You have your car listed for sale on the Internet and it looks like you have an easy sale. The emails are rolling in from interested buyers. But wait, a lot of these interested buyer may have a plan that will take a lot of your hard earned money. Because we get into the details, there are four rules that you must follow not matter what. If you violate either of these rules you will lose your money: 1) Never accept payment which is not for the exact amount of the sale.
2) Do not assume that any cashier check or money order is valid. 3) Do not assume any payment if valid just because your bank gives you cash for it. 4) Another persons problem is not your problem to solve.
Before I explain these simple rules we will look at two actual emails I received from people wanting to buy my used car. I listed a price above market value as an experiment and did not believe anyone would answer my ad. Both of these emails had IP addresses from outside the USA. In the first one an address and phone in the USA were given. You cannot rely on IP address, phones or postal addresses for identification of where a purchase is actually from. First email: HELLO, INQUIRY ON YOUR CAR, PLEASE GET BACK TO ME WITH YOUR ROCK BOTTOM ASKING PRICE AND THE PICTURES IF THE CAR IS STILL AVAILABLE.
HAVE A NICE DAY JAMES THOMAS [address] [phone] In response, I answered using an almost obscene name and told him the car was as described on the web and gave him a price that was higher than what I stated on the web. If you notice he does not really ask any questions about the car. You can be pretty sure he emails the same email to thousands of people and cannot remember which email is about which car. Mr. "Thomas" replies: HELLO, THANKS FOR YOUR URGENT RESPONCE, HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH YOU.
AFTER CONSIDERING THE PRICE, I HAVE ACCEPTED MAKING PAYMENT FOR THE CAR. BUT THE ISSUE IS THAT I HAVE A FRIEND WHO IS OWING ME HE WORKS WITH INTER TRUST FINANCIAL IN CANADA BUT HE IS PRESENTLY ON VACATION IN SAUDI ARABIA. I HAVE CONSIDERED USING THE MONEY ON THIS TRANSACTION, SO HE WILL BE MAKING THE PAYMENT DIRECTLY TO YOU WITH A CASHIERS CHECK, BUT THE MONEY IS IN EXCESS OF THE PRICE OF THE CAR, SINCE WE HAVE AGREED ON US$15, 100 FOR THE PRICE, SO YOU HAVE TO SEND THE EXCESS TO THE AGENT THAT WILL COME FOR THE PICK UP SO THAT HE CAN BE ABLE TO OFFSET SHIPPING CHARGES. THEREFORE, I URGE YOU TO PROVIDE YOUR MAILLING INFORMATION WHICH ARE YOUR LEGAL NAME, HOME ADDRESS, AND PHONE NUMBER SO THAT HE CAN BE ABLE TO MAIL THE CASHIERS CHECK TO YOU VIA COURIER SERVICE.
AND ALSO YOU ARE TO STATE THE PRESENT LOCATION OF THE CAR FOR EASY PICK-UP.THANKS AS I WAIT TO RECIEVE YOUR CONSENT ON THIS TRANSACTION SOON. THANKS AND GOD BLESS JAMES THOMAS Here comes the problem.
To sell my car to Mr. "Thomas" I will need to violate all four rules I listed above. The bottom line is that Mr.
"Thomas" will send me a cashiers for more than the amount of the sale, the bank will give me cash the day after I deposit the cashiers check, I will refund the extra to him (I am not "solving" his "problems"). My surprise will be that in a month or so, my bank will tell me the cashiers check was forged and remove the full amount from my back account; but I have already refunded the extra to Mr. "Thomas" so my bank balance will likely end up well below zero! If I am lucky, I will be out the $5, 000 and find out before I actually sign the title of my car over to Mr. "Thomas"! Here is another email which is basically the same. Again, they are not interested in any details of the car, though some scam emails do ask a few questions. They do not specifically mention a cashiers check, but instead refer to a "check payable in the US".
The email also implies that the car will need to be shipped to a client. I will not comment on his horrible spelling. Hello, my clinet is intrested in your car.if is still avalebbile please contact me. which you will receive a payable check in U.S.
Hope to read from you soon. Regards. mark We should add an additional rule, if you are not a professional in the import, export business, do not think about shipping your car overseas. Not for one second. Not even if the "buyer" has arranged for shipping. Even if it were legitimate (and it is not) you would be in for more headaches that you want.
We need to review the 4 simple rules again: 1) Never accept payment which is not for the exact amount of the sale. Any normal purchaser will make payment to you in the correct amount. If someone has a check for the "wrong" amount it is not your problem to resolve.
You are just trying to sell a car, your are not in the banking business! Really you should be selling your car to someone you see in person with cash or a check from a local bank you can verify at their bank. 2) Do not assume that any cashier check or money order is valid. The FDIC issues regular reports about stolen and forged money orders and cashiers checks. It is not a rare event. You cannot assume any payment is valid unless you personally verify it at the bank that issued the payment, ie: by walking into that bank and cashing it. 3) Do not assume any payment if valid just because your bank gives you cash for it.
Under U.S. Banking Laws, your bank is obligated to "clear" cashiers checks in one business day. That means if you deposit a cashiers check today, your bank must allow you to withdraw cash tomorrow. That does not mean the payment is good.
A forged cashiers check can take weeks for your bank to discover. When they do the entire amount plus service charges will be removed from your account! You see the trick? 4) Another persons problem is not your problem to solve. Many of these scamsters develop involved stories about all kinds of problems they have, in this case a cashiers check for too much money. They offer you a bonus or easy sale for helping them solve the problem.
In reality the only problem is that you will lose lots of money trying to "help" them. Your only problem is to sell your car to an actual buyer, that has actually looked at the car and makes a payment you can actually verify (cash) at their bank. This will never include someone that wants the car shipped somewhere.
It will never include someone that has a check of any kind for too much money. No one will ever pay you an extra $500 much less an extra $1,000 or $5,000 for your car for helping them. BOTTOM LINE Do not ever involve the "problems" of someone else in your transaction. Do not accept any "cashiers check" as valid -- no matter what the teller at your bank says.
The real question is who would buy a car they do not look at? But if you must sell your car to someone who is not local, please make sure you use an escrow service.
By Wilbur Corncob. Buy used cars. Copyright (c) 2007 GLR Sales LLC. Permission is granted to reprint this article in whole or in part provided that a link to http://carsforsale.classifieds1000.com is included as a standard link.