Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Google Wallet Internet Car Scam

The Google Wallet Vehicle Protection Program &  Amazon Payments Internet Car Sales Scam Exposed:

How To Spot This Scam Car Ad Online.

The Ferrengi Rule of Acquistion #1:
 "Once You Get Their Money You Never Give It Back "

There is a widespread internet scam circulating on car sales sites in The USA, Canada
 and The UK. It appears to be a group of persons that are organized and are
 consistent in their scripted responses and listing methods.

Ex-Nigerian Officials Will Share Millions With You If You Help.

Unfortunately the scam is concentrating on lower-end priced used and collector vehicles, targeting those who can least afford to lose their entire purchase amount.

Please do what you can to circulate this article until we get these persons behind bars.

Summary Of The Scam:

Reason For Sale: Divorce, Military, Overseas Job
Price: Too Good To Be Ignored.
 Car Is Not Able To Be Inspected Or Seen.
The License Plate Is Whited-Out or Missing.
Car Is Described In Perfect Condition.
Seller Has No Phone Number.
Payment By Google Wallet or Amazon Payments.
Free Shipping In Crate Included.
Your Happiness Is Guaranteed.


Here are TWO scams in progress on -  an M3 and 
a Mercedes Benz 230SL; The sellers use only initials, the license plates 
are erased and neither posts a phone number.

Each is conspicuously lacking any detail in the description and both are priced
way under current market value by at least 50%; By some miracle - both are
 in perfect condition needing absolutely no attention :)

Current Scams

This 2005 Mini Cooper in the photo was used by the Scammer on Craigslist; It was posted in 45 STATES SIMULTANEOUSLY as a LOCAL AD in each. Note the License Plate.

The same person who posted the this scam Mini Ad is now doing the same with a VW Phaeton; So Far I have found the car being advertised on Craigslist in 5 States. Here's the active ad as of 10/6/2013:

Current Scam

The Anatomy Of The Scam:

The vehicle chosen by the SCAMMERS was or is currently for sale in some region of the country. The SCAMMER steals the photos and the basic description of the vehicle and creates a new ad. They are very careful to COVER LICENSE PLATE NUMBERS so no State or Location can be determined from the photos. In some cases, they
 even airbrush out backgrounds or certain color painted street curbs.


The SCAMMER SETS AN ATTRACTIVE PRICE WAY BELOW MARKET - sometimes by 50%. In one scam I personally experienced looking for a 2005 Mini Cooper S
on Craigslist, (photo above) the AVERAGE 2005 Mini was priced at $7500
 to $9000; The SCAMMER's AD was $4216.

 The Listing:

 There is NEVER a Phone Number; The ONLY method of contact is by EMAIL;  - SOMETIMES posted IN the ad copy. This is absolutely the opposite of what a REAL
 seller will do - they certainly don't post their own private emails for fear of junk mail,
and they almost always post a phone number.

The Stories: 

The THREE major stories that  CREATE URGENCY Of The SALE and JUSTIFY THE LOW PRICE that have been appearing in these scams are:

(1) I just got divorced; My kids need the money - I'm moving on Insert Date Here, or even "the
car was my husband's and I got it as part of the settlement - can't stand even looking at it, or

(2) I travel a great deal and have been relocated to our overseas office, so I'm no longer in need of this vehicle; Again they are moving by INSERT DATE HERE., or the worst

(3) I am in the military fighting for YOUR freedom; I am being transferred to Afghanistan to relieve the troops coming home and will have no access to cell phones. I'm must sell the car at a sacrifice price by INSERT DATE HERE.

The Odd Vehicle Description & Delivery Terms:

Oddity #1:

 Their car is always described in perfect condition and "needs nothing".
 You know this is impossible on a used or collector car. Every car needs something.

Oddity #2:

Shipping IS INCLUDED in the Sales price. 
No legitimate Seller wants the cost or the liability for damage in transit. Shipping is very expensive and runs .50+ a loaded delivery mile - do the math!

Oddity #3

The Cars Are Ready For Shipment In Their Own Crate:
Nobody ships cars in crates within continental North America.  Vehicles are shipped either open or enclosed carrier - which are seen on the highway everyday, all the time....When was the last time you saw a 25' crate being flatbedded down the road?

Oddity #4

You Can Return The Car If You Are Not HAPPY!
Legitimate private party used car sales are final upon taking delivery. Seller's do not
provide warranties unless stated, nor do they personally guarantee your happiness.


From Canada:

Subject: 2003_BMW_3 25_i"_Ad_o n_KijijiĆ¾Ć¾ 
From: katheryn miller <> THE SCAMMER
Date: Fri, October 04, 2013 12:30 am


Thank you for your interest in buying my vehicle. My 2003 BMW 325 i has 91,000 original kms, automatic transmission. It is in perfect condition, no need for additional repairs,no scratches, dings, rust,  special marks whatsoever. The interior looks great. It runs like new and all services are up to date.
Also, I need to mention that it was never involved in any accidents, pets free.
The price is $2,000 (non-negotiable). Because of my divorce settlement, I own this vehicle and I don`t need it because I have another vehicle so I'm trying to sell it as soon as possible. I gave the vehicle to Google Wallet who will deliver it to the next owner. The transaction will be made through Google Wallet for our own safety because I'm out of town with my job for another 3 weeks and I can't take care of this. The best part about this is that you'll get 5 days for inspection. If at the end of those 5 days you decide not to keep it you'll get a full refund.

If you're interested in purchasing it just email me your full name, full address and phone # so that I can initiate the deal through Google Wallet and they will contact you to explain the procedure.

From The USA:

Stacy L. Anderson" <> THE SCAMMER
 Hello Rick,
 Glad you are one of the people interested in buying my car. I'm selling it because i recently got divorced and as a single woman i don't need it. Let me give you a few details about it: very good shape, no mechanical issues,no scratches nor dents, and it has never been involved in any kind of accidents. Has only 64,375 miles, its manual, with an 4 Cyl 1.6L engine, white exterior and black interior and you can find the pics attached to this email.The sale price is $4,200. I have a clear title, free of any liens or loans on it, under my name.
If you are interested in buying it or if you have any questions, please reply to this email.


This particular car was listed for sale on Craigslist in NEW JERSEY; As soon I requested to see it, the scammer had apparently moved to Omaha Nebraska!

Hi Rick,
 Let's make this process more understandable. As you know, I recently got divorced, and moved to Omaha, in Nebraska to start all over. I have the car with me, already at the shipping company in a cargo container, ready to be delivered to its future new owner. The deal is handled by Google Wallet so there isn't much to do about it. You get free delivery, at your place in 4 to 5 days, and in addition, another 5 days to try it out before buying it. If you don't like it, you have the option to send it back at my expense.  Just to be very clear, Google Wallet holds your money, and I don't get a single dollar unless you approve for the funds to be released to me. For more info on how this works, I can have  Google Wallet to send you an explainable email on how to buy it. You will get it in no time, once I receive your personal details, and this way I can show you  I am covered by them and a legitimate seller. To receive the email from Google Wallet, please reply with your contact details, such as name, address and phone number please.

And TWO Using The Military Excuse Scam:


 My name is Stephany Lynnes, happy to see you are interested in my 2006 Dodge 

 Ram 2500 4x4 DIESEL. Let me give you a few details about it. Really good 

 shape, never had any problems with it, no scratches or dents, the truck is 

 free of any accidents (body type: Pickup Truck, exterior color: Gray, interior 

 color: Tan, transmission: automatic, mileage: 95,324, engine: 5.9L - 6 

 Cylinder). The title is legally under my name, clear and free of any liens or 

 loans. The price is $4,825 cause I need to sell it before 09th of October, 

 when I'll be leaving with my platoon back to Afghanistan replacing the troops 

 scheduled to come home. I work as a military doctor there.

 If you have any other questions or need more info, please feel free to ask. I 

 can provide you more details if you are interested in buying it.

 Hi again,

 As I was saying, right now I'm at the military base getting ready for 

 Afghanistan. This means I'm doing a special training and I'm not allowed to 

 get out of unit or use cell phone. The car is already at the shipping company 

 in Omaha,NE sealed and ready to be shipped to its new owner. My presence won't 

 be necessary because I prearranged the deal with Google Wallet Vehicle 

 Protection Program. The deal includes free delivery and the vehicle will 

 arrive at your address in 3 business days. You will have 5 days to test and 

 inspect it before I receive any money and if by any reason you find something 

 you don't like about, you can send it back on my expense and you will receive 

 a full refund of your money.

 In order to move forward I will need your full name, address and phone number 

 so I can register the deal at Google Wallet Financial Department. After that 

 Google Wallet will send you the payment instruction (terms, buyer protection, 

 invoice, etc.)

 Best Regards.

Note: Afghanistan has become a VERY popular destination! :)

Hi  and sorry for my late reply ,

   The 2003 Nissan Altima 2,5S type is still for sale.  It has no leaks or 
 drips, slightly used in 100% working and looking conditions with a clear title 
 free of encumbrances and liens. It has 80k miles, automatic.  The price was 
 reduced at $2,355.00 as I need to sell it before 4th of October, when I'll be 
 leaving with my platoon back to Baghdad replacing the troops scheduled to come 
 home. I work as a nurse there. My presence won't be necessary because I 
 prearranged the deal with Google Wallet. The deal includes free delivery and 
 the vehicle will arrive at your address in 3 business days. You will have 5 
 days to test and inspect it before I receive any money and if by any reason 
 you find something you don't like about, you can send it back on my expense 
 and you will receive a full refund of your money. It is located in Houston, 
 TX, sealed into a container and ready to be shipped to its new owner.

 If you're interested in purchasing it please reply with your full name and 
 shipping address and Google Wallet will send u the payment notification and 
 there u will find all the steps u need to follow in order to complete the 

 Google Wallet and Amazon Payments:

Here's where it gets really ugly real fast if a buyer is gullible enough to submit the
personal information the SCAMMER requested. In the first scenario, an account is opened with Google Wallet or Amazon Payments EXCEPT once deposited, access to the balance in the account isONLY available to the scammer. 

It is the same as if you gave them your ATM Card and PIN.

The second scenario is that the invoice the buyer receives by email from Google or Amazon itself will be a fake, instructing the buyer to wire transfer the money through MoneyGram at the Post Office, Western Union, or their bank.

There is NO RECOURSE or RECAPTURE to wire transfers.

 Good Luck Trying To Contact Google.

Google will not help you. Amazon will not help you. Even Paypal - which DOES offer
 buyer protection on eBay - DOES NOT protect deposits on or purchases of automobiles.

 You can report the incident to your bank, the FBI, Interpol and your neighborhood cop - but your money will not be coming back. And just in case you think differently, there will 
not be a car arriving by giant crate to your door either.


Expose The Scam Online.

Now you know how the scam works and how to recognize one.
 By all means report them ..... but there is something 
YOU can do NOW to protect others immediately. 


This is very easy to do especially on Craigslist:

1. Copy the MAIN photo of the scam ad and save to your desktop
2. Copy the Scam Ad Title EXACTLY including the PRICE

Now Post Your Own Ad as follows:

1. Heading: PASTE the Scammers Ad Title and ADD the word FRAUD or SCAM after it.
2  Insert The Photo The Scammer is Using As Your Main Photo from your desktop.
3. In the ad description, write something to this effect:

" The other Ad for this vehicle is a scam and a fraud; The FBI has been notified. DO NOT send any money by Google Wallet or amazon Payments. The vehicle does not exist."

4. Click POST and you're done.

If done correctly, your WARNING ad will show up right next to the scam ad, pretty quickly,.

I chased this scammer throughout the United States on Craiglist posting warning ads right next to 'hers" in 45 States on the 2005 Mini Cooper; I've just found this Pond Scum Of An Individual doing it again in 5 States with a VW Phaeton.....and have been posting right alongside "her" as shown.....

Please share this warning with others and save them from being ripped off.