Go Back   986 Forum - for Porsche Boxster & Cayman Owners > Porsche Boxster & Cayman Forums > Boxster General Discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-30-2007, 04:59 AM   #1
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 691
Need Help - Avoiding Scams while selling a car

My Question:

While selling a car, how can I collect funds in a 100% safe way from an International Buyer? I am selling a car & have title in hand. Buyer is physically here on a visit.

Background:

A European buyer has expressed interest in buying my BMW. The buyer is here on a visit and realizes that he can buy a car in the States and ship it across the pond cheaper than he can get the same car in Europe. The car sells for much more in Europe & with the exchange rate from Euros its a no-brainer financally (even paying the taxes).

I met him, he looked at the car. We've had a very typical discussion between buyer and seller. He's asked the right questions, etc. So have a decent level of comfort with the buyer, except that he's only here on a visit which sets off my scammer alarm bells...

What I really want to understand is how I can collect funds in a 100% safe way? I have the title in hand. Are there any common scams to avoid? Do I insist on cash? Is a wire transfer safer? Its possible payment will come from a US based account (via a family member he's here visiting). Should I insist on a Bank Check from a well known US bank?

There are a few threads on this board were folks have sold cars to Canadian buyers which is similair -- but I really didn't find specific do's and don't from a seller's perspective.

Comments, suggestions? By the way, we're talking about a $40,000 transaction -- if it was smaller like $10,000 I'd just take cash and be done with it...

Thanks!

Mike

__________________
SOLD - 2002 Boxster S - PSM, Litronics, De-ambered, Bird Bike Rack, Hardtop, RMS leak...
fatmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 05:13 AM   #2
There Is No Substitute.
 
rick3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: West Coast
Posts: 3,140
Garage
If you've met with the guy it probably isn't a scam. But I would still play it safe. I would go with cash. But you could do a check, money order, or travelers check, but I wouldn't do anything with the car until you cash it and the bank clears it. I would definitely avoid a wire transfer. I am no banker but I have read a little about avoiding scams.
Good Luck with the Sale!
__________________
1999 Ocean Blue Metallic Boxster - blueboxster.com
rick3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 05:28 AM   #3
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 91
I would also insist on making a copy of his passport....
peakpro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 05:35 AM   #4
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 631
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick3000
If you've met with the guy it probably isn't a scam. But I would still play it safe. I would go with cash. But you could do a check, money order, or travelers check, but I wouldn't do anything with the car until you cash it and the bank clears it. I would definitely avoid a wire transfer. I am no banker but I have read a little about avoiding scams.
Good Luck with the Sale!
Sometimes those fake money orders and cashiers checks aren't detected to be fake until after you've cashed it and the buyer is long gone. Then, you're held responsible for paying the bank back. By that time, you have no car and no money. I'd avoid selling it to anyone that doesn't come to your house to look at it with cash in hand.
yellowboxster01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 06:24 AM   #5
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 691
I told the buyer upfront that my title is in hand & this is a cash only transaction (and he's OK with that -- "yes, yes, of course"). I'm questioning if I really want to handle that much cash.

I like the idea of a photocopy of the passport. That is very smart.

I know that both cashiers checks and money orders can be faked/cancelled after the fact. I can rule those payment methods out. I also believe that a Bank Check can be faked. I think the Bank Check is the better option of these. I would probably be comfortable with a Bank Check from a local bank from a US citizen. I'm leaning away from a bank check in this case too.

This leaves me with the option of handling cash, or a wire/electronic payment.

What is the risk with a wire transfer? I always thought wire transfers were one-way & clear instantly? I suspect that isn't entirely true. Can anyone tell me if a wire can be reversed or cancelled? Or do they sit in "pending" status for a day before being posted? Are there any better electronic payment options? And, please don't say PayPal, they are terrible.

Thanks!
__________________
SOLD - 2002 Boxster S - PSM, Litronics, De-ambered, Bird Bike Rack, Hardtop, RMS leak...

Last edited by fatmike; 11-30-2007 at 06:27 AM.
fatmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 06:25 AM   #6
Registered User
 
tboyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 256
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike

Comments, suggestions? By the way, we're talking about a $40,000 transaction -- if it was smaller like $10,000 I'd just take cash and be done with it...

Thanks!

Mike
I would stick with cash only, make the transfer while you are both physically at your bank (don't walk around town with 40K in your pocket ). As soon as the cash crosses the counter at the bank, immediately deposit the CASH in your bank account. Since ANY check can take weeks before it goes NSF, I would never take any kind of check from any international buyer. In addition, since you are depositing CASH, the funds are available immediately
__________________

'06 Cayman 'S' - Sold (Sport Chrono, PASM, TPMS, 19' CAS Wheels, NAV)
'06 Cayenne - Sold
'01 Boxster 'S' - Sold
'00 Boxster - Sold

Last edited by tboyer; 11-30-2007 at 06:31 AM.
tboyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 06:28 AM   #7
Registered User
 
tboyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 256
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike
What is the risk with a wire transfer? I always thought wire transfers were one-way & clear instantly?
Take the transfers between banks out of the equation, wire transfers can be reversed (all though rare), depositing cash cannot be reversed. CASH is KING!
__________________

'06 Cayman 'S' - Sold (Sport Chrono, PASM, TPMS, 19' CAS Wheels, NAV)
'06 Cayenne - Sold
'01 Boxster 'S' - Sold
'00 Boxster - Sold
tboyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 06:34 AM   #8
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 691
tboyer -- OK, thanks. You are confirming what I suspected. Cash is king!



Follow up question:

"As soon as the cash crosses the counter at the bank, immediately deposit the CASH in your bank account."

What method should I suggest to the buyer to get that much cash to my bank? I am putting a burdon on him. Is there a safe method for him to move funds to my bank?

I bank with a local branch of one of the largest US Banks if that matters any.
__________________
SOLD - 2002 Boxster S - PSM, Litronics, De-ambered, Bird Bike Rack, Hardtop, RMS leak...
fatmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 07:06 AM   #9
bmussatti
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Fatmike, call your banker. They could offer some advice too. I agree, with cash is king.

Passports can be faked too.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 07:07 AM   #10
Registered User
 
tboyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 256
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmike
tboyer -- OK, thanks. You are confirming what I suspected. Cash is king!



Follow up question:

"As soon as the cash crosses the counter at the bank, immediately deposit the CASH in your bank account."

What method should I suggest to the buyer to get that much cash to my bank? I am putting a burdon on him. Is there a safe method for him to move funds to my bank?

I bank with a local branch of one of the largest US Banks if that matters any.
Let him worry about that, there comes a point where you want to be as accommodating as possible, however, losing the car and the 40K would be a disaster! This deal is worth it to a scammer (Iím not saying your buyer is) to be as legit as possible, the more he makes you feel comfortable, they more trusting you become. The more trusting you become, the easier it is for him to take you for the car, ship it internationally where youíll never see it again, not to mention the 40K will be gone too! Plus, if the check is fraudulent, guess who will be at your door, Secret Service and the FBI. This is a VERY common scam, fencers just sit around waiting for the perfect opportunity to take advantage.

Hereís how I would setup the deal:

Setup an appointment at your bank in one week to meet your buyer
Explain that you will sign the title and bill of sale once he hands over the 40K in CASH, and I mean physically hands it over to you (in 1ís if he has to)
Let him deal with getting the cash himself, this is not your issue
Have your bank notarize all of the sale documents
In a totally separate transaction, deposit the 40K in your account, DO NOT allow bank checks or wire transfers, fill out the deposit slip with 40K in the amount, slide the 40K under the window to the teller

This should keep you safe and put enough safeguards in the deal to weed out the con-artists.
__________________

'06 Cayman 'S' - Sold (Sport Chrono, PASM, TPMS, 19' CAS Wheels, NAV)
'06 Cayenne - Sold
'01 Boxster 'S' - Sold
'00 Boxster - Sold
tboyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 07:13 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: mandeville, la
Posts: 474
Well, I would say the story makes sense, and when he says he is just visiting, he probably means he is visiting to take advantage of holiday shopping at a HUGE discount with trash american money. He might even be scouting opportunities to buy good that he can import back to UK and sell to finance his trip or make money. That is all fine and dandy, but I would still be a little nervous with a 40k deal.

When dealing with consumers, I always do my buying and selling in cash. I would insist on it if he is international. Go to your bank with the man to deposit the money, this will assure the funds are good, the bills are not fake, or hot (the chances are very unlikely).

I have a question too. If you sell a car that is insured and sell to a scammer, does insurance pay for it if the funds never show up? I would think they would because the bill of sale is null and void if the funds are not swapped? I would think it's stolen.
nola911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 07:24 AM   #12
Track rat
 
Topless's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Cucamonga CA
Posts: 3,680
Garage
There is one way to do a safe bank drawn cashiers check so you don't have to count and then drag around a bunch of cash. Go to his bank with him, you choose the teller, watch them draw up the cashiers check and exchange it for your title while still in the bank. This protects your interests and your safety. Now you can safely deposit the check in your account without worrying about Guido waiting outside for you to walk out with a bag of money.
__________________
2009 Cayman 2.9L PDK (with a few tweaks)
PCA-GPX Chief Driving Instructor
Topless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 08:17 AM   #13
Registered User
 
tboyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 256
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxferran

I have a question too. If you sell a car that is insured and sell to a scammer, does insurance pay for it if the funds never show up? I would think they would because the bill of sale is null and void if the funds are not swapped? I would think it's stolen.
I was say a BIG NO to this, insurance companies don't insure "stupid" decisions, they expect proper due diligence, which if you have means you won't need the insurance company.
__________________

'06 Cayman 'S' - Sold (Sport Chrono, PASM, TPMS, 19' CAS Wheels, NAV)
'06 Cayenne - Sold
'01 Boxster 'S' - Sold
'00 Boxster - Sold
tboyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 08:41 AM   #14
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Santa Clarita, CA
Posts: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxferran
I have a question too. If you sell a car that is insured and sell to a scammer, does insurance pay for it if the funds never show up? I would think they would because the bill of sale is null and void if the funds are not swapped? I would think it's stolen.
Loss due to theft resulting from embezzlement or other unlawful conversion is generally excluded. Don't expect your insurer to to guarantee the fidelity of your buyer.
__________________
2002 Boxster S
6 speed
Merridian Metallic
Cinnimon Brown Interior
[IMG]http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m...terPix3001.jpgIMG]
bnorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 08:49 AM   #15
Registered User
 
Perfectlap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 8,696
Cash is not king.

I was on a recent trip to south america and well long story short... you won't believe the amount of phoney US cash that is circulating abroad. Illegal narcotics operations reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits which buy some very sophisticated conterfeiting machines.

Many years ago I worked in federal law enforcement and we interviewed a guy in the clink. While I looked at his file I noticed he had his fingerprints and a set of foot prints as well. I asked one of the guys what that was about and they told me he was arrested after they lifted his foot prints from the phoney cash. Apparently to prepare the paper they would scatter tea leaves and walk over the paper to give it the aged quality. Phoney cash sometimes looks too new. And nowadays you've got color lazer printers that can make anything passports,green cards, ss cards, cash and phoney bearer bonds.

Definitely talk to the bank. Carrying $40K is dangerous.
__________________
GT3 Recaro Seats - Boxster Red
GT3 Aero / Carrera 18" 5 spoke / Potenza RE-11
Fabspeed Headers & Noise Maker
BORN: March 2000 - FINLAND
IMS#1 REPLACED: April 2010 - NEW JERSEY -- LNE DUAL ROW

Last edited by Perfectlap; 11-30-2007 at 08:52 AM.
Perfectlap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 10:46 AM   #16
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 307
I just had this situation happen to me just recently. I sold 2 hummer limos to a guy in spain. My bank assured me that when a wire clears your account, note "clears" is they keyword, it cannot come back out. The money was wired in my account and a few days after it cleared I let him take the limos. All has been well. Ask your bank specificially about their procedures.
__________________
Lamborghini Murcielago (current)
Supercharged Viper SRT-10 800 HP Special Edition #49 of #50 (current)
Ferrari 360 Spider
Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster
911 Cab
Boxster S (current)
08 Hummer H2 (current)
BMW Z3 (current)

Limos in Ohio and PA - First Class Limo Columbus Limos

http://pteam.net/avatar3.jpg
my car collection *Porschephiles agree, Desnorkify your Porsche!*

Last edited by pteam; 11-30-2007 at 10:59 AM.
pteam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 01:50 PM   #17
There Is No Substitute.
 
rick3000's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: West Coast
Posts: 3,140
Garage
I like the idea of having the guy take it out in cash and hand it to you in the bank, then you deposit it right away. There is a chance with any transaction, but since you have met the guy, I doubt he is scammer.
__________________
1999 Ocean Blue Metallic Boxster - blueboxster.com
rick3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 02:23 PM   #18
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 7,240
I'm sure your bank would be happy to scan the money for fake bills if they were going to deposit it. In fact, they might do this anyway just to insure the deposit is legit.

If someone walked up to me with hard cold cash to buy my car, I'd sell it to them in a heartbeat as long as I could verify the cash was not fake.
__________________
'97 Boxster (Black Hole for 42,000 Dead Presidents and counting) - 122k
New motor, transmission, suspension, and on and on and on it goes...
RandallNeighbour is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 02:58 PM   #19
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 691
Thanks all. There is some good info here. What's interesting is that there isn't a simple obvious way to do this. Every method has trade-offs.


I spoke to my bank today (which was some good advice) and they told me the pro's and con's of certified checks, bank checks and wires. As PTEAM indicated, a wire goes into a "pending" status and it can in rare cases be reversed until it "clears". That usually takes 24 hours. I won't explore the check options because he really doesn't have an established account in the US.


I'm leaning toward TBOYER's advice from the 10:07am post. I'll ask him to meet me in my bank with the cash & we conduct the transaction.
__________________
SOLD - 2002 Boxster S - PSM, Litronics, De-ambered, Bird Bike Rack, Hardtop, RMS leak...
fatmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2007, 11:31 PM   #20
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lakewood, Ohio / Sedona, AZ
Posts: 305
anything that can be printed can be forged

__________________
http://www.martinlansky.com/Coppermi...01/W_humps.jpg

'03 Midnight Blue
18" Chromes//Drilled and slotted rotors//pedal upgrade//Alum. Door sills//KSPORT Coilovers//Short Shifter/Strut braces/Clear sides/Hard Top/Speedster humps/Intake//Leather GT3 seats/REVO chip with SPS2
'04 CLK55 AMG 367HP!
'86 944 Guards Red & MINT!
'69 911 Black
PCA Member -Northern Ohio
Cancer Survivor
der Geist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page