Hello At Risk Car Shoppers

YES!  I fell for a Craigslist Scam.  I lost thousands of dollars when I purchased a used car.  I thought I was doing right and proceeding cautiously but made a number of mistakes during the buying process only to find out later that nearly  everything about the car and the seller was a lie.  While I could use this blog to eviscerate the seller, I have instead decided to create this blog to deconstruct the entire transaction; an autopsy if you will, in order to learn from what happened and provide these learning’s to the public at large to, hopefully, prevent others from being scammed like I was.  I’m not blameless.  I allowed myself to make a number of mistakes, and will highlight those as the story unfolds.

In the coming days and weeks, I will review:

  1. Why I was looking for a used vehicle
  2. The strategy I thought would lead me to the perfect vehicle
  3. Finding the perfect Craigslist Ad
  4. First Contact
  5. Second Contact, and how the scammer knew he had me
  6. The meeting, test drive, and transaction
  7. Registration, and when the scam came to light
  8. How bad is the vehicle
  9. Retribution lost
  10. Moving on
  11. And a recap of the lessons learned

I hope you check in periodically, as I conduct this autopsy, to help you avoid being scammed.



2 thoughts on “Hello At Risk Car Shoppers

    1. You’re Right. I didn’t complete the story. I don’t have time to complete the story online right now, but will give you a quick run down of what happened. We met at dusk, I could hardly see anything in the vehicle. I took it for a test drive and it seemed okay. I gave him a wad of cash and he was gone. Next day went to register the vehicle and found out it had a salvage title. A barcode sticker had been placed over the word salvage on the title. I couldn’t see that at dusk and really wouldn’t have known it wasn’t part of the title. I took it to a Honda dealer for evaluation. Service advisor said “nice looking car” when I arrived. Two hours later he called back and said “you haven’t bought this car yet, have you?” He said it needed nearly $5k in repair work. I found a local shop to do it for $2,500. It was then drivable and safe. I registered the vehicle and found out the sticker placed on the word “Salvage” was a product barcode. My son scanned it and Amazon said it was for a fishing reel…thus the hook, line, and sinker reference. My youngest son drove the vehicle till mid 2017. During that time, he had two small accidents with it. With more body damage to it and knowing the vehicle was already on its last leg I decided to not put any more money into it beyond regular maintenance. The starter died in September 2017 and I donated the vehicle to the Chron’s and Colitis Foundation…end of story. Sorry to have left you hanging but hopefully this closes the loop.


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