<VV> Spanish Greenbrier Scam?

roboman91324 at aol.com roboman91324 at aol.com
Fri Jan 10 05:46:21 EST 2020


I suppose that there are different philosophies among scammers.  Assuming this guy is a scammer, maybe he figures that "selling" a relatively low priced vehicle several times is easier than making a big killing with a BMW, etc.  A lower priced vehicle could easily attract many more bidders and be less likely to attract an in-depth investigation by Spanish or international law enforcement.  He may have sold the same vehicle several times from the same auction.  Nothing would stop him from taking your money and then going to the next bidder and tell that person the deal fell through with you and offer it to him.  Ebay permits that.  With an outside transfer of money, neither Ebay nor the second and third, etc. bidders would have a clue.  Scamming several people with the same auction could net him $15 - 20,000 with effectively no monetary investment.  Not a bad payday.  This is especially the case if he has several different cars listed at the same time and does this sort of thing several times a year.  Again, assuming the worst, he probably doesn't own or have possession of the vehicle.  He may have "harvested" the pics from a real listing on some other site or even a previous listing on Ebay.  The pics of the vehicle, the alleged seller and the title may be from the other site.  In order to get you comfortable, he may have agreed to have you pick up the vehicle.  If that arrangement was made, he may have backed out at the last minute to avoid the meeting.  Perhaps he might have asked for a significant deposit before the meeting and been satisfied with that.  His address, photo and name may be fictitious but the bank account must be real to receive your money.  However, it may already be drained of the money and closed.  Is the bank account number for the second auction the same as the first auction?  Those are just some things off the top of my head.  A real con man with experience would probably have some tricks I couldn't imagine.
Check to see if the same seller has other listings.  See if they are similar to the Greenbrier auction.  Is there a pic of the same guy holding the title, etc.  If there are other listings for other cars or significantly priced items, alert Ebay to the guy and they will shut down those auctions.  It won't get you your money back but you could save several other people from being scammed. 

Whenever I intend to bid on an auction with serious money, I always scrutinize the feedback of the seller.  Use extreme caution if there is a low number of feedback.  I was interested in a $500 software package and after checking the feedback, there were only 3 or 4 feedback and each of those glowing recommendations had only a couple of feedback of their own.  It was an obvious setup.  I didn't bid and I reported it to Ebay.  It was taken down the same day. 

The pic you sent me had an Alabama license plate on it which seemed odd for a vehicle in Spain.  Was the pic of the title close enough to read?  Was it Spanish or from Alabama.  Not that it matters but did the guy have a back story on why an oddball American vehicle was in Spain?
Thanks for your postings here.  If nothing else, it serves as a cautionary tale for the rest of us.  Even those of us who have dozens of deals under our respective belts can use this sort of heads up but someone without a great deal of experience can really benefit from some of these stories.  I have many "war stories" having to do with the sale and purchase of vehicles but enough said for the moment.
By the way, there are ways to guarantee international payments.  There are fees involved but it beats losing 100% of your money.  If you are willing to pay the fees and the seller isn't willing to follow through, it will tell you there is something shady.  I don't know if PayPal has an option for the buyer to pay the fees but you can check it out.  I had a customer who went out of business because their Marketing VP failed to get a Letter of Credit for a two Million dollar sale into Italy.  It is a shame.  They were friends and I spent an extraordinary amount of time working on their product development.  Oh well.
Lastly, considering that the address the guy gave you is probably fictitious, I wouldn't bother spending time and money for you and your friend to travel to Spain.  Even if the address is real, you may find more trouble there than your loss is worth.  Sometimes scam artists are hardened criminals willing to resort to violence.
Whatever you do, please keep us posted.
Doc1960 Corvette; 1961 Rampside; 1962 Rampside; 1964 Spyder; 1965 Greenbrier; 1966 Corsa turbo (Canadian); 1967 Nova SS: 1968 Camaro ragtop; 1970 Chevy C20 pickup  (And other stuff.)

In a message dated 1/9/2020 4:47:56 PM Pacific Standard Time, virtualvairs-request at corvair.org writes:

Message: 5Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:47:34 +0000From: Hugo Miller <hugo at aruncoaches.co.uk>To: <virtualvairs at corvair.org>Subject: Re: <VV> Spanish Greenbrier Scam?Message-ID: <d00cbb0dfabea550bf3e4879bcc97a43 at aruncoaches.co.uk>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
All sound advice of course. But I have bought dozens of cars over the years sight unseen and never been caught. I have had winners and losers, but only once did I find a car that was much worse than I expected, but that wasn't due to any criminal or dishonest intent - it's just that the camera always makes things look better than they are. And I actually sold it on at a profit!But this situation is very strange indeed, primarily because of the amount of info I have from the seller, and the fact that the seller apeared willing to meet me in Spain and let me drive the car home (to England). I wouldn't expect the seller to accept Paypal, due to the commission, but I was surprised he didn't want cash. So I sent him a bank transfer, with some trepidation, I must admit. But I thought I'd take a chance on it. I went into it with my eyes open so I'm not asking for sympathy.If I were a scammer I would pick a $50,000 BMW not a $7,000 oddity that only has a niche market. And I wouldn't post my name, address, bank details and photograph on eBay! Nor would I refuse cash!The seller was complainng about having to sell it for what he described a half its true value, and my first thought was that he had relisted it in the hope of getting a better price so he could blow me out. But the second time I 'bought' it, it sold for even less money (6,600 Euro), and he is treating that as a genuine sale and is waiting for me to pay him.This has become so intriguing that I want to get to the bottom of it. Spain is only a two hour flight from here, and I have a nice youg lady who speaks Spanish who has volunteered to accompany me and act as my bodyguard!Trouble is I was due to fly to Florida on Monday so that adds to the dilemma!

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