Craigslist Car Scams

Selling or buying cars has never been easier thanks to Craigslist, but scams await the unwary. Find out what anyone should know before making an auto trade on Craigslist!

Buying and selling cars on Craigslist cab be a huge money-saver for both parties. Both can expect to make or save more than if they had gone to a dealership. This makes the Auto category in Craigslist’s For Sale section very active, especially in urban areas. With so many people exchanging so many cars for so much cash, it was only a matter of time before the criminal element took notice.

Fraudulent postings are now a common occurrence. The crudest attempts are easily ignored, but some schemes can be more complex. Some scams are operated by clever, experienced con men that have an answer for everything.

Stolen checks, counterfeit checks and bounced checks are costing people their money, cars or both. In one common scam, the buyer accidently pays more by money order or cashier’s check than was asked for and asks you to refund them the overage. If you send them the money before the money order clears the bank, you are braver than you are smart. These money orders often turn out to be counterfeits and any money sent them is lost forever.

Buying and selling cars can be done safely, but these are big ticket items and many sellers have reported at least one suspicious response to a posting. I’m so used to them now, that I’d feel insulted if I posted something for sale and never received my free scam attempt.

To help you identify suspicious buyers or sellers, we’ve put together a list of a few of the warning signs.

Craigslist Car scams

  • Cars are priced far below current market value.
  • The seller claims to be in the military and is stationed overseas.
  • The posting does not include a phone number.
  • The seller will demand that you use an online escrow service of their choice.
  • The person receiving the call is referred to as a “pickup agent.”
  • Payment must be wired to or from another country. Western Union is often requested.
  • The buyer or seller is very anxious to conclude the transaction.

Read more about Craigslist Car Scams:

172 Responses

  1. Andy says:

    Thanks for this wonderful e-commerce site. I am negotiating the purchase of a car that appears lower than the market value. The seller wants me to pay money into a Google Wallet account. I have never used this system before and so I checked on the internet to know the possibility of paying into the account, having control of my money till the good is delivered before releasing the payment. I could not find any info to this effect. Is Craiglist aware of the possibility of using Google wallet? Please respond; thanks!

    • Bob says:

      Did you find anything out?

    • T says:

      Its a scam always and only do the transaction in person after you have test drove the car these are all scams be smart

    • Terry Martin says:

      NEVER NEVER, believe anything when it comes to u putting money into a so called pay pal account or Amazon account for a car always tell them I’ll pay cash when I pick it up or you put cash in my hand when you pick it up no exceptions !! When you announce that and any excuse you get except ok sounds good is a Scammm , unless I have shit loads of money t experiment with to see if it’s real or not go for it ! I can’t believe how nieve people are , I can see a Craig’s list scamm a mile away , most are have some crap about I’m out of town / it was my husband’s car / daughters car/ wife’s car that just passed away that’s why I’m selling it so cheap REALLY !!! Please people do not fall for this sack of lies if it looks like it’s too good to be true it is if you can’t talk to them in person when you want to see or buy the car here is your sign ! Just saying, good luck on not getting screwed out of your money on Craig’s list scammers ………

      • Lynn says:

        Tell me if this is a scam – i’m selling a car (1999) and I put the vin number in the ad – maybe a shouldn’t have done that. I have two people interested and both say they are out of state and will send certified ck and when it clears, I call them and they will send a mover to pick up car. Sounds weird. two separate people said that same thing.

        • rob says:

          yes this is a scam…. they are going to cancel it

          • Roy says:

            I received the certificate check in overnight postal mail. Now they asked me to send $500 for movers by moneygram send to Houston, TX. Check came from MI; I m in new york. But i got his fake name and keep him waited for two days till he understood that i was joking with him.

        • Jeremy Teresi says:

          Scam. They will send you a certified check that is fake for more than the amount you are asking for, and then ask you to wire them the difference via western union the day after the check “clears” your bank. But it is a fake check that will get sent back by your bank and you will be lose the amount you wired and the scammers are long gone with your money.

          • Aaron says:

            So glad I read this forum. I was about to do this. I put the vin #in the ad. They are going to send a check, once it clears, movers come. They wanted my name and address to send check.

      • anna says:

        Thank you for warning us! I just found the perfect example in the car I was interested in…to the tee. Car is way underpriced, husband died,, she is in the military, have to sell urgently being diploid out of country.

        • Nicole Dillon says:

          hahaha, literally the same here…wants to use ebay something…deliver it, test it, and then they get paid. REALLY wants my address and phone #. fb’d the number, some guy in the phillippinnes renting high end apartments. beware….

        • Eric Conley says:

          Lol there is 3 cars on there now saying Sahara, laura and Jennifer are all deploying to overseas lol such a scam will deliver the cars !!! Watch out buyers beware

    • Suzanne says:

      Some pick up trucks have a follow-up by givig heartship stories be awear if its to good to be true it is,immagian buying a truck an having it delivered without testing it

    • Bob Roberts says:

      Things have gotten really bad on Craigslist and Over the years I’ve sold at least half a dozen cars on various sites but I’ve managed to give away much too much personal information. Here’s how a couple of the typical scams have gone down: 1) random poorly written text message requesting that I send information via email. I replied via email with whatever the seemingly “innocent” questions was (e.g. has the vehicle ever been wrecked, why are you selling it). It didn’t occur to me that now they have not only my real cell phone number but also my personal email address and my full name (attached to my email address); 2) text message using my name (fishing to see if I reply and confirm my name) when I didn’t list my name in the ad. These guys triangulate ads you put in different places –, Craigslist, eBay and they piece together way too much of your personal information – your name, cell phone number, email address. From that it’s pretty easy to put the rest together. This time, before listing my used car for sale on and Craigslist, I created a new email account that does not use my real name and downloaded a free texting app for my phone that assigns a cell phone number that is not attached to my mobile device. That way, I have a layer of identity protection and can communicate with potential sellers without fear of having my identity stolen. Since listing my car earlier today, I’ve received 6 inquiries either by email (Craigslist) or text ( to my “new car selling email/text addresses.” All 6 inquiries have been scams. They all fall into one of the scenarios listed below like I’m at a military base and can’t text (send email) or I need the 17 number VIN (no they don’t, not unless they want to come test drive it in person) or I will pay full price and send my agent to pick it up. Don’t be fooled. Set up email and text accounts that protect your identity. BTW, I’ve had the very best luck selling used vehicles on Facebook in the fb marketplace because to participate in those you have to be approved by an administrator in the different garage sales.

      • lothian says:

        What is the name of the app you installed on your phone “that assigns a cell phone number that is not attached to [your] mobile device.”

    • shipdog7 says:

      You can go on a government site VINCheck and check. That might be why some folks ask for the Vin#. I have done this several times. I found older vehicles that were fixed up to look clean but were at one time recently salvaged. And it will tell you by collision. And yet the body is in almost perfect condition.. NICB’s VINCheck is a free service provided to the public to assist in determining if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle by cooperating NICB member insurance companies. To perform a search, a vehicle identification number (VIN) is required.

      • Brandon says:

        VINCheck is a bullshit site. They took my money and DID NOT send any info after providing my VIN number. I called the 1-800 number on their website and someone just picked up and said “hello”. I asked for an email and the name of whom I was speaking with to which they just replied “we don’t give out that kind of info”. IT IS A SCAM!!!! DO NOT GIVE YOUR MONEY TO THESE SCUMBAGS!!! Shipdog7…’re a piece of shit scum!! You’ve been reported so good luck!!

  2. John Ledesma says:

    I am selling my car on CL. A interested buyer is asking for the VIN number and my full name the car is registered under so he can get a loan for it. Trustworthy or fishy??

    • Randall says:

      Did this ever get answered ? I’m having the same issue.

      • melissa says:

        I’m having the same issue with a motorcycle I’m selling on craigslist. They keep wanting a report for the bike, which I have. I told him he could come look at the bike and see the report at the same time and he won’t do it. He is adamant that I send him the report via email. I told him no way. Too much personal information on those reports to just send it out to a stranger. If I wanted to buy something, I would want to see it first and have no problem traveling and looking at a VIN report at the same time. It all just sounds fishy to me.

    • Renan says:

      Smells like dead fish to me. Seems like he wants too much info up front. I’ve heard of cars for sale being stolen once the address is known. I could be wrong, but I’ve been scammed so I’m hyper-vigilant now.

      • Larry says:

        I had a gator ATV stolen just that way on CL. Gave the guy my address, he rattled off a few streets by my house ( must’ve done some homework) I gave him my address. 10 minutes later guy calls back with a story how he can’t come that day he will come next week. A week later my gator was stolen right out of my barn. BEWERE

  3. Steve says:

    Hopefully its not too late, but don’t give your name. Many people want to run a car fax report on the VIN, which is OK, but if this person has your name, they could potentially request a duplicate title at the DMV, then transfer ownership to themselves. Might sound far fetched but you can never be too careful.

    • alan says:

      Does the tag office not check drivers license information or bill of sale or anything? That could be compared to when someone steals my cell phone and Metro PCS just hooks them up with an account with my stolen phone….

  4. Mike says:

    I have a motorcycle for sale on CL. at 3 AM I get a text message that they like the price and can buy today. They however want me to reply to them via their email address, which means they will now have my email address. Is this suspicious ??

    • Chris says:

      Almost identical thing happened to me, text messages at odd hours, bad spelling and grammar. Sounds fishy, Mike! Good luck selling your bike!

  5. Debi says:

    I’ve had three suspicious calls about a car I have for sale on Craigslist. All three callers, were very quick to call when I posted and then reposted the ad. They all mumbled in a very similar manner. They all offered me the same price ($10,000 when I was asking $11,000). And they all said they would pay cash, and they wanted the car without having seen it. Different names (Bobby, Freddy and Ronnie) and different phone numbers, all supposedly in Portland Oregon. They would even drive the 90 minutes to my town to get it. I decided to hold out for something closer to my asking price, but took their numbers. Later, I called two of them back and neither had a clue which car they were ready to buy, in once case a week earlier, and in the other case, just an hour earlier. They were ready to buy a car for $10,000 but couldn’t remember what kind of car they wanted. One of the guys denied being a dealer. The other said he was a used car dealer but doesn’t have a lot, he just does business out of his home. What’s that all about? Are there people who just buy and sell cars on Craigslist? Are there any scams known that sound similar to this? Do I dare try to sell my vehicle to one of these guys and if so, what precautions should I take?

    • jamie says:

      your post is interesting i am listing a truck for sale now on cl and i keep getting people that are 2 hours away from my area there are nicer trucks for less money in their area) but the weird thing is they are all calling on behalf of someone else with different stories why the buyer can’t come to the phone. He is busy at work, or he does not speak English, the car will be a gift, and now the latest, he is deaf. and none of them asked questions about the car or asking price. I tell all of them i will not sell a car to someone i cannot communicate with so i don’t know what the scam is.

      • Tony says:

        Same thing with me right now say he is in the military and id locked down wants me to do a bunch of things and he will pay through paypal lol but it started with a text from another person saying he was helping a friend. I have had 5 this week that were scams already. Sounds real nice all full of you know what.

        • Karen says:

          Oh WOW! Identical to what I’m getting! Just listed a vehicle on CL, Got a text saying was helping a friend, and could I email info. Response to my email said he was in the military (USAF) and was buying for his cousin. Said was unable to call due to his location and security, but was able to use the internet. Gave a list of questions for me to answer, including my paypal email and location of the vehicle. I responded back that my attorney was looking into all inquiries due to the number of scams out there, and perhaps he should have the cousin contact me. Told him I didn’t have a paypal account. Geez!

    • Michael says:

      I actually did this once. I was looking for an SUV for work. I replyed to a lot of ads and at the end had totally forgot how many I had replyed to. I finally recieved my first emailed reaponse back about 3 days latter and had to ask the lady what vehicle she was referring to.

    • M B. says:

      This happened to me last week!!! 3 calls right after I posted the ad. All from different “MIkes and a Toby” Toby test drove car. He was with 3 women all dressed up. Said he lost his job and wanted car for his wife. He didn’t like the lowest we could go and said we were playing Vegas. One of the Mike’s test drove car from a Safeway near my house. Had his family with him and some other people. All dressed up. The second Mike met my husband and then lied that I had told him a certain price on the phone. He started swearing at him and my husband walked away. All of these people looked the same as if they were from the same family. Needless to say, I took the ad off and sold the car to Carmax.

  6. tc says:

    too late, they got me for 1,700. Should of researched first

  7. Kristie says:

    My daughter is too trustworthy and assumed the guy on a “business trip” in Vegas fell in love with her car that she recently decided to sell & buy something new so she put it on Mr. Vegas offers above the asking price, sends a cashier check from New Jersey, calling from a Virginia area code, when she told me all of this, I panicked! I’m so thankful she told me this before the “shipping” men showed up at her home. We contacted the bank and they will be handling the investigation & confirmed it was fraud. I would love to be able to enforce criminal charges. People that take advantage of others and thieves are disgusting!

    • Lynne says:

      What exactly is the scam? We are selling a car on CL and two separate people from out of state are interested. Paying full price – sending ck and when it clears, they will send a ‘mover’ to pick up car and title. We are skeptical. But what is in it for the scammers? If I can verify that the ck is good before I turn over vehicle and title?

      • Lol says:

        Such a common scam Lynne. Hope this wasnt too late

      • pravin says:

        is this a scam, I am in same situation and got chek cleared, shall I ship my car?

        • Bob says:

          I just put a car on Craigslist. I got the message, consider your car sold. I will send a check, and movers will come. Car was on for 10 I guess this is a common scam?

      • Sean says:

        What I have seen is they will send you a check that’s more than you asked for the item, then tell you to send the excess money back to them so they can pay for the movers (who never show up).. you still have the property, but they got whatever sum of money the moving fees would cost.. They were only in it for the “excess” money, which can be range from cheap to expensive depending on the item you are selling. The check they sent you doesn’t clear and now you are responsible for the funds.. Normally a person would wait for the check to clear the bank, but they will put pressure on you to finish the transaction as quickly as possible once you have the check. My sons girlfriend tried to sell something and had this happen to her..luckily the bank told her the check was no good. The bank actually they thought she was trying to scam them with the phony check. I hope this helps.

  8. Cheryl says:

    In my add, I’ve included the VIN, but one gentleman said that he gets a discount on CARFAX when he has the license plate number. I get mixed messages when I search on this. He doesn’t have my full name.

    • K T says:

      With Carfax I pay $54 to be able to get reports on an unlimited number of license plates and 5 Vin numbers. I would rather not pay the $54 more than once so I prefer running reports on license plates rather than on Vin numbers.

      The car flippers and car dealers probably have pay more than $54 to carfax and can get reports on more than 5 Vin numbers.

      I don’t know if there is much of a reason for normal people to hide license plates. I think people are hiding their license plates that because they see other people hiding their license plates. Scammers who don’t want a carfax report to be run on the car they are selling would have a reason to hide their license plates.

      I worry about security also. I just have doubts that hiding license plates accomplishes much. I think buyers that need need to bring cash to sellers are more vulnerable than the sellers are.

  9. bobby says:

    Situation- I had a buyer come look at my car, we negotiated a price and he has already paid me for it in cash. He is supposed to come pick up the car, but hasn’t and won’t return my phone calls or text messages. Question- is this some sort of scam in the works? Not sure how since he’s already paid for it, but one never knows these days! Thank you.

    • Gary says:

      A bit dated, but here goes. If you provided the “buyer” with a written bill of sale marked “paid in full,” it’s considered sold. After a certain period of time (varies by state) the vehicle can be declared abandoned. As title apparently wasn’t transferred, you can refer to your state’s laws governing abandoned property. If you can’t contact the supposed buyer, you will likely need to do a notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in your area. What’s the potential scam here? It’s unlikely, but should you opt to sell the vehicle to someone else without jumping through all the legal hoops, the original “buyer” could come back at you with a threat to seek civil relief or even criminal charges – unless he’s made whole. And then some.

  10. Lexi says:

    I unfortunately didn’t research first and had no idea about craiglist scams. I believed the scam because I was so in love with the car it was unbelievable. In my head I was thinking …my first car is going to be great!! Although I thought it had to be a scam I by passed it because I thought I was covered in the money situation. Now I’m out of $1500 that I worked for in a part time job and a car I never was going to get. Why do such people exist? Don’t scammed understand people work hard for their money?

    • Zach says:

      I feel you man I lost 2800 with no car. Such horrible people.

    • sandra says:

      Same , wenbthrough craugslist and she ended up telling me she lost her son in a biker crash 2 months ago made me wanna buy the car even more because I felt for her , she wrote me back saying it’s going to go through ebays protection program which made me feel a little better but the” eBay people” told me to purchase 3 one vanilla gift cards who I did each being $500 each which equalled $1,500 and after I contacted them with card number and crv 3 digit security codes I lost out !!! And emailed and called “eBay protective services” and they disconnected the numbers I had called !!!! I am very upset this was the last 3 days ago and I was “suppose” to recievw 2003 Toyota Camry xle at 64k miles today at 8pm and NOTHING!!! File a claim at http://www.ic3.GOV !! So they can get caught and we need justice !!

      • Tess says:

        I had someone Friday tell me she lost her son in a biking accident and she wanted to sell the acura because”it brought back too many memories”! And she wanted to do the transaction quickly and through amazon or some bs. I told her to f off because I wasn’t buying something I’ve never seen in person or test drove etc etc!

        • donna says:

          Tess, I did the very same thing. The lady gave some sad story. I quickly told her where to go!! I am just upset that CL isn’t doing much to stop this. I flagged a few of them, but I really don’t think that does any good.

        • Dez johnson says:

          Thanks cuz somebody told me the exact same thing.. thank you so much for posting this..

        • Toni Steward says:

          Thanks for your post. I am trying to sell our car on Craigslist. Someone from Maryland keeps texting me about how beautiful the car is. A few days ago they wanted to buy it for my asking price just going off the pictures I sent. Says they can’t come to look at the car due to a relative having cancer treatment. Wanted to send me a certified check and pick car up once check cleared. Funny once I texted them and said best look at car and do transaction all at same time they have not replied back.

        • April Graham says:

          I wish I would’ve read this earlier. My person said her husband just died and she can’t keep the car because of too many memories. So far I have given her my name, address and phone number, can anything be done with that information? I’m so scared now.

          • Mercedes Wright says:

            I literally just did this twice in the past week I’m scared too. One was getting deployed and the other husband had died and both were adamant about using Ebay

          • Erica says:

            So glad I’ve seen this. Just today I sent out the same info to someone named Patricia Gordon who has the same story about her husband dieing and she and her daughter moved.

      • Grace says:

        Holy crap, I’m actually speaking with those people with the same story right now through email!!! Thank you!!

  11. kyle says:

    I see manycars for sale that seem to habe the temporary paler license plate. In Texas we call it a “buyer’s tag.”
    Does anyone know if there are scams related to this?

    • Deke says:

      Yes, they are trying to flip it, or bought it and it has issues. Either way, they probably won’t have a title with their name on it.

  12. Shelley says:

    I feel like a total idiot. Elaines son died and she is selling his truck FOR SO CHEAP because it reminds her of him. Blahblah and I felt sorry for her until she told me she would ship the truck from Chicago using legitimate shipping company names and eBay auto protection.(which also exists.) I told her my brother Pete lives in Chicago so she won’t have to pay for shipping and he will pay her and pick up the truck. for me. I also told her I would pay 3 times her asking price because the truck is worth so much more. She quit emailing. PS I don’t have a brother. It sucks when you think you’re finally getting a break, a little good luck coming your way. If it’s too good to be true it’s probably not true.

    • steve says:

      did you pay for it? i just fell for the same bs and gave my personal info, not sure if that was all they were after. havent heard anything, they said someone would contact me though. wishful thinking

    • julie says:

      I’m glad you posted this because I’ve been looking at a vehicle and got the sammmme email response about her son dying and it reminding her of him. Knew it was too good to be true!

    • Cal says:

      I just encountered the same thing. A mint condition ’04 Tacoma for $1500 was listed in central Colorado. I sent the seller an email, thinking she had left out a zero. She said the same thing about her son and husband being killed in a DWI accident, and that she was selling to get rid of the memories. I started getting suspicious at this point; I thought she was playing the pity card. Then she started talking about shipping the car from Oklahoma City to wherever I wanted for free, and how we would be insured by “eBay Services.” It’s dissapointing; I thought I found a good deal.

      • Maria says:

        Same deal…her son was killed on a motorcyle & never got to enjoy the truck which was a 2005 Chevy Silverado for $2000.00…also said she would ship anywhere that it was already in the container & the title would be in our name & would use Ebay purchase protection & we would have 10 days to inspect it & the money would not be rerouted to her account only after we accept….we haven’t heard from Ebay yet….would they even handle a fraudulent transaction?

        • Eric says:

          Exact same deal… except Toyota Camry. They have my name, phone number and email address but thankfully, I read this before going through with the transaction. Now I have to apologize to my wife for her not being more trusting with people.

          • Mike says:

            I had to apologize to my wife as well who I accused of being paranoid. These scammers are scum bags.

          • Casie says:

            I was close to being scammed by a lady for a 2007 camry. Said her father had owned it and he passed away and shes in the military. I’m sorry 2300 for a 2007 camry with only 78,000 miles on it is hard to belive

      • Steve says:

        I just experienced the same incounter just yesterday, where a unbelievable price on a car that this ladies son was killed in a bicycle accident and had to shed the memories of his car. It was going to be delivered free of charge and wanted me to pay through a Amazon account for protection for both of us. It was to good to be true. Scam, and I didn’t fall for it.

      • T says:

        I went through the same thing but with a Nissan, and a Honda. Amd this time she said he husband died too. They only have my email. But when i read theough their military overseas story nonsense i researched online and found about the scams. So should i be worried if they have my email?

  13. Curtis says:

    I believe a scammer just tried to get me to do a Vin check on my own vehicle on a site that costs money to check the Vin when there are free sites that he could of done it on

    • halfrat87 says:

      I had the same thing happen. Didn’t do it. Gave them the vin# and asked them to do it.
      Did they give you an email address and say they would
      pull it and come see it?

    • Kdog says:

      I just got scam by this. I did the Vin check, then called the number because they stop responding to text and u the call keeps dropping like number is no good. I feel so stupid

      • ted says:

        just got the same scam about Vin check. Found out the text I received from the potential “buyer” who recommended vin check was a robot, so I text the number saying your a ass!! Not a minute later a text reading sounds good, thanks.

    • Brent says:

      Here’s the third email from this scammer…

      “Hello again Brent,
      Fine, that sounds good to me. I’d just really appreciate it if you can get report and that you get it from because I’d like to repay you for it if we make a deal, and they’re cheaper than carfax, and you know how it is, every dollar you save counts. I don’t want to get it myself because if it’s bad then I just wasted my money, but you can still use it however it turns out. I would like to see car tomorrow if you are free (and if everything is ok with car report).
      Looking forward to hearing from you, Robert”

      Got him a free report but he said he didn’t trust that one. SCAM. Be aware! Question everything these days. Beware of the wolves!

      • Tiffany says:

        I just had someone try to get me to do the something at same cite for a car I put on Craigslist today. im glad I decided to investigate before paying the stupid 13 dollars that I really don’t have. I am sure that it’s a scam that is being committed daily. I’m forwarding this information to the authorities. Thanks for sharing your comment and protecting the few dollars I have to my name.

        • Kim says:

          I just had two different buyers say the same thing. They wanted the credit report and actually put a link in their email telling me which report they want me to run. The link does not go to the company they mentioned in their email. I paid for a credit report from a trusted site. I sent them the report and the first one never responds and the second person says they don’t trust that site. Definitely a scam. Never ever click on a link someone sends you .

      • Pam says:

        This just happened to me and I fell for it. What do they get for the $20 I spent on report?

        • Patrick says:

          Your credit card numbers unfortunately, they set up these websites themselves to steal your info. All legitimate sites have an s after http. If you notice there site doesn’t

          • K says:

            This just happened to me but I googled the site he mentioned and found it online with https. I went ahead and pulled the report because it was cheaper than carfax….SIGH!

      • MKT says:

        This happened to me as well. Just had someone text message me actually to the following address: I even tried to open the link and couldn’t find any website. Still can’t figure out how the scam actually works, they couldn’t have infected my phone or something by opening an http address, could they? They also gave a very bogus appearing email address, just a bunch of random letters which is what ultimately tipped me off.

        • stimmy says:

          Some ahole tried to pull the same on me. I didn’t fall for it, but I wondered if he could just create his own website, direct you to it so you pay him a fee, then he would just forward a free report on your car that he got online?
          If that’s what the scammers doing, it’s probably not even illegal.
          If they get enough suckers to pay $15 or $20 each, they could make some money.

      • Eli says:

        Wow I got the same message. I’m glad I did some research. What they sent me: Hi again.
        I was thinking about $6000, considering the car is as good as it looks on pictures. I’d just really appreciate it if you can get full history report and that you get it from lookup****** because I’d like to repay you for it if we make a deal, and they’re cheaper than carfax, and you know how it is, every dollar you save counts. I don’t want to get it myself because if it’s bad then I just wasted my money, but you can still use it however it turns out. I would like to see car tomorrow if you are free (and if everything is ok with car report).
        Looking forward to hearing from you,

      • Jason says:

        Brent i received the same thing almost the same exact wording from a fake Named Betty…. the other thing that was odd is they email response from her would be at midnight which was weird so I’m glad i didn’t fall for it…

      • T says:

        Same thing happened to me. I offered to get him a carfax report but he stated that his loan officer would only except the one at a website he sent me a link to. DMV should always have a .gov behind it. Glad I figured that out before they got the $19 for the report and my credit care information.

      • Jill says:

        I just had this exact email from a Robert Carter and it definitely is a scam and the website is fraudulent. This needs to be investigated by law enforcement.

    • DLS says:

      I was almost scammed the same way just now. They wanted me to provide a vehicle report from a service other than CarFax. Luckily, my Visa company caught this before I did, and declined the charge. Next, they asked for my SS#, and that’s when the red flags went up. I quickly googled the website, and found that it was a scam. I quickly deleted the emails and called to get a new Visa card.

  14. Ursula Tull says:

    I put my car on CL and somebody from Texas is interested in buying it. He will come to South Carolina and drive it back.
    He only saw the photos, has the Vin number and my license plate is showing with my number. Should i delete my posting and start over again.
    The ad is only on for one day. How can I protect myself that he is not a scammer ? He wants to call me today. I have a name but could not check him out on the internet.

    • BrianL says:

      Just ask him for a deposit – 10%. If he’s serious, this shouldn’t be a problem. Make sure the payment clears before inviting him to come get it. When he arrives, make sure the remaining payment is a money order or cashier’s check.

      • Gary says:

        NO! NO! Tell him when he shows up to make sure he has CASH. Do not take any type of check or money order. DO NOT!! CASH only- THe green stuff. You can meet him at a bank branch and he can cash his check and pay you with cash. If you accept a check or money order and they turn out to be a fake, you will have only gotten 10% of your price for your sale

        • stimmy says:

          I had a scammer send me a FAKE “certified” check. By the time my bank would have notified me it was bad, the scammer would be gone with the money and the goods and the bank would have taken the money back from MY account!

    • Toby L Hunt says:

      Cash only have people over and a notary if possible

  15. James says:

    Today I posted a truck on CL. Within 2 hours I received a text asking if ghe truck was still for sale. He said he was in the military and was not able to use phone. He has contacted me by email. You asked a few questions regarding condition of the truck. Asked if the price was firm. I informed him that we’d already came down four thousand on the price. Wats the truck but wants to pay through PayPal does that throw any red flags? He mentioned that he would have someone come out to pick up the car and ship it to his home which I found out he said was in Hawaii from California

    • SparklePlenty says:

      We just got hit with that identical scheme, except it was a motor scooter we were selling, rather than a truck. Eventually, after agreeing on a sales price, the supposed soldier sent what looked like a “You’ve received an instant payment from so-and-so” email, purportedly from PayPal. Supposedly that instant payment was being held in abeyance at PayPal until I sent a smaller amount, i.e., the shipping cost + the cost of a moneygram, so as to arrange for the scooter’s shipment. I noticed a few words in the fine print were spelled wrong or were incorrect choices for an English speaker. When I logged into PayPal, I couldn’t find hide nor hare of any tentative, pending payment. So I called PayPal’s fraud line, read them the email, and was assured it was a complete fraud. At their request, I forwarded it to their fraud unit for investigation and prosecution.

    • Chad says:

      I received this same scam in response to my CL ad. It seems like any responses within the first few hours of my postings on CL are scams. Very frustrating!!

    • Stacy says:

      All these comments above have been sent to me…ugh scammers!

  16. Josh says:

    How long should wait to make sure it’s not a fraud check?? Because banks do cash fraud checks should I wait about 2days

    • David says:

      If you wait until the check clears the system they will know if it is fraudulent or not. For more immediate results take the money order/cashiers check to the bank it was drawn on. They can immediately pull up the account and see if it is legit or not. The check will show who it is drawn on down at the bottom.

  17. Kory says:

    So I have a guy who is interested in buying my car he says he’s in the military and will send a car hauler to pick it up but says I’ll have all the cash before signning the tittle off and wants to do this threw pay pal does this sound like a scam?

    • Missie says:

      I posted a truck on CL today. The same thimg happens to me. Within an hour I had two respones that seemed fishy. The first on was exactly as your experience. The second the buyer asked for my vin number to make sure the title was ‘clean’. Red flags for me immediately. After doing some research I am sure they are scams. Paypal is a roll of the dice. Money order, Cashiers check, or good old fashoned cash us the way I have decided to go.

      • rhonda says:

        Only cash!! Even the money orders and cashier checKS are fake now! Postal money orders are the most counterfeited money orders.

      • A says:

        It’s not fishy to do a CarFax report (with the VIN) on vehicle to make sure it’s not a salvage title. That by itself isn’t sketchy at all.

        • Ray says:

          what is fish is that they are sending you to THEIR site to enter your CC information, which they then get your max limit.

    • Alan says:

      In my experience, the email showing payment through ‘Paypal’ will have all the right logos, pictures, fonts, etc, but if you look carefully at the URL’s on the links, some of them will be to some other website. Presumably a clone of Paypal. I would imagine that when you follow the link, it asks you for your Paypal info. If you enter it, bingo presto! They now have your paypal account password.

      • Ruben says:

        Hi Alan, I have a Disco on cl now and the person is asking I run the vin on a couple sites they sent me, I replied that the vin is on the site for them to check out but they said they don’t feel comfortable running it since they aren’t the owner, do you think its a scam?

  18. anne says:

    I’ve been searching for a car about 4 weeks. My advice to you is, don’t trust any ads that do emails, military based ones, and ones that say they arent the seller. When buying a car, i suggest do it face to face. It takes time to find a car, but oatience is virtue.

  19. Scott says:

    Got a call about a car I’ve listed, Buyer seemed very enthusiastic, and wanted to purchase the car this week. She asked if I had any history document on the car. I told her I’d be glad to run a CarFax for her. She immediately responded that instead of that, go to a specific URL, request a Vin # report and email it to her. I followed the link which was a page for VinChecked. All it asked for was VIN number and my zip code, and once it said the report weas generated, needed my credit card for a $12.95 charge. Since this was a fraction of CarFax I was temped, but did notice the URL of the site was ‘http’ which is an unsecure site, and not ‘https’, which is a secured site. I do know you never provide this kind of information to an unsecured site, so I went back to CarFax before my buyer soured on the deal. Immediately sent her the CarFax with the reason I did not complete the Vin Checked report – explaining it was most likely a fraud to get the credit card number. Amazingly, her enthusiasm for the car, and the immediacy of wanting to buy it right now disappeared. I followed up twice, and only got very short, non-committal responses. I am now thoroughly convinced this was a scam from the beginning.

    • teepee says:

      yep i got the same request to go to the vin checked website. Most probably a cc scam to get your number or they own the website and are trying to drum up biz….ugh

  20. Bill says:

    Wow, I’m selling a car and got 6 text messages from people out of state asking me to email info to them. I couldn’t understand why I was receiving out of state texts. Thank you for all the comments as to what was going on.

  21. Patrick says:

    Test drove the car and everything is good except the seller is the father of the owner. His address on his drivers license matches her address but a different last name. He showed me a power of attorney document but how do I know its real? Could he fake a nortary symbol? Does this seem like a scam? Its a red flag but the story sounds legit.

    How can I verify this isn’t a scam? Would the car turn up stolen after I buy it? He said he would go to the DMV to transfer the title.

    • Alan says:

      That’s a tough call. I bought an old diesel Mercedes once from a guy through an intermediary, and it turned out fine. Probably shouldn’t have, but it turned out ok. I did do a fair bit of research before handing over the cash. Talked to the actual owner on the phone. It helped that caller ID showed his name, which matched the registration of the vehicle. He was a military guy that had gotten stationed overseas, and left one of his old cars with a friend to sell. I asked him about a hundred questions about the car, a lot of it detailed stuff that there’s no way he would have known unless he had driven and worked on the car himself extensively, which he did. I was extremely confident that the guy on the phone was definitely the guy who had been driving and working on the thing for a few years. Still could have turned out bad.

    • Rhonda says:

      It’s hard to duplicate notary stamp and notarized persons info is on it. If he is willing to go to DMV sounds legit. But cover your ass and let DMV check POA

  22. ken says:

    What if I cash the check that someone sends me to purchase my car, if its fake, what will happen to me!

    • Renan says:

      The bank will eventually discover that the check is no good and will expect YOU to make it right. If you don’t they will accuse you of fraud, can close your account making it difficult for you to open another one and in a worse case scenario, you could go to jail.

      Last year, an acquaintance of mine moved out of state and some time later began calling me to determine if I might be interested in doing some drywall jobs in that state. He gave me some cock-angled story about a cop he met who was well-heeled and who wanted to have a warehouse sheet-rocked, did I want to do the job, the guy was anxious to get it done, the cop would “send you a check over and above the amount”, et cetera, blah-blah. I almost believed him, but I delved deeply into what it would mean if this were a scam and I was horrified. I blocked this guys number and never spoke to him again. The best way NOT to be a sucker is to acknowledge that since we’re not thieves, we DON’T knkw all the engles and so it’s best to not get greedy or be hurried by someone, put the brakes on and err on the side of caution.

  23. tom says:

    So here’s a question. What can we do to catch these A-holes and have them punished for their actions? Should we turn over emails or phone numbers to some specific authority in an effort to get them? If so, who? I read the comments and found the same exact scam others have subjected to but not sure what to do other than just be angry. Thankfully I didn’t fall for the “email this vin report to me after paying for it and providing credit card number”.

  24. lori says:

    You lost car and cash and they not take cashiers order…they are fake….I went to post office
    .they had whole stack of fake ones ..only cash…

  25. kris says:

    Car on Craig’s list…price too good to be true…states she is in the military and will ship the car for free….so I asked for the Vin so I can run response yet. The cl ad was responded to by her “brother” who said he posted the ad for her. These scammers should all be jailed.

    • Sarah says:

      I got the same exact email sibling text and told me they posted the car for their sister did my research she was selling a 2002 Acura TO for only $1000 since she is “deployed overseas” I only sent my name which I’d in the email and contact no address like she asked. Glad I researched I am now blocking her email.

  26. Holly says:

    I ran into a very interesting scam recently. I was looking for a new jeep wrangler. Found one only 11/2 hours away at an awsome price, not super below market value, but on the low end. So after several text we set up to see the jeep. I took out the amount in cash to take with me. So I get there, see the jeep take it for a test run everything seem legit. It was a very small garage/car sales. The guy sells one or 2 cars at a time, when I was there it was the jeep, a skidoo, and a motorcycle. When we go to agree on the advertised price, I get the ” I’m sorry, my wife put it up on cl for the wrong price. It’s actually up for sale for $1000. Well we agree to split the difference. Still a very good price for the car. Now here’s were things get all set up. He has the MC/Visa signs that he takes cc, so I’m not worried about the difference, I’ll use my card. So we do all the paperwork, everything signed, and I give him my card & the cash. I have receipts signed for it. Now he goes to run the card, his system is down, it’s not working, he calls the cc company (at least that’s the way he makes it look) and he doesn’t take PayPal, or any other type of online payment, but he is willing to take a personal check. I wanted to just bring him cash. He didn’t want to put me out, etc. Ok I got to take the jeep, he was just going to hold the title until the check cleared. So I made sure I had everything in writing, so he’d have to give me the title after the check cleared and if not the court would. Here’s the scam, the next day he calls me pissed off that my check bounced! There’s no way it could’ve bounced. I checked my bank, the check had yet to hit. But he’s yelling at me that I had better wire him the money, or he’d have me arrested for writing bad checks, report me to the 3 credit reporting companies, etc. That he’s now incurred all kinds of insane fees that I now have to cover, including his lawyers fees because has had to have a meeting with him to know what to do. and I’d better wire transfer the money today. Adding the difference in price and all his insane”fees” the amount is almost triple. The upshot is I wouldn’t play his game. I flatly refused to panic & wire him the money. No amount of his threats, and they went on for hours, could ware me down. In the end, the check cleared, and he had no choice but to give me my title. But it makes me wonder how many people he’s pulled this on and got them to wire the money, how many may have not cancelled the original check as well, only to have it clear later that day, or while his insanity was happening. He may not be the biggest scammer out there, but scamming a few hundred dollars on every vehicle he sells, oh and he has a story as to why the price was so good to being with. The car was for his stepson, but the boy didn’t meet the agreed on grades, he didn’t straighten up his act, etc. so he’s selling it to teach him a lesson. So there’s all kinds of scammers, big and small.

  27. Stacey says:

    What does it mean when you contact a seller about a car he/she has for sale on craigslist, and they reply with “What car?” or “Which car?” This seems fishy to me.

    • Barbara Strack says:

      “Dealer.” Not legit. If there is evidence that the seller is not a private owner I am immediately put off. People who specifically look for a privately owned vehicle shouldn’t have to sift through CL to weed out scammy “dealers.” Good for you, you trusted your gut feeling. Personally, that tells me right away that the seller is dishonest.

  28. Nestor Morales says:

    Hi Today I almost got nailed. I tested the car We bargained the price. Which was fair. Somehow I got I bit suspicious for the low mileage and the worn out front of the car. Typical of a commuting car with couple of hundred thousand miles on it. We drove to my location. so I was ready to sign. So I kindly asked the sellers drivers license. He was nervous and became agitated. Saying he had forgotten at his place. I offered a ride. But he became defensive . I reply that it was not a trusting matter but that i was formal when making a business transaction. He got upset and took off. Mumbling :”smart ass” So story moral: ASK FOR ID OR DRIVERS LICENSE BEFORE CLOSING A DEAL

    • Toni Steward says:

      My daughter was about to buy a car she found on CL. Went to look at it it had been terribly repainted on parts, straps holding on a hubcap, smelled very strong inside of a cleaner. The seller never would talk to her so I advised her take it to a mechanic. It was easier to spend $54 to the mechanic than hundreds in safety repairs. We knew something was up all the vehicles in their yard had one plate on each and a 3/16 inspection on all. Many flags on this sale.

  29. kira caldwell says:

    I just had a strange text encounter with a guy I believe was trying to scam us. He said his name was maxwell and works for a construction company yet said he couldn’t meet me himself because he was on base and he’d send an “agent” I’m selling a truck and he didn’t ask me one thing about the truck he just said it was a gift for a dear friend and he’d pay my listing price although I said I’d sell it for $100 less.. he wanted to pay via paypal and although I’m in Michigan his phone number was Pennsylvania. This guy screamed red flag from the begging so I blocked him from contacting me but I wanted others to know so it would prevent this from happening to others

  30. Raul says:

    This is the second car that I post for sale on graiglist and the second time that some one contact me asking for a car history report for the car when I took the time to add a picture of the report on the post. They always came with the same line ooo go to this wed-side that it is cheaper , and when I see the report I will buy the car. “Bullshit”the got me the first time from now on I tell them to go buy the report themselves and if the ended buying the car I will discount the amount that they spend on it, and that way the stop bothering me

  31. Amanda says:

    I am currently attempting to sell my car on craigslist so that I can pay off the dealer and get rid of it since it’s been a pain in my behind lately. I got a text from someone in New York (I’m in South Carolina) who will pay me for it by PayPal and will also send me money to pay the pickup person whom apparently I don’t have to pay until I get money from PayPal. Now I don’t intend on giving this guy the title or bill of sale until I get the money from him but I’m wondering if this is some kind of scam? Please let me know. Thanks.

  32. Brian says:

    This is not so much a scam because I received cash when I sold my car, but it does strike me as a bit annoying in hindsight:

    I post an ad for my Mazda MPV for 2,000, a bit under what equivalent cars are selling, based on the fact that there are a few rust spots on the hood that will need to be addressed. Also, I simply wanted to sell it fast. Someone calls me within 10 minutes of my ad being posted very anxious to buy it. I tell him about the details of its condition and he dismisses them as concerns, and even tells me he’d pay 2,200 (200 more than what I’m asking) if I remove the ad and deal exclusively with him. He says he needs to get a cheap family car as his wife is expecting.

    He shows up within an hour, likes the car, but changes his tune and lowballs me with a 1,600 dollar offer. “I have to paint the hood, I have to change the tires within the year,” blah blah blah. We negotiate and get to 1,800. Initially I’m glad that I sold the car in a period of two hours. But in hindsight, I wish I made it clear on the phone that my price was fair and firm, and I certainly wish I’d said, “Hey, I’ve only had the ad up for an hour and I’m going to listen to other offers first.”

    Upon completion of the deal he navigated so effortlessly and naturally through the pink slip that it was clear he’d done this a few times before. I’m half wondering if he somehow “flips” cars on Craigslist, though that seems like a lot of effort for not much profit.

    • Robert says:

      I’m sure that must be the case. I’ve found that about 90% of cars listed on Craigslist in the “Private Party” section are actually dealers/flippers/curbstoners (look up that word). They probably buy a lot of their “stock” at auctions, but also from people like you, where they can talk you down a few hundred off your already too-low price, then flip it within a few days and pocket the difference. They never register the car in their own name – when they sell it, they tell the buyer that the name on the title (yours) is a friend or relative who is mysteriously not available. Dead giveaways for spotting these ads:
      1) Pictures of the rear of the car show that there’s no license plate
      2) Generic information like “runs good”, never any specific historical info like “I’ve driven it daily for the last xxx years”
      3) No indication of any kind of the history of the car, only present-day observations, always in glowing “salesman-speak”
      4) And the biggest dead giveaway of them all – the ever present phrases: “Cold AC”, and “Clean title in-hand” Whenever I see those, I go to the next ad.

      If you’re not sure, contact them and ask: “Regarding your car on Craigslist, how long have you owned it? Do you have maintenance/repair records”? If they reply “which car”, or don’t reply at all, then skip that one and go to the next.

  33. Wendy says:

    I encountered Two different scammers with same exact stories im reading here while buying a dodge truck on craigslist. I notified craigslist and it just gets reposted under a different ad the next day. Same contact number that refers you to email. I notify them again and its down for now but I don’t expect it to last. Craigslist can’t keep up with the scams even if they wanted to. Its June 2016 and these same scams are still being used so apparently nothing is being done to stop it. I won’t use online sites such as craigslist again after seeing all the scams and that nothing is being done to protect normal people who try to use it.

  34. Michelle says:

    A man texted me but my 2000 Pontiac Grand prix gt…I listed to for $450 and that it had a bad lifter and 200,000 miles..the body and interior is in great shape ran good before lifter messed up…this is what the ad r we ad…well he lives in Washington state and wanted to buy just from the pic I had on ad..David that’s he’s name said he would send a certified check with the extra money for the guy who is transporting to David…it sounded legit, then I ask a friend of mine who informed even though it’s a cert..check it could still be fake I didn’t know takes a week for the bank to know for sure if the check is good or not..then I ask David why doesn’t he just send the guy his own check, he replied the guy didn’t have a bank account, who in this world doesn’t have a bank account unless the IRS is taking your money 3 hours later I recommend western union there’s no way to cheat that way…I got no replies back….

  35. Lisa says:

    Sad story – I actually wanted to buy a car from a guy on Craigslist that lives out of town. I had hoped to drive to his town, check out the car, and if I like it, buy it. He won’t take a Cashier’s check from our bank because it is a Credit Union, and not located in his home town. He says he will only take cash or I have to open up a new back account at his bank, so we can transfer funds directly and in person. Seems silly to open up a whole new bank account just to buy a used car. But how does one actually get 15k in cash now days? My credit union doesn’t keep that kind of cash on hand at a moments notice! Hard to buy a car when everyone thinks it’s all fraud.

  36. M Robert says:

    So here’s how it rolls.

    Respond to a craiglist ad for a car which seems like a good deal.

    Get this email;

    Scammer: Thanks for being interested in buying my 2006 Mazda 3 S. I’m in Omaha, Ne right now and I have been very busy. Anyway, thank you for your interest in buying the car. Why is the price so low? I own this car at divorce, and I had to move with my new job. So all that I want to do now is to sell the car at this price, because I need to sell it fast. It is in immaculate condition, rust free, no scratch and hasn’t been involved in any accident. It has 91,142 original miles. I want this transaction to go smoothly enough as I am caught in the middle of some very important events and have little time at my disposal. The price is $2,000 and I’ll take in consideration only those buyers who are really interested in buying the car, to be sure that I don’t waste my time with endless discussions. This way, I shall be assured of the serious intentions. Regards!

    Me: I simply want to drive by the car to see if I am interested.

    Scammer: Please give me a little time to explain you the process of this transaction. As I told you in my first email, I divorced, I got a new job and moved to Omaha, Nebraska. Before leaving I had prearranged the deal with eBay Motors so my presence isn’t necessary. The car is located in Omaha, at the shipping company, ready to be delivered. The car will arrive at your address in 2-3 working days. The shipping cost is included in the total price of the car! You will have 5 days to test it and inspect it. If you intend to move ahead and conclude this transaction, please email me back with the following information: Your Full Name – Required by eBay Motors (You’ll receive important guidelines + instructions from them.) Your Shipping Address and Phone Number – Required by the Shipping company (They will call you with delivery/pickup instructions 1 day ahead so you can communicate what time schedule work best for your to receive the car). After I will have all this details I will forward them to eBay Motors and I will proceed this transaction. eBay Motors will contact you with all the details that you need to complete this deal and also to see that I am covered by them and that I am legit seller. Waiting your email with the requested details.

    Me: While I applaud your efforts I also want you to know that this email will end this conversation with you and the craigslist ad will be reported as SCAMMING.

  37. George says:

    I have stumbled across a new scam on Craigslist. If it is not an outright phishing scam, it is seriously deceitful and despicable sucker bait by moneylenders. I’ve been looking for a certain car for the better part of a year. All of a sudden, several cars popped up in the Craigslist search. One red flag listing cited a number of performance enhancements to the car, yet claimed (This, from — supposedly — a used car dealer; how would they know???) that the car had never been raced; that in no way had all of those speed goodies ever been used!!

    The ad gives a two step process for seeing the car: #1, go online and apply for a loan. #2, call with an approval number. Wording like, “Don’t bother us if you haven’t applied for the loan.” is in there somewhere.

    Ironically, if you call the number — IT SAYS TO GO APPLY FOR THE LOAN. In other words, there is no place to take an approval number in order to actually see the car. There is no way to link information about a particular car to the loan application process.

    All of the car ads tout “buy here, pay here” car lots, and their ability to loan to people with terrible credit. At first glance, they do seem to be offering real cars at a real dealership, but a second glance reveals that they are actually selling loans, using the idea of owning a certain kind of car to bait the unwary.

    This is either:
    (1) An outright scam, designed for no purpose other than to snag credit information, which will never result in a loan or a car, or
    (2) An effort to sell loans by someone who hasn’t got a single car (Not even a repo.) to sell.

    Anyone who genuinely has a real car to sell in a legitimate transaction has little interest in how you get the money. Even if a large part of their profit is in grossly overpriced loans, the cars in the ads are overpriced, to begin with, and they would turn a profit in a cash transaction.

  38. Chelsea says:

    I have a truck for sale on Craigslist. I have a guy that texted me from out of state that wants to buy the truck. He’s never even seen the truck. Says he is going to send a certified check from his bank over night and then he would work shipping details out with his shipper after I have cash in hand. Scam?

  39. Charles says:

    Just happened today.
    Selling a car for my boss who is an auto mechanic. A day after posting he gets a call very early in the morning offering 1k less than the asking price ($40,000). says he’s in San Diego (we’re in Los Angeles county) but lives in Oregon. He wants to purchase with a cashier’s check from his bank there. He then asks for a picture of the pink slip which we give to him because he says the bank asked him for a copy so they could do a background check or something. My boss insists on me sending a picture to him because we have other vehicles to sell. He then calls me back after i tell my boss about the deal sounding fishy. my boss asks him if there’s any other way he can pay for the car in cash. He says he’ll call his “friends” at the bank to see if they can work around it. After doing some research I realized that he could use the cashier’s check from his bank in Oregon and cash it out down here. Problem solved right? Of course he hasn’t called back.

  40. Jeff says:

    Has any body tried to inquire about a vehicle for sale on craigslist and have the seller tell you a company called Autoracle sales and consignment is handling everything for them?
    Their site looks very legit.
    I have searched for info on this company and cant find anything bad.
    You cant see vehicle,you have to pay up front, first 500 miles shipping free,Can inspect car when it arrives and refuse if it isnt up to par,You have 7 days to return for a full refund.

  41. Alan says:

    I put an ad on CL to sell a car. I received a message from a guy. He said:” the price is good and he will send a cashier check to me. After i cash the check. He will send a company to pickup the car from my address” . I felt it is very strange. How come he does not even take a look at the car and just send me a check. Did anyone encountered something like this before?

    • David says:

      I think I just did Alan. Listed an old BMW and got a text asking if I am still selling it. Area code was 2 hrs away from me but he said he would send me a certified check and he would send movers to pick it up, asking me to send my name and address for the check. I said if you are so close why not come look at the car? Response was he was from NY, I am in the southwest. Number turns out to be a google voice number. No reply to my question about why he doesn’t want any additional info on the car or why he has a phone number from my state while he is on the east coast

  42. N/a says:

    Wow.. I had a friend who was about to have his truck taken. The “transporter” was a “friend” of the “buyer” who was in the military “posted” in exchange for a “check” of some sorts.
    I tried to warn him and he became negative like I was ruining his deal and the life of this guys cousin for whom he was buying it for.
    Three weeks later was actually fired and left crying, possibly his credit was affected. Our company reqires all bills paid.. no delinquency and no repos etc. as one basis of employment.

  43. Scammed by Craiglist User says:

    My husband got scammed he saw a car on craigslist in Texas, we live in New Mexico. Purchased the vehicle for $12,800 registered it in New Mexico. Seven months later the supposed owner said it was stolen. Our car got impounded, and the middle guy we purchased from turned out to have a fake ID with the owners name which we had a pic of. I think they were together on the scam but now I am out my money plus the money used to fix this vehicle and the car is being returned to the supposed original owner because Texas police say we were sold a stolen vehicle. Even though the original owner waited to report the vehicle stolen and changed his story around several times.

  44. Terry says:

    Posted my car for sale on Craig’s list,and received a text message from “Jeff”
    Told me he’s helping a friend who’s in Navy and to email him..RED FLAG
    Why didn’t Jeff tell friend to email ME?
    Emailed and received response asking typical questions about car AND if I had a verified PAY PAL acct
    Answered questions received response that just didn’t ‘sound’ like an Officer in Navy
    Spelling, grammar, strange choice of words etc RED FLAG #2
    Said he can’t see car, on a navy base with NO COMMUNICATION except internet RED FLAG #3
    will have a HAULER sign all paperwork and pick up car UNSEEN
    I have a phone number from “Jeff” and an email from alleged buyer
    Asked my PAY PAL info PAY PAL email address, account USER name, Home address OBVIOUS SCAM
    Where do ATTEMPTED SCAMS get reported?

  45. Penelope says:

    Is this a scam? I have an older car listed on CL for $500. Received a text message from someone (this person has never given me a name) out of state, who wants to buy the car. He proposes sending me a certified check for over the purchase price and I am to give his shipper the difference. He says he won’t send the shipper until his check clears, but this whole thing is making me nervous. He has my name, address and cell phone number. Should I get out of this??

    • Rick says:

      That’s the overpayment scam. Break contact with this person immediately!! Also go to youtube and search on overpayment scams. It’ll curl your hair.

  46. Ben says:

    Never pay for a car from craig’s list or ebay motor’s with Bitcoin. These are always scams and come with the same attached emotional stories.

  47. Jazmin says:

    So im negotiating a car and the seller won’t answer phone calls only texts. They have agreed to meet in person. Is this a scam?

    • Irene says:

      Well I am selling a car, and using only texts until I feel it’s real. The paypal scammers, weird need a car for my husband stuff I just don’t answer. I am using a google voice number and will turn it off when this transaction is done. The sellers have to protect themselves as well.

  48. Miriah says:

    Okay so I’m selling a car on Facebook the guy told me to text him as I did. He is saying he is out of state and is getting the car for his mom. Which is a 2005 Saab 93 turbo. He is saying he is in the us air Force. Needed my address to send the check with the amount. I told him I don’t trust it because the check could bounce. I don’t know ow if I should trust this guy or not. He is telling me it will not bounce and I will cash it before he picks the car up
    … Hmm??

  49. Trish says:

    I am selling a car now for $28000. and a guy sent me a text message saying he wanted my car, site unseen, I needed to send him my PayPal info and he will send the money then have a transport truck come pick it up.

  50. Skeptical says:

    Similar to so many other comments here: They will pay my asking price for the vehicle I’m selling; no questions about its condition; no request to see the vehicle. They will send a bank check to my address, with additional funds for the pickup agent. I take out my selling price and give the pickup agent the remainder. No one comes to pick up the vehicle until the bank check clears. Only thing I can figure is: The person who comes to steal my vehicle has a plausible excuse if they are caught: They didn’t know the check did not arrive, or did not clear. I have cabled my vehicle to another vehicle so it cannot be winched onto a trailer. I’ll keep you all posted.

  51. Gretchen says:

    I am selling a car and received a text from someone who says his mechanic wants a history report so he wants the VIN #. Is this a safe thing to do or will I be giving too much information?

  52. Caroline says:

    Ok threw Craig’s list I found a car, low mileage, runs good, car has no scrapes dings, no rush, not sure is this to good to be true, want me to get 2 EBay’s,1, with 500 and 2 with 200, I am suppose to send a photo with the numbers scratched off and copy of receipt, after they get confirmation I am suppose to get the car with in 3 days, I can keep it for 5 days, and after the 5 days if I don’t want the car they will refund my money in the form of a money gram! The person selling the car just went threw a divorce and they have a car, they don’t need 2, they give this person’s address!! How do I now if this is the real deal or am i being scarmed . I haven’t given them the #’s on the back of the card yet!! Please any help will be helpful! Thanks

  53. John says:

    Very similar one I’m looking at a camper. Took my name and address. Haven’t paid anything but what can they do with my address, email, name and phone #?

  54. Rich says:

    What about the buyer wants to deposit funds to your Pay Pal account.

  55. Lorene says:

    Anyone had this happen. I feel this is a scam. I am selling a car on CL. I told the buyer I was satisfied with his offer. He has promised to wire deposit tomorrow and I will get the rest when he picks up the car early next week. He is in a hurry and pushy. I don’t do pushy. He text and said he would start the paperwork and asked me to send a copy of the title and pics of any other paperwork or documents I have on the car, plus the address where the car is and my address and the address of where the car is. I have it at my brothers so it can be covered from the elements. I put the skids on the deal after his request. He also said it would be easier to conduct the rest of our communication through email instead of text. I can see no reason why he would need the copy of the title. I am going to call DMV tomorrow for advise as well since it is an out of state sale. Thank you in advance.

  56. Gerry says:

    Just listed my car got (3) responses almost immediately all are willing to give cash one says he doesn’t care how it looks or if it runs. Which surprises me. Any advice before I call them.

    • Kris says:

      I had someone do this to me with a set of wheels I was selling. He was from Dallas (out of town for me) and was willing to give me more than I asked. I accepted his offer and he mailed me a check first class. I think they expect people to do a mobile deposit of their check but I took it to the bank. The cashier said he could tell it was a fake check before I handed it to him. Be careful

  57. Kris says:

    Some good info and comments. I’m selling my car right now and habe received an offer but he’s out of town and asking if I have a PayPal account. I’m always on the lookout for scammers but how can someone scam me if he’s depositing $ in to my PayPal? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

  58. Vicky says:

    I found a Honda CRV 2015 model on, it was priced at $8,700K. Price was too good, and being a novice I initiated a request for information on the given phone number +1-410-XXX-XXXX. I received an almost instant reply from someone called Donna, who referred me to her mother, Sharon. Further conversation on email, with many nice images of the car, Sharon told me that car is located in Offutt ABF, Nebraska; and I need to send her money first following which car will be sent to me by post via eBay, and I will need to pay to her first. This sound fishy to me, and then I read through discussions on this page. It alerted me further. I asked Sharon that one of my friend lives close to Offutt ABF, NE; and he can go over her place to have the car inspected. Since then, I did not receive any further communication from these scammers.
    So, here is another way to check out if they are scammer, to ask for your friend confirming the condition of the vehicle. You can even pretend to have a friend over there. If it is a genuine offer, there should not be any trouble; otherwise you will know the true nature.
    I hope this tip is helpful to the readers.

  59. ed says:

    the proverbial Still for sale surrounded by the car info is a dead giveaway. A normal person would look at the top of the ad and see it’s only an hour old, of course its for sale… chances are number is from out of state, I just dont answer them or I reply with something rude of insensitive, if I dont get a reply back saying ” hey , im a real person” that throws a flag.. more than not it is just a robot asking you to reply to an emaill address. I never bother to see what the actual scam is but I have an idea that once I email them I would get a long blown out story of hardship as ya all describe. I tell them in the ad , reply with something intellectual and most honest people will…ex.. HI, id like to come see your car, etc..

  60. J says:

    I have a guy in Minnesota who wants to fly to Los Angeles to buy my car, a 2005 Ford Mustang Coupe. He says he sometimes does business here and it’s not too big an issue. He says he plans on driving it back to Minnesota. My car has body damage and a transmission problem, he says he fixes cars as a hobby and is happy to buy it for $3000 under KBB value. He also says once he’s on the freeway the specific transmission problem I described to him over the phone, won’t be an issue ie. he will make it home (30 hours). In our phone conversation his English was perfect, he’s American. He sounded extremely knowledgeable about cars. He at one point said he could use pay pal to give me a $250 deposit to make sure I don’t sell the car as insurance as he was going to buy a plane ticket. I expressed I only wanted cash and I didn’t like using paypal and he seemed fine. Since then I’ve re-iterated via text I can only accept cash and he’s said that’s fine. Now today I asked to confirm a time on Friday we could meet (he said in a previous text he had booked a ticket for Friday), then he said he hadn’t booked a ticket yet. I called him out and he said he’d made a mistake as his secretary had booked the ticket, and that he did in fact have a ticket for Friday. He sounds so close to legit, but still there are a couple of things off. I’m not sure where the scam could take place, unless he arrives and says he can only pay by paypal for whatever reason, I will tell him no, but I’m concerned about getting into a confrontation with someone who would go to such lengths to scam someone, who knows what else they’re capable of? Please, could someone give me some advice.

  61. Margaret says:

    This sounds suspicious, anyone heard of this: I answered a craigslist ad. The person who contacted me said he was a small car dealer, not a private seller. I went to see the car in an office building parking lot. I asked where he got the car and who it was registered to. He said he bought it at an auction, and that it was still registered in the previous owner’s name, and he had the signed pink slip.Shouldn’t the car be registered with the dealer? Is this a scam?

  62. andy says:

    If a guy posts multiple ads on same car is that a red flag?

  63. DJ says:

    I’m trying to buy a used car on Craigslist, I’ve texted 2 sellers Their posts say they’re in my area so I tell them I can meet up today to check out cars. They have texted me saying to email them for more info.. I don’t understand why when we can just talk on the phone or text eachother/meet in person. It’s weird right?

  64. Beth says:

    So this is more car related. My boyfriend is trying to sell his set of 4 tires and listed them on Craigslist. Within a couple of days he got an offer from a man wanting to buy his tires full list price. However, this man lives in New York and my boyfriend is in Mississippi, which I thought was weird. Additionally, the man is sending a check that is getting here tomorrow and then is supposedly sending a moving truck to pick them up on Saturday. Personally, this just doesn’t smell right to me. He’s purchasing these tires sight unseen, at full price, from across the country, and paying to move these back to NY. I feel like this is a scam but I wanted to see if other people thought so too or if I was just paranoid.

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