“And now that I have been scammed once, I felt like it could not happen to me again.” – Vann Chow
A few members of my family, myself included, are in the market for a new car. Unfortunately, almost all of our cars have decided to die all at once.
I decided to spend my night last night looking at cars on Facebook Marketplace. I noticed a bit of a trend, a lot of the cars/deals just seemed to good to be true,
They posted minimal pictures, some as few as posting a single picture. The descriptions were straightforward consisting mostly of “Smooth drive, excellent condition, message me for more details, pictures, and the mileage.” Some of them did not even say the year of the car or the exact make/model.
So, I decided why not, right? What is the worst thing that could happen? I sent a few of them messages and most of them sent me an automated response to send them an email.
I then preceded to send them all emails simply asking them for basic information. Every single one of them responded to me with:
My name ____, and I am emailing you about you about CAR NAME. It is still available.”
I opened this thinking, and hoping, that I would end up having a seemingly normal interaction. They then would go on to name all of the fantastic things about the car. How it has never been in an accident, they own a clean title in their name, it has always been kept in the garage, low milage. Really shoving it in your face that this is in fact a great and a very real car.
After this is when things started getting a little fishy, to say the least. They all ended with something along the lines of:
“I am selling the car at the reduced price of ____ because my husband died ___ months ago and it brings me bad memories.” At first, you think oh my gosh this poor thing but then it takes an even fishier turn. “I need to sell it asap because I will be leaving out of town with my medical team out of the country. Hate to sell it but it’s not worth keeping up with the insurance and paying for storage fees for a year. Please let me know if you are interested!”
What I discovered from this experience is this: Do not be like me and waste too much of your time on Facebook Marketplace just to be scammed. Be better than the mistakes that I made.
And if you have a car that you are thinking of selling, feel free to message me.