With CBS reporting that some 75 percent of consumers are now turning to the Internet to help them in their car buying quest, unfortunately the thieves have figured some new ways to cash in on all that curiosity. The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), was very concerned about the 2009 Annual Report about fraudulent activity on the Internet. In 2009 internet theft was up more than double from $265 million in 2008 to $560 million in 2009.. Better news is that those numbers have dropped since then to 2013 number was lower than 2008 at 262 Million..progress.
So I did some checking on my own and found a number of schemes we all can be on the look out for.
1) Change Back From Your $10,000.00…If they want change back, turn your back and run as fast as you can.
The way this one usually goes is that someone wants to buy the vehicle you are legitimately trying to sell, many times from out of the country, (your first hint of big trouble, especially Nigeria). They offer to send you either a cashier’s check or even a credit card payment for a large sum over the amount you are asking. They will give you some reason for the extra money for shipping or some other related transaction in hopes that you will bank wire or even send money into escrow for them as part of the transaction. The really bad news is that the Cashier’s check is forged or fraudulent or the credit card is stolen. Once you have sent them the change, your bank calls with the bad news.
2) You Won! You Won! The Auction… This one don’t pay unless you want to be the biggest loser
With this scam the thief dupes you into paying for the item or even putting a deposit in escrow and you never get the item you paid for. There are bogus escrow firms, there are fraudulent shipping companies, and there are crooked inspection agents. You can be assured by the seller and the escrow company that they won’t release funds until you receive clear title and happy with the condition and still never see the car or your money again.
3) The Deal of a Lifetime…..Turns out to be the Steal of a lifetime for the crook.
This one looks to good to be true, (you guessed it!). Repo sale or some other distressed merchandise selling way below the value. There are web sites out there that have actually stolen legitimate car dealers identities and use their name and reputation to get you to have the confidence to send in a deposit or partial payment so someone doesn’t beat you to that deal of a life time.
4) You’re Approved For Your Dream Car…. Turns out to be a nightmare.
A company located in Flagstaff, AZ will notify you by email regarding a car loan. They then approve your loan and ask you to set up an account due to problem credit. They state that after 12 timely payments they will either refund your monies back to you or apply them to the car loan. You then send them the amount. They will then deny your loan upon receipt of your monies. They then tell you that they will refund your monies but after a period of time they claim that their accounting department has discovered that the check has been cashed. They even begin to accuse you (Victim) of cashing the check. Actually you are wiring your monies to a prepaid card and everyone has the same account number.
5) Second Chance Auction Winner…. Another Chance to Steal Your Money
Be wary of “second chance auctions” and other schemes in which a “seller” of a vehicle emails a potential buyer to inform the buyer the high bidder on the auction defaulted and the vehicle can be purchased by the buyer at his or her previous bid or at a discount. This tactic has been used in many auto auction frauds.
This Deal Was A Steal….No wonder the FBI is pulling up in your yard, you bought a stolen car.
I just got off the phone with the Internet Crime Complaint center and they told me that a new trend they are seeing is a vehicle identification,(VIN) number fraud. Where vehicles are stolen and their VIN# are being replaced by wrecked vehicles with good titles.
1) Pray: seems like a no brainer but I have found I don’t always look to the right place for answers, God would Love to help.
2) Internet Scammers tend to hate the phone: Scams that I have personally dealt with would not give a phone number no matter what I said. They only will give email addresses a big something is not right.
3) Internet Scammers don’t usually allow you to come to their place of business: Even if you are in another country or State I would always at least ask a third party that I contacted on my own to inspect or meet with the would be buyer or seller.
4) Internet Scammers love to have you bank wire or Western Union style of money transfer: The mere mention of a bank wire or Western Union ought to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
5) Internet Scammers ask for personal information they don’t need: If the person asks for social security number, birth date, bank information or account information, drivers license number, again it ought to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
6) Internet Scammers come off very professional with all kinds of credentials, “Wolves in sheep’s clothing”: Don’t be fooled with Carfax logos or BBB or other certifications, they are way too easy to copy and paste.
7) Don’t be too proud to ask for help:“Prov 16:18 pride goes before destruction” and “Prov 15:22 Without counsel plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.”