28 November 2009

Beware the launderers!

I should be in bed now, but thought I should warn you all of something first.

I advertised my Ford Focus on Facebook, on this blog and on Gumtree. All for free, and all with no response from any interested parties. So I thought I would try Autotrader since that is a big name in the vehicle sales industry, both private and trade sellers use this to advertise on it's magazine and website. The advert cost me £35 and would give me one week in Auto Trader Scotland magazine and two weeks in the Auto Trader website. I paid for this last Sunday (22nd Nov) and hoped for the best.

Monday lunch time I received a missed call from an 0208 number and so I called it back. Turned out to be "The Motorist Guide" who saw my advert on Auto Trader and offered to send me a magazine through email which will give me tips on how to sell my car etc. So I said yes and gave him my email address as it was free and there is no ties involved.

That afternoon I received another call, this time from an unknown number. The caller was a guy who said he saw my car was for sale and said he was interested in it, but the price was so high. I mentioned to him that the price had went down from £4000 to £3500 and that I spent a lot of money getting the body work touched up etc. He said the price was still too high and that he only needed the car for one day. That he only wanted the car for a hit a run. To play his game I said to him that it would take more than a day to get all the paperwork sorted out. He said again that he only needed the car for one day, for a hit and run, then said, "Bang! Bang!" and hung up!! How crazy was that?! After the call ended I just sat down and prayed to God, asked Him to protect the sale of the car as there are many dodgy people out there.

Two days later, 24th November, I received this email:

"Goodday,My name is Lanty David,
I will like to know if your car is still available for sale..i am okay with all informations posted with the ads..but i will like to know the followings..
1,the present condition of the Car?
2,your reason for selling it?
3,Your final asking price ?
I will like you to get back to me so that we can proceed with the transaction..i wait your reply soonest..Regards.Lanty xxxxxxxxxx"

To which I replied:

"Hi Lanty, thank you for your interest in my car. I have a question to start with though. Where did you see my ad? Now to answer your questions:

1) Present condition: Excellent condition, but WET! It has been parked on the street under the Glasgow rain! I spent £600 getting the body work touched up at the Car Care Centre three weeks ago. And bought four new tyres from Costco, costing £228. Have all receipts with it.

2) Reason for selling: I am a qualified driving instructor with the AA and have been given a tuition car with my franchise, therefore I do not need this car anymore as I'll use that car 24/7.

3) Final asking price: £3500, originally £4000 after I spent so much money on it. But had to drop it down due to lack of interest. I feel if the price is any lower it would do this car injustice if you check out the condition of it.

If you're interested we can arrange a meet up for you to check it out? Let me know if you're still interested. Cheers, Gordon"

The next day, 25th November:

"Hello , Thanks for getting back to me,and am very happy that you still have it for sale.
This car is what I have been searching for quite some months now before I finally got yours.Regards the price,i will offer you £4,100 for it and i will like to know much about the car. So i will want you to please email me it's full details and the reason why you are selling it,also when is the m.o.t expires.
Please i will want you to get back to me with these answers so that we can proceed from there.. Really I based Kompehenger here in Denmark were i work as a Mechanical Enginer but originally from Wales(My Dad is from Wale and mum from Oslo Noway).
If you can get back to me as soon as possible i would be glad to wrap everything up in a short while so that i can take the possession of the Car .I will be willing to pay you with a Uk banker's Draft which will clear between 3-4 days in any Uk bank of which i have a shipping company that will come for the shipment of the Car .
So if you are ok with this kindly get back to me so that we can conclude the transaction on time. Best Regards.
Lanty xxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

To which I replied:

"Dear Lanty,

As I mentioned earlier, the reason for selling this is car is because I am a qualified driving instructor with the AA Driving School and have been given a tuition car with my franchise, therefore I do not need this car anymore as I'll use that car 24/7.

If you were interested in buying this car, £4100 sounds like a very good offer. However, I have never used Bank Draft before. Would you be able to pay me through Paypal instead then? There is more protection through Paypal for both you and me.

Also, what information are you looking for about the car?

Silver Ford Focus LX
5-Door hatchback
Registered July 2003
I bought it on 14th June 2004 after one owner
Has now done 28,000 miles
1.4L Manual Petrol
Full Service and MOT history
Brand new Michelin tyres
No Pets, No Smoking

(Taxed till Dec 2009, Service due May 2010, MOT due July 2010)

Please get back to me about payment. Thank you.


The final response from Lanty...

Thanks so much for your kind of lovely mail and As for the payment i will ask my Bussines Accosociate to issue a Certified Uk Bank Draft of £9,500 and once u get the cheque u are to get The Cheque deposited into ur bank account and once it clears u deduct the cost of the Car which is £4100 u deduct £200 am willing to give u for ur efforts and the western union fees.U are to help me wire the balance inform of a cash via western union the same day u get the cheque to my shipper and in just 2 or days after my shipping agent will come down to ur location for the pick-up right thre at ur location.

Pls i will need the following ful datas from u.
Name....(to be on the cheque)
Full Address.....
Postal Code....
Telephone number...(Cell,Office,Home,)

Pls i will really be glad if u could get the balance wired the same day the cheque clears ur account cos am highly sure that once my shipper get the balance from u is going to come down to ur location in just 2 or days after for the pick-up.as soon as you provide me your info i will give you a call on your number so we can talk better.


Well well well! After reading these emails, what are your thoughts? So dodgy, right? Totally crazy!! Do they think I'm some sort of ignorant guy who is money-hungry and will do anything for lots of money AND help them with criminal activities too?? I mean, all these signs shows something dodgy is going on. First of all, the grammar is horrible. "Lanty" if that is their real name is in Denmark where they drive on the opposite side of the road to us. So why would they want my right hand drive car? Secondly, throwing in random information about parents from Wales and Norway wins no favour from me as "Lanty" did not even answer my question of "Where did you see my ad?". So yes, the biggest sign of dodgy business was when I said my final offer would be £3500 and I was then offered £4100. Not only that, but then later told I would receive £9500 in the form of a UK Bankers draft of which I would deduct £4100 for my car, then a further £200 for my troubles and transfer the rest of the £5200 to another account for them. Like NO WAAAY!! Fortunately as part of my work at HR I have had training on fraud, money laundering and how to spot the signs of it happening. And if this is not a clear sign, I don't know what is!! I mean, even Western Union has been in the news in recent years of having being used for money laundering and illegal activities by criminals. Hence the reason I suggested Paypal instead as that is more highly regulated and is a safer way to make transactions with protection.

So, I imagined to myself, what if I agreed to this. Gave "Lanty" all my details, waited for the Bankers cheque, cashed it in, deducted my share of the money, transferred the rest to the "shippers" then sit and wait for them to appear at my door to pick up the car. I think if that happened, the people who turns up at my door will not be "shippers" but will be like police or the FBI or Interpol! Hahahahahaha!! Picture that! Your friend, Big G, on BBC 24 News, on local newspapers, on the internet! Name black listed amongst the financial industry for money laundering. Who would believe me for that I was an "innocent party" eh? Lol!

Take care guys, especially when selling things online. It has not happened when I sold things through eBay before, but this time weird stuff is happening. What's this world coming too?


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