NICB Warns of Widespread Craigslist Auto Sales Scam

NICB an insurance industry-backed crime watch group is warning about an organized auto sales fraud involving the popular online market place, Craigslist.

NICB Warns Of Widespread Craigslist Auto Sales ScamWorking with law enforcement agencies in the Chicago area and across the Midwest, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says it has identified nearly 100 sales where phony bank checks were used to pay for the vehicle.

These scams are well organized and have all the appearances of being legitimate. Said NICB president and CEO Joe Wehrle. But in the end, the criminal gets the car and the sellers or their financial institutions are left on the hook for thousands of dollars still owed on the car.

NICB is citing the case of Mike and Christy Childers of Elizabethtown, KY. Who sold their 2010 Corvette on Craigslist, only to learn that the check that their bank initially said was valid was actually a forgery.

Law enforcement agencies in Kentucky and Illinois. With assistance from NICB. Were able to recover the Corvette after it had been picked up, driven to Chicago and listed online for sale again on Craigslist.

NICB says some online Craigslist car sales lead to more serious results. Including the alleged murder of a Missouri man this week when he met a buyer that had seen his car for sale on Craigslist.

NICB Advises online sellers to insist that any face-to-face meetings take place at a location that is highly public. Preferably at a police station.

NICB says scammers are particularly active in states where the vehicle owner retains the title even though there is an outstanding lien. They will pressure sellers to sign over the title and give them what appears to be a valid bank or cashier’s check to pay for the vehicle.

NICB says owners should never sign over a title until they have their money in hand and should avoid accepting any kind of check. If they do accept a check, they should make sure the bank or cashier’s check has actually cleared before handing over the car and it’s title. This may take a week to 10 days to clear.

The best method to get paid for a vehicle listed for sale is by bank to bank wire transfer. There is no bouncing check with this method. Also never take a credit card or PayPal for a car for sale. The buyer could possibly finagle a chargeback.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a fraud reporting form on the NICB website.

2 Thoughts to “NICB Warns of Widespread Craigslist Auto Sales Scam”

  1. Vee

    I’m from Salt Lake City, UT and Jane Renne is the person trying to scam. She put her ad through OfferUp. It was a tempting offer for a 2003 Ford F-150 Lariat. She said she was selling it for only $1500 because she needed to sell immediately before August 31. I looked it up on the Blue Book and this truck still sells between $6,000 – $11,000 Her sad story, as many others, is that her husband died 4 months ago and she is in the Military ready to leave on military duty with her medical team out of the country for a year and she does not want to store it. I was very interested in the Pick-up but felt the offer and the conditions of the truck was just too good to be true. The pictures she sent me were amazing; truck looked almost brand new. As with all the fraud stories that I read, the delivery process would be managed through Amazon payments, that they could have it in my house within 3 working days, that it would come with a clear title and registration and becasue she is a Prime member of Amazon Payments I would get a 7 day testing period where she would not be getting any money. That if I was interested she would have Amazon send me all the details on this deal; all I had to do to get the ball rolling was send her my full name, shipping address and phone number. This is where I hesitated cause I do not feel comfortable giving out personal information to complete strangers. I did a little homework and was lead to this article. Close call.

    1. Doc

      We can thank Meg Whitman for allowing scams like this to be born on eBay Motors. eBay could have educated the community how fraudsters were trying to steal members money back in the early 2000s before eBay internet car scam fraud got spread all over the net.

      Internet car scams have since spread just about everywhere on the net. If the price is too good to be true, chances are great it’s a scam. If you can not verify the cars condition and the seller is the registered owner forget it!

      Fraud can be reported via Website, though most fraudsters are out of United States jurisdiction.

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