Car scam

So, I put my car up for sale this weekend. Got lots of interest off of postings to CraigsList, PDXForSale and, so that’s good. However, this morning I get this message:


I saw your advert placed online for the sale of your 1995 Subaru Legacy and i will really like to buy from you.

Please let me know if the Item is still available forsale and also the last price you will want to sell it to me.I will appreciate it if you can send me pictures too,so to have a glance on what i want to buy..

I will await to read from you as quickly as possible so to proceed.

God bless you.


Sounded weird, but I figured, what the heck, I’ll reply. So I sent this:

Hi Sam–

We’ve had a lot of interest in the car and one guy seems pretty
serious about buying it for his mom, but the Subaru is still available
and we’re flexible on price…feel free to make an offer.

You can reach me via email, or on my cell phone: 503-xxx-xxxx. The
car is in Newberg and available for showing or test driving any time.


About three hours later I get the following reply from “Sam”:

Dear Friend,
With thanks i acknowledge the receipt of your mail and i noted the contents very well.I am happy the Item is still available forsale and also i will need you to let me know the last price you will be willing to sell to me…I will be happy to give you an extra offer on the cost price,if you can assure me you will sell to me..

I already have the shipping to be taken cared of by shipper,on coming over to your place for the pick-up of the Item,but this will be done after you have gotten the payment..Hope this is okay with you…

Finally,i will need you to send me your Full details on how the check will be issued by my Banker and the address where it will be sent to for your collection,including the contact phone number also…

Expecting to read from you soonest.



Now my scam radar is off the chart, so I write back:

Sam, I can assure you that I’ll hold the car for you for $6,200. I
must insist on conducting the transaction in person with either you or
your agent, considering I’ll need a signature on the title transfer
and sales agreement. Also, I won’t accept a personal check, but cash
or cashier’s check will be fine.


After writing that last bit, I did a lookup on Sam’s IP address ( You won’t be surprised to find that it originates in Nigeria. I guess it’s just another variation of the Nigerian email scam that has been going around for a long time…just customized to make it seem more legit. I’m a little weirded out that I gave him my cell phone number, though. Crazy…

10 thoughts on “Car scam

  1. Are you guys thinking of buying a new car, or just down sizing? Maybe a nice Ford Expedition or similar SUV?

  2. Not really downsizing, just “right-sizing.” šŸ™‚ Right now we’re looking at the Scion xB. Mainly we’re looking for fuel economy, space and safety. The xB seems to have it all…

  3. My coworker Nanci bought a Scion (a little one) and heard that the XB is noisy on the freeway, so test it at freeway speed. Apparently it has the same engine as the little Scion (?), but geared differently, and that makes it noisy. so there’s my third-hand 2 cents!

  4. Right Sizing. I like that. We are talking about doing the same thing. We have a ’97 Jeep cherokee right now, and aside from having 100k on it, it is too bulky for the city. We are talking about the Toyota Matrix, and Maxda 6 wagon. Brandon is right though, the Scion is ‘pimpin’.

  5. I read about this at the Washington Post a couple years ago. A lot of those guys use fake Cashier’s Checks. I agree, you should report him. Another thought: With his English, is it possible that he was one of your students in Korea?

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