on a private family blog:

Since you are reading this on the internet, it’s probably safe to say you have heard of internet scams. I’ve always considered myself pretty smart when it comes to being scammed. I don’t open emails that look suspicious. I don’t give out my credit card information over unsecured sites, yadda yadda yadda.

However, I recently answered a Craigslist ad for a Jeep Liberty. We have been looking to buy a vehicle for our sixteen year old daughter and after looking in local papers and on local sites, I gave into Craigslist. There is so much crap on Craigslist, that I generally try to avoid the site.

Late Saturday night, I saw an ad for a 2002 Jeep Liberty with only 72,000 miles. The price was really low (which should have been my first clue), so I contacted the seller. The next morning the seller replied with a detailed email explaining everything about the Jeep and why he was selling it so cheap. He supposedly was being deployed in the next week or so and didn’t want the Jeep to sit in his backyard for a long period of time. He even included the VIN number in the mail which would allow me to run a Carfax report verifying the history of the vehicle. I immediately ran the Carfax ($39.99) and it did, indeed, come back with a clean record.

The only catch was that the vehicle was in Montana “ready to be shipped at his expense”. That made me very leery so I emailed him voicing my concerns. He replied to say that he wanted to use a third-party (eBay) for the transaction, therefore I would have buyer protection and a five-day period to return the vehicle if we chose to do so. I still hesitated buying a vehicle sight unseen, but I know several people who have purchased vehicles from eBay and they had a great experience.

My husband and I talked about it and we were just waiting to see the paperwork (email) that eBay would be sending us about the transaction. Our main concern, at this point was that we wanted the opportunity to decline the purchase after we saw the vehicle and had our mechanic check it out. (Did I mention that during this time my daughter was ecstatic that she was going to be able to get a Jeep?)

The invoice didn’t come right away (which usually happens with eBay), so I emailed the seller. He said that I should have received it and to check my spam folder because often it is filtered. Sure enough, it was in my spam. No big deal, legitimate email occasionally goes to spam.

So, I open the email and it looks pretty official. At this point, I still think it is all on the up and up. I then proceeded to read the email, including the fine print at the bottom. The more I read it and reread it, I started to question a few things. First, the email came from ebay@billing-department.com. It should have come from something like billing-department@ebay.com. Everything coming from eBay should be from eBay.com. I also noticed that there was not an auction number or transaction number on the invoice. I went to eBay to try to find the transaction, but could not find it. Now, I was wondering how he could have eBay be a third-party if I wasn’t the “buyer” on an official eBay auction. Remember, I found this on Craigslist, not eBay. With no auction number and no link in the email to the auction, I had nothing to for reference.

It was pretty obvious now that it was a scam, but I had to prove it for myself. I decided to email the seller and ask for the auction number so I could have it for reference when I made the Western Union payment. (I also knew that eBay would accept other forms of payment than Western Union, but this invoice required payment only through Western Union. Also, the name for the Western Union payment was for a guy with a different name than the one on the emails.)

I still wanted to do a little more research. I took the VIN number he provided and Googled it. BAM! You wouldn’t believe how many hits I got on that number. All of them being on sites warning you about worldwide scams. This VIN number and the same story was all over the internet as a scam. (Can you imagine how foolish I feel at this point?)

I consider myself a pretty internet savvy person. But, I seriously almost sent money to this guy. If he had actually put the auction number in the invoice linking me to a (fake) auction I might have paid it not really thinking about the Western Union issue. My mom was actually pushing me to buy it. She was saying, “Who would lie about being deployed?” “This is such a great deal. You don’t want to miss it!” She would have lost her money. No doubt about it. She didn’t think for a second someone could lie about being deployed. I can’t imagine how many other people have lost money or scams such as this.

The scumbag emailed me asking me when I was going to send payment. I replied saying, “No thanks. I’ve changed my mind. Please see this link to answer why I am no longer interested.” https://scammerdatabase.wordpress.com/ (The exact scam I almost fell for is on this link. Just search for 2002 Jeep. He used a similar name and the same Jeep.)

This makes you wonder how many people have sent thousands of dollars to these scams. This taught me a huge lesson when I thought I already knew how to be cautious on the internet.

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5 Responses

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  1. […] leave a comment « Scam – 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited […]

  2. Ulf Wolf said, on August 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Good point, and thanks for the heads-up.

    Perhaps I can just add to this that the best way to guard against being ripped off by online sales or auctions of any kind, Craigslist and eBay included—and whether seller or buyer—is to use a *bona fide* online escrow company. Especially for pricier items like antiques, jewelry and autos. Although it does add some cost, it takes the uncertainty out of the transaction, and that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

    For my money, the best bona fide online escrow (and there seems to be ten fraudulent escrow sites for every bona fide one) is probably Escrow dot com (http://escrow [dot] com). In fact, it’s the only one that eBay recommends, and is the only online escrow company that is licensed to provide escrow services all across the United States.

    Take care,

    Ulf Wolf

  3. Chief said, on August 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Ulf,

    You make a good point, but is it necessary to spam over 5,000 times to get your point across? Here’s what I see when I do a cursory search:
    forum spammer

  4. liberty guy said, on April 6, 2011 at 4:51 am

    well scam and spams are part of the internet world. as long as internet lives, they will leave. we need to learn to put up with that.

  5. Chief said, on April 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Liberty Guy, you are exactly wrong. And congratulations — you have now placed yourself on the side of criminals. I shall now research all the domains registered to your email address, websoftwaremore@aol.com. Would THEPLANET be interested in your criminal connections?

    Don’t leave notes here unless you want to play by my rules.

    — Chief


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