Is this a scam? - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Is this a scam?

So I've been looking for a decent cruiser and found one on Craigslist about 4 hours away.

The guy seems to want to talk on the phone rather than text so I call him. Soft spoken guy but seems genuine enough. He says he's selling it for his friend who was a BMW mechanic but moved to Germany.

Well, okay. It's about 400 dollars least than the other ones I've seen, but those ones are days away instead of hours and I only have so much money.

He tells me the rear master cylinder is dead, the tires should be replaced, and the seat cover is worn. It's also got 70k miles on it.

If he was trying to sell a Ruby he could do a better job of describing it but these are all non issues to me as I fix bikes.

I do a Google search of his phone number and it comes back belonging to a guy by his name who's trying to rent a room out next to a university. If it was a throw away phone I doubt he'd attach it to an ad for a long term renter.

So I ask for pictures of the title front and back and he sends me three pictures, a Middle Eastern name on the title, first middle and last.

The third picture is of a "title, one and the same" which states that his "first name" of Hamid Reza (on the title it says "Hamid Reza 'last name'") should be listed as "Farshad 'last name'". (these are the real first names)

He had a notary witness and sign both the "title one and the same" document and the title itself so its ready to be transferred.

The Vin number comes up clean (not stolen). The ad has been up for a while.

I can't think of any possible scam angles here, can you? I drive 4 hours out to buy it Sunday. Any advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 05:38 AM
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There's risks in everything. You spoke on the phone and there's where you might be able to trip up a scammer. If you got good vibes there go for it. You can just chalk it up to a day in the country and can return with or without the bike.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:44 AM
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Have him lift his bath robe to prove he doesn't have a bomb on him

Used cruisers are a dime a dozen now so I'd buy one that was 100% operable that you could ride before you lay down your money.

Make no statement that you will buy it until you ride it.

Have Homeland security back you up

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:58 AM
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I would proceed, with caution. It sounds like you have a bit of the caution covered already.

If he is covering what is wrong, it could be that he wants you to know what is wrong so you are going in with open eyes. If you are going to buy a Ruby and think it's flawless, won't you be pissed if you find out that there are flaws once you got home? He could also be trying to cover up a major issue. If you are well versed in working on bikes, look it over like you think there is a bomb hidden on it somewhere.

If you get a bad vibe, split. Like Hog said, chalk it up to a day in the country.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 03:22 PM
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--

Don't make a decision on the $400. Don't hold "no text" against him--some of us hate doing that. Do make a decision on riding it and/or having a qualified mechanic look it over. The phone number does tell you it may be his (if the addresses match up), but not what may be listed in any ads. Be sure any paperwork signed is notarized by an authorized person you see.

The only real question I have is: What real German mechanic would own mechanical equipment that's not in perfect shape?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 03:28 PM
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If they wanted money before seeing the bike, or want to ship it that is a true tip off. He spoke to you on the phone, sent you pics of the paperwork and will allow you to see it and ride it first, sounds pretty legit to me. Just as with any transaction make sure you check the paperwork over before handing money over.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonK View Post
--

Don't make a decision on the $400. Don't hold "no text" against him--some of us hate doing that. Do make a decision on riding it and/or having a qualified mechanic look it over. The phone number does tell you it may be his (if the addresses match up), but not what may be listed in any ads. Be sure any paperwork signed is notarized by an authorized person you see.

The only real question I have is: What real German mechanic would own mechanical equipment that's not in perfect shape?

--
No... I'm really not. I injured myself and am taking out a loan from a friend to get this bike, honestly can't afford anything else presently. There is a saying, "If it's meant to be it will be". I am doing my due diligence. Honestly in love with this bike.

I get what you're saying about texting. The things on scams I read online said scammers hate using phone numbers to converse and this guy seems legit in that aspect. I prefer texting but I am younger, and I totally comprehend the idea of hating to text.

The notaries seem legit... If it was fraud, why would they have a notary sign a correction on the title... why not just make a title seem legit the first time... I get no/little bad vibes.

The brake thing got me too. The guy I talked to over the phone said "He never used the rear brake". That... makes sense to me, everyone is different. Part of me thinks maybe he never touched the rear brake and the pedal froze in place... I don't know.



Edit: His friend says it starts and runs and I am welcome to test ride it.

I will check for bombs. I called Trump and he said he was busy with the Syrian thing and to "Just look yourself, thank you for your service in the meme wars online." I guess I'm on my own.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 07:25 PM
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 10:31 AM
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I know this sound over-cautious, but if you can have him email you information about the bike and mail it too (if there is time), then if anything goes sideways you can get him on federal wire- and mail-fraud charges.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 11:46 AM
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So you've checked the title out, it appears to be legit, the mechanical and other problems are no big deal to you. The problems you have are no texting and a middle eastern name? I am middle aged and haven't got the texting thing yet, I prefer talking on the phone or email. If this person were using the name Jones or Wilson would you do the four hour trip right now? Why are you asking these questions on a forum? All sales by long distance carry some risk of scam, if you aren't comfortable then pass on it. You said you don't have the money anyway, they might see you as the scam artist if you can't have the money right away.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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So you've checked the title out, it appears to be legit, the mechanical and other problems are no big deal to you. The problems you have are no texting and a middle eastern name? I am middle aged and haven't got the texting thing yet, I prefer talking on the phone or email. If this person were using the name Jones or Wilson would you do the four hour trip right now? Why are you asking these questions on a forum? All sales by long distance carry some risk of scam, if you aren't comfortable then pass on it. You said you don't have the money anyway, they might see you as the scam artist if you can't have the money right away.


Not problems... Just potential red flags. I have the money and have plans to bring it all in cash on Tuesday to pick up the bike. The man selling the bikes name is Joe Wilson. The name on the title is middle eastern.

The texting thing is starting to make sense, now that we have talked about more, he seems willing to text minutia rather than calling back and forth every time there's a new development. I called him once and he was in a business meeting. Texting avoids that, mostly.

About the middle eastern thing, I debate online a lot and a lot of middle eastern people come at me. I have read enough of the Quoran to know about Al taquiyya and kitma, among other things. Am I suspicious when I see a middle eastern name on a transaction where I could lose thousands, you better believe it. Am I profiling? You bet.

Without changing gears I believe some of the most decent, kindest, and good people alive are Muslims. But I remain skeptical until proven otherwise.

I have been threatened by Muslims, survived an attempted murder (not related but relevant) where I felt the bullet graze my temple, survived having guns held to my head on two occasions (gang related) and even had to pull my weapon in the desert when me and a friend were surrounded, our backs to the wall. I have been shot at over petty water disputes I had nothing to do with.

I am sorry if my attitude is offensive and I apologize to anyone who is offended, no matter where you're from. (Honestly I'm the guy who will pull over to help you.)

I'm just a survivor with his head on a swivel.

Why am I asking a forum like this, to gain a better understanding of possible angles and things I have not heard of. It was a kind of bummer not to have anyone I could ask, who could potentially stear me in the right direction. So I chose here based on a similar thread I found here on Google.

It looks like the bike is a go for Tuesday evening, I will let you all know.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet8625 View Post
I know this sound over-cautious, but if you can have him email you information about the bike and mail it too (if there is time), then if anything goes sideways you can get him on federal wire- and mail-fraud charges.
--

Just a note: You will have a hard time getting any officials to do any work on any prosecution. They will tell you it's your problem and you'll have to take it to civilian court. Hell, the biggest agency in the USA couldn't press obvious charges on national security against Clinton.

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