Danger! Internet Car Sales Scam Hits the Hinterlands

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

KAIT TV says 18-year-old Roger Turley of Wynne, AR listed his used truck online, asking $1500. A week later, UPS delivered a check for $4999. “I thought ‘something’s not right there.’ And then, we got two checks.” The mystery bidders then asked if Turley if he’d accept a cashiers check, take his $1500 out and wire the balance of the funds back to them. Instead, Turley turned the checks over to his local bank. The bank confirmed he’d been sent worthless paper. "We would have been in trouble if we had taken the $1500 out and sent them the remainder,” Turley reflected. “We would have been liable for all of it." The Cross County Sheriff's Department is looking into the matter. Meanwhile, you have been warned.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

More by Glenn Swanson

Join the conversation
4 of 10 comments
  • Megan Benoit Megan Benoit on Aug 24, 2007

    Old news. A friend of mine ran into tons of these a few years ago when he tried to sell his car online. And if you try to sell anything on craigslist (or eBay) you'll get this one, plus the escrow scams.

  • Glenn Swanson Glenn Swanson on Aug 24, 2007

    May be old news to some, but not everyone, I suspect.

  • C. Alan C. Alan on Aug 24, 2007

    I have come across this one a few times. Normally, you will get a badly composed email offering to buy your item. The emails appear to be mass produced, and make no mention of what your are selling. They get easy to spot.

  • Murphysamber Murphysamber on Aug 24, 2007

    My dealership has had two similar scams like this come our way in the past month. They wanted us to charge credit cards and send the money to their "shipping agency". we reported the 4 different credit cards that were given and they were all stolen. it always begins with a fax or email that says something like.."I can't be reached by phone, because i'm deaf" and then "it's for my son and I'll pay cash, where should I send my deposit. One of the clowns said their address was 30 S Wacker Dr in Chicago. I'm pretty sure, but I don't think people literally live at the mercantile exchange. I thought they just worked long hours