Saturday, January 24, 2009

If it sounds too good to be true ...

A search for an inexpensive car on Craigslist.com (Columbus,Ohio) revealed an unbelievable deal — a 2001 Lexus IS300 for less than $2500. Check out the pricing on KBB.com and you'll find that the car is worth quite a bit more than that. So, what's the deal? Thinking it was too good to be true, I emailed the author of the advertisement and got this reply.

Hello,

If you are interested in my 2001 Lexus IS 300 Automatic, it is in perfect condition, no scratches, dings, special marks whatsoever. It has 36,212 miles and the VIN # is :JTHBD182110017964. It has a clear title ready to be signed and notarized on your name.

I have the pictures hosted on the net and you can see them at : http://s436.photobucket.com/albums/qq83/lleexxuusss/?start=all

The car is located Oxnard, CA and the shipping is my responsibility.

The price is $2,488 and there are no other costs regarding this transaction. I am selling the car because I am in the army and my unit will be deployed to Afghanistan next month. I will buy a new one when I'll be back home so this car needs to go.

The transaction will be closed only through a 3rd party because this way we will both be protected. My time is limited due to my job in the army so I decided to use a service from AlertPay which will serve as our 3rd escrow party in this transaction. To begin the transaction I'll need your full name and shipping address, I will forward the details of our transaction to AlertPay and then you will receive an invoice from them.

The car will be shipped insured to your location with DAS and you will have 5 days for inspection, I will pay for shipping.

Thank you,

David Higgins

If a red flag didn't go up in your mind after reading that, you'd better let someone else carry your wallet. First of all, the KBB.com price for a car in Oxnard, CA is close to $10,000. Secondly, the cost of transporting a car from California to Ohio would eat up most of the asking price. Thirdly, a quick Google of "craiglist alertpay" led me to scam.com. Check out their article about another Alertpay scam at http://www.scam.com/showthread.php?t=17904. So, I'm thinking there's a good chance this one's not a good idea.

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