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Old 08-04-2018, 11:51 PM
Channing Spencer Channing Spencer is offline
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Default Classic Car Fraud

http://www.foxnews.com/auto/2018/08/...wn-by-fbi.html


$4.5 million classic car fraud scheme shut down by FBI

Published August 03, 2018

Motor Authority
As classic cars become more than just aspirational items and more investment pieces, buyers should always stay vigilant. Today, it's easy for criminals to scam would-be buyers out of a sale with a little creativity and the Internet. Many enthusiasts found that out the hard way over the past two years.

The FBI and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York exposed a $4.5 million classic car fraud ring and unsealed an indictment detailing the criminals' doing last month. In total, 25 defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering.

The criminals, most of Eastern European descent, launched the nationwide fraud ring in November 2016 and the criminal activity continued through July of 2018. U.S. officials said the scheme involved posting fake classic car ads online, luring buyers, and setting up shell corporations to transfer money out of the U.S.

Victims responded to ads for various classic cars on popular car sale sites, and once the two parties agreed on a final price, the defendants would direct the buyers to automotive transportation companies. The transport companies were actually the shell corporations ready to receive payment and wait for one of the 25 criminals to withdraw the funds. Victims never received the car they thought was being delivered.

Upon receiving payment, the group would begin withdrawing money from the shell corporations' bank accounts sometimes the same day victims wired money. The group worked to ensure withdrawals were in varied denominations to not tip off financial institutions or authorities to the illegal activity. The money was then sent to various Eastern European countries. Most of the victims were never able to recover the money sent and some have been left paying for auto loans without ever purchasing a car.

Each defendant could be in for up to 50 years in prison for their crimes and victims will be eligible for restitution.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2018, 10:28 AM
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Sorry why would you pay big bucks for anything over the internet with seeing or checking on it.
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Old 08-05-2018, 03:14 PM
Peter Grave Peter Grave is offline
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. Ahh yes but as a famous Circus owner once said "There is one born every minute". And as my Grandmother said "If it sounds too good to be true it isn't". Ed you are so right if you can't see it touch it and talk with the owner or have your representative look it why would you spend the $$$. I am not a fan of the Big Auction Companys either too many scamers selling nice looking junk at them too.
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:08 PM
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I understand what Ed and Pete are saying and there is lots of common sense in it.
However, I am sure that there are many positive and happy, internet sales. I have been selling on ebay and other internet sites for years and I sincerely hope everyone was happy with the items and cars they have bought from me. Having said this, I do believe that you should always be careful, especially if you are spending a large sum of money. Things should make sense, for example; I had a seller on craigslist tell me that the car was sold through ebay, with ebay buyer protection, I mean really? That guy instructed me to send the money via Western Union to Jose Torres in Detroit, then they would deliver the car to me and then upon my approval, the sale would finalize. Now imagine that this car was located in a town less than ten miles from my house, at least according to the ad listing. Obviously, I did not participate, but I did forward the info to ebay.

The most important part of this is, use common sense, when buying over the phone, or internet.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:57 PM
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The best and safest way, is to have someone you know put eyes and hands on the car, and check it for any defects that the seller hasn't mentioned. I did this with my 1969 Miller Meteor ambulance, and I paid a forum member to go the distance to look at the car. It was worth it to me to spend the money and know that what the seller was telling me, was the truth. The only time that I couldn't do this was with the car that I purchased out of Alaska. It was in such a remote area of the state, I was lucky that I was able to get it down to the states as quickly as I did. Once in the states, a PCS member took delivery of it on the West Coast, and eventually it made it East to my home.
When I purchased my 1962 Chevrolet, I took the word of the seller, only to find that it had some physical damage that wasn't disclosed. I was torn between leaving it behind after I got there, or absorb the cost of the repair. I decided that it was worth it to me to absorb the repair costs.
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Old 08-06-2018, 08:47 AM
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If you question the legitimacy of an auction or other internet listing and wonder if they even have the car in their posession, just ask the seller to take a photo of a very specific detail on the car and e-mail it to you. This would be a photo of something that the seller could not find a photo of on-line, if it were a scam. The European buyers do this all the time.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:03 AM
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I have made many internet purchases, but buying a car without seeing it is another story to me. I at least knew someone in the area when i bought mine and he took a mechanic to look at it.

But yes when someone is after their "dream car" sometimes they charge through the red flags and caution tape because they have stars in their eyes. Looks like these people realized they could take advantage of that. Its unfortunate though for sure.
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Old 08-06-2018, 10:13 AM
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I have not been bad burnt but I have been disappointed a number of times with internet sales. I find I pay more for a lesser quality item then I would if I saw it first. My back side has been saved a few times by asking some one to look at it for me.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:53 AM
Channing Spencer Channing Spencer is offline
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I have posted here before that I have seen my 57 for sale online twice since I bought it. They used the pics of it that are circulating on the net. I called the webmasters of the sites that were hosting the sales and reported it each time. However, I bought it from an ebay auction.... I had it appraised and inspected by a Cadillac expert/car show judge.
A few years ago, I was very interested in another ebay auction...It was one of my dream cars; a 1960 Lincoln...P.S. I am still dreaming....The seller communicated with me over the phone. I asked for more pics, and they said they would email them. The pics never showed up. I asked again about the pics, and I was told that their camera was broken. I asked if I could have a mechanic come and look at it, and they said, "of course!". They gave me the address, and I contacted a local mechanic that was about 2 miles away. He said he would check out the car and take a few pics. I did not hear back from the mechanic, so I called....he said that they would not set up a time for him to come and look at the car. I called the "sellers", and I was asked, "I am a mechanic, what do you want to know about the car?" There were many more "RED" flags...I used Google Maps and entered the address that the seller provided...turns out, it was an IHOP or something similar. I called E-bay and let them know. I was told not to worry about it because "ebay has buyer protection". The auction remained up, and someone "won" it.
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