Founded in 1980 by Frank and Elaine Wrenick
|If it’s too good too be true………
By Brad Busque
I’m sure everyone has heard the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This saying is especially true where eBay is concerned. I have been watching for a nice 68-70 1st generation Javelin with a 4-speed. I watch the AMCRC Ad Release, AMO Classifieds, and eBay for a car fitting the above description. Well, recently a fully restored 280 HP, 343, leather interior, new paint, 68 Javelin for a “buy it now” price of $7,200 popped up on ebay. That was one of six other AMC cars on ebay at the time with the same “buy it now” price of $7,200 from the same seller. One of the cars listed for the amazing price of $7,200 was a fully restored 390 Go Pack AMX 4 Speed, worth at least three times the asking price. I had seen this particular AMX sell on ebay a few months earlier for $21,000. The scammer just reposted the same pictures used two months earlier. I guess they don’t think we’re watching very closely.
A look inside all the $7,200 auctions found the same disclaimer on all cars, “don’t bid, contact me by email first or else I will leave negative feedback.” Folks, this is a MAJOR red flag. Number one, you can’t leave negative feedback for an item not purchased, 2nd, as soon as you leave ebay and start dealing with someone outside, you are in danger of being taken to the cleaners. I suspect that the scammer was using a stolen ebay account. By asking for email contact, the scammer was collecting emails of people they could contact once the auction was closed down by ebay. I reported all the $7,200 auctions to ebay, who promptly shut them down. I decided to do a little research, and mailed the scammer who listed the Javelin, just to get an idea of how one of these scams work. My first email:
Looking for more information on your Javelin. Mileage, rust repair, running condition, etc.
The scammers reply:
Sounds pretty good, and you should have seen all the pictures (8 were sent), the car was perfect. I decided to go a bit farther with the research and sent off another email:
The deal will be
concluded through ebay, they will set up the shipping and payment details.
Such a deal, time to take a look at the car.
I'm in Simsbury CT, but will be in Norfolk VA on Business next week. Could I set up a time to see the car?
UH OH. When the scammer starts to panic he doesn’t sound very American any more.
Hello, I want to
start a new business with ebay in the future. I want to sell more cars on ebay
and I want to do this through they (through ebay). For this I must to check, to
see if this is a good business for me before I invest my money. This is the
reason that we must conclude the deal through ebay. I want to be sure that I
can sell cars all over the United States in short time so I can gain money on
short term. I must to check if I find uyers interested to buy my cars through
ebay. If you really want
to buy my car we can do in this way. I will start the transaction, you read the
terms of the transaction and if you agree we have a deal. I wait your email
asap. Thank you, Ray
Hmm. Originally he was selling cars he had in the US, but couldn’t take to Hungary with him. Now Ray is referring to starting an ebay business. His story is changing. Could it be Ray is dishonest?
I explained to Ray that I would buy the car under his terms, but would like to view it first. Well, I was told to buy the car sight unseen, and good old Ray would take it back at his expense if it wasn’t to my liking. From this point the scammer asked for my shipping address and ebay user name. I gave him my real address, but supplied a user name I had set up as a bogus with zero feedback tied to an old AOL email account I still have, but don’t use. The scammer then sent what appeared to be a ebay email (it wasn’t, it traced back to a Hungary server) with ebay logos looking for a PayPal payment of $7,200. If I had paid at this point, the money would have been gone.
Lately there have been a lot
of these AMC scam auctions. Best thing to do until ebay gets a handle on this
is to be extra careful, and if you see something too good to be true AMC-wise,
quickly click on "live chat" on the front page of Ebay and give them
As for safe purchasing, first try to find a car listed within your local chapters classified. You save shipping, and can inspect the car pretty easily. Other good options are the AMCRC Ad Release (also features pictures on-line) and AMO Classifieds. For these choices you may be able to find other members who are in the area of car, who may have first hand knowledge of the automobile in question.