The details of the vehicle, including photos and description, are typically lifted from sites such as Craigslist , AutoTrader. An interested buyer, hopeful for a bargain, emails the fraudster, who responds saying the car is still available but is located overseas. Or, the scammer will say that he is out of the country but the car is a shipping company. The scam artist then instructs the victim to send a deposit or full payment via wire transfer to initiate the “shipping” process. To make the transaction seem more legitimate, the fraudster will ask the buyer to send money to a fake agent of a third party that claims to provide purchase protection. The unwitting victims wire the funds and subsequently discover they have been scammed. In response, auto sales websites often post warnings to buyers, for example, those on Craigslist which warn not to accept offers in which vehicles are shipped, where funds are paid using Western Union or wire, etcetera, requesting those postings to be flagged as abuse. Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami were popular targets of scammers perpetrating charity scams; other more timeless scam charities purport to be raising money for cancer , AIDS or Ebola virus research, children’s orphanages the scammer pretends to work for the orphanage or a non-profit associated with it , or impersonates charities such as the Red Cross or United Way.
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