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Is this a scam?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Is this a scam?


    So, I was casually browsing craigslist and stumbled on a bike that I've always wanted listed in Hartford for a very low price, incredible condition and mileage. I messaged and asked if I could come see it and that I would bring cash with me because I was very interested. Here are some email excepts:

    "I'm selling my bike for $1,500, because my husband died two months ago, he had a heart attack. I decided to sell the house and I moved to my mom, trying to start a new life. With a price like that, you might expect it to have some problems, but this bike is in excellent condition - both mechanically and electrically, no damage history.

    The bike is back in Westport, PA. The thing is, right now, I'm not there because I'm a maintenance worker for the state of Pennsylvania - we're currently working on the highway. If you have any other questions, or need more info, please feel free to ask. Below you can find some specs and all the pics i have.

    The bike has never been down, never been bumped in the garage, nothing. Everything on the bike is in excellent condition. This bike has 2,501 miles on it and it runs and rides like it should. It is like brand new. No tears in the seat, no dents on the pipes, lights/gauges/horn/signals/starter all 100%. Even the nubs on the tires are there."

    I said I hadn't realized how far away the bike was because it was listed in Hartford and I'd have to think about logistics if we wanted to move forward. I also asked if she'd be interested in selling the bike and transferring the title but holding onto it until early next month when I have a vacation planned about two hours from her location and I could pick it up then. This was the response:

    "Hey,

    There’s been a lot of interest. I have clear title on hand. As I mentioned, I just got a new job and can’t take off without a 48 hours notice.

    Unfortunately, mom can't complete the sale - she's in her 70s. We need to meet up at her place or I can arrange delivery - it will cost the gas money and I'll pay for it. I’d like it if we could use eBay because someone stood me up last week - he made me drive there but he didn't show up. They’ll hold the money so you have the chance to inspect the title and everything. Only after you’ve had the chance to do all that you will call eBay and let them release the money. You’re not committed to buy it either; if you request a refund, eBay will provide it within 24h.

    I used them last year, actually, when I bought an small atv. The whole process couldn’t have been easier. They delivered to my house, I was able to check it over, take it out for a test ride, and have my buddy who’s a mechanic look at it, too. Then I called eBay and let them release the money.

    If that sounds good to you, then all I need to get started with, is your name, delivery address and phone number.

    Thanks,
    Debra"

    And then I asked her to better explain what she was proposing we do and she sent this:

    "Hey,

    Right now, I'm not there because I'm a maintenance worker and can’t take off without a 48 hours notice but I can arrange delivery - it will cost the gas money and I'll pay for it. I’d like to use eBay because someone stood me up last week - he made me drive there but he didn't show up. They’ll hold the money so you have the chance to inspect it for 5 days - the title and everything. Only after you’ve had the chance to do all that you will call eBay and let them release the money. You’re not committed to buy it either; if you request a refund, eBay will provide it within 24h.

    So if you agree, please email me your name, delivery address and phone number. I'll get things rolling and eBay will guide you trough the process.

    Thanks,
    Debra"

    So has anyone ever heard of a transaction like this or is it a straight-up scam? There are some very detailed pics, but they could have come from another listing I guess.

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  2. #2
    Lifer Kurlon's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Scammy to me.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Yeah... shame.

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  4. #4
    Lifer
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    There's a slight chance this is legit, but it has enough red flags. If the price is far below market value, then scam for sure.

    When they say 'hold the money so you have the chance to inspect it for 5 days', they're inferring ebay offers escrow. But ebay does not, they recommend escrow.com. I'd pretend I didn't know that and ask if ebay offers escrow claiming you don't think they do. Then ask for an ebay account which hopefully has some usage, verified paypal account, VIN, and how much they thought shipping would cost. 'It will only cost gas' - What? Are they going to pay a friend to ride it up?

    It seems a little 'convenient' that mom can't complete the sale with age being the provided reason instead of something more specific like dementia.

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  5. #5
    Lifer Pittenger5's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    If you have to ask, then yes, it is

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  6. #6
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    You don't state the make/model (don't trust us, eh?), so can't search on that. But if it wasn't a scam, there would be a bike listed on one of the PA-local CL's, because who doesn't list something locally? Scammers. There aren't any bikes listed from Westport, a remote and sparsely settled area in PA.

    In 2015 I was trying to find a rehab machine called Nustep. There was one listed For Sale in Hartford, CT.

    • It wasn't actually in [fill in blank] because they'd moved. It was in hard-to-get-to place.
    • Parent [usually mom] was sick/infirm (evoking sympathy)
    • Child was selling for poor old sick parent
    • Child was hard-working, couldn't take time off because supporting poor old sick parent
    • Excuse for not being able to meet in person and take cash because some mean person stood them up


    When contacted they told me the machine was in Indiana - but could be shipped. Found exactly same ad listed on half a dozen CL sites: but not Indiana.....Proven formula, I guess.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 07-09-17 at 01:50 AM.
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  7. #7
    WMC original sdog30's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Sounds like a scam.

    Just ask for a phone number. 9 out of 10 times they won't give you one or if they do it, it will be a weird google number.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Yeah, I gave up on it, not worth the hassle of dealing with this person even if it was legit, which I pretty sure it's not. It was for a 2001 Bonneville with ~500 miles on it, for those wondering.

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  9. #9
    Lifer LuvDog's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Definite scam

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  10. #10
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Whaddaya know: not one 2001 Bonneville listed on PA Craiglists.

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    Last edited by Garandman; 07-09-17 at 05:51 PM.
    “When it comes to the kitchen, I have a narrow band of competency.”
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Spooler's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a scam?

    Yup, but it is listed in Boston now...

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