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  1. #1

    Vin report requests

    This feels like a scam to me. I am getting a lot of people requesting the VIN off my jeep that I have for sale. They say it's so the car run a VIN report/Carfax to make sure the Jeep is clean before they'll come look at it. The hang up I'm having is, I already have a vin report in hand and am willing to send it to whoever(with the vin blacked out), but these guys don't want that, they only want then vin.

    Has anybody else ran into this? Is there a scam that their running?

    -Tom
    Another Web Wheeler

  2. #2
    It could be a scam, but I doubt it. If they really want the VIN of your vehicle, they can get it. They can get VINs for all the cars they want, just by walking through a parking lot. I once drove four hours round trip to look at a car that had a salvage title. The thing is, I hadn't requested the VIN first, so I didn't know it had a salvage title. Four plus hours of my time wasted by not doing due diligence. I don't make that mistake anymore.

  3. #3
    And I get that. That is why I paid the $25 to have a vin report on hand and I'm willing to send it to anyone who asks. The red flags for me are the way the email is usually worded, "I'm interested in your vehicle for sale?" " Is your vehicle still available?" Not once do they mention jeep. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

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  4. #4
    Wulf's Avatar
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    What would they use the VIN for otherwise? Don't over think it
    break, fix, repeat

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by not so Quikjeep View Post
    And I get that. That is why I paid the $25 to have a vin report on hand and I'm willing to send it to anyone who asks. The red flags for me are the way the email is usually worded, "I'm interested in your vehicle for sale?" " Is your vehicle still available?" Not once do they mention jeep. Or maybe I'm just paranoid.
    Well, it is Craigslist, so I can't say for sure it isn't a scam. Why not do it the old-fashioned way and talk to them on the phone? If they seem legit, give them the VIN.

  6. #6
    That's​ a good idea. With CL I always have my guard up.
    I was just wondering if anyone else has ran into this and how they handled it.

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  7. #7
    I know that in this day and age you can't be too careful about safeguarding information, but I can't really foresee any harm that could come from giving out a VIN except for maybe people using your VIN for their fake ads (you know, the ones where they'll advertise a nearly new vehicle for $2500 or so and then make up some cock-and-bull story about "I had a medical emergency that required me to travel out of state but if you just send the money to my agent I'll make sure he delivers the vehicle to you" or "I am deployed overseas to Afghanistan and just want to get rid of this vehicle because it belonged to my ex wife so that's why I'm selling it so cheap" etc.)

    Having a VIN means that if the potential buyer/sucker runs the VIN they will find that it is valid for a specific make model and year, so it adds realism to the scam. But AFAIK it doesn't hurt YOU, the genuine seller.

    When I was trying to sell my 4runner a couple of years ago I got a few responses that looked like they were interested in my vehicle but they were actually just trying to sell me on some cheap ripoff version of CarFax.

    They would say something like "Hey I'm really interested in your 4runner but in order to protect myself I always run a vehicle history. You should try [insert name of carfax ripoff site here] which is a great VIN history service and only costs $20, half as much as the competition! Here is the link! " etc.

    EDITED TO ADD: There are lots of car dealers that will advertise vehicles for sale and put the VIN right in the ad. I would think if there were potential privacy issues involved in publishing a VIN they would be reluctant to do that.
    Martin (AKA Zapp Branigan) KillBot (Retired)
    "I am the Man With No Name - Zapp Branigan!"
    2004 Chevy Suburban 1500 LT

  8. #8
    If I were buying a jeep I'd ask for the VIN so I could see how the jeep was configured when new. I'd never take a report from the seller with the VIN blacked out.

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    ''Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.'' - Plato

  9. #9
    i have had a couple of those emails as well responding to the ad for my yj crawler that i have on craigslist. i figured it was a scam so deleted it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rollingblubber View Post
    i have had a couple of those emails as well responding to the ad for my yj crawler that i have on craigslist. i figured it was a scam so deleted it.
    I know a lot of people complain about CL (I've done it myself a time or two) but it can be a very useful tool as long as you keep your eye on the ball and trust your "scam radar."

    Posts that seem enthusiastic but weirdly non-specific are usually some sort of "test" where the scammer is dangling a hook to see if you'll bite.

    I think the easiest way to winnow these out (at least with regard to a vehicle for sale) is to ask them when they'd like to come and see it. If they hem and haw or say something like "I want to get the VIN first so I can run a carfax before I come and see it" then it's up to you to decide whether you think they're for real or not.

    Maybe they are just "trolling" for VINs but then, so what? As I said above, I really can't think of any negative consequence to you of having your VIN floating out there.

    Serious question, other than posting a scam ad, as I stated above. what harm can they do with a VIN and a vehicle description?

  11. #11
    I was kind of wondering the same thing, about what could they really do with a VIN. My worst case thought was create a fake title and then report the car as stolen, then tell the cops they saw it for sale on CL.



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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ScaldedDog View Post
    If I were buying a jeep I'd ask for the VIN so I could see how the jeep was configured when new. I'd never take a report from the seller with the VIN blacked out.

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    The other thing I told first two was "I won't send you the VIN but I will send the report I have and if you like what you see then you can come look at the report w/ vin included, in person. And compare the matching title and vin on the Jeep"

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  13. #13
    Wulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by not so Quikjeep View Post
    I was kind of wondering the same thing, about what could they really do with a VIN. My worst case thought was create a fake title and then report the car as stolen, then tell the cops they saw it for sale on CL.



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    LOL

    Seriously, don't over think this.

  14. #14
    J Kimmel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by not so Quikjeep View Post
    The other thing I told first two was "I won't send you the VIN but I will send the report I have and if you like what you see then you can come look at the report w/ vin included, in person. And compare the matching title and vin on the Jeep"

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    You lost two buyers.
    The Car Guy

  15. #15
    Alright I trusted you guys and here is the very next email response.

    "Ok, that's fine, but can you send more pictures to tyoymooye@gmail.com and include a link to your post? Please make sure to include any scuffs or scratches in the photos please!"

    Now let preface with I used to buy/sell a fair share of cars in CL and it's been a few years. So if this is a new thing that legit buyers are doing then ok, but it feels all wrong to me.

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  16. #16
    At least that guy sounds more like a buyer than your Nigerian uncle.

    What are you selling, BTW? Im not in the market, but unique vehicles can bring interesting responses.

    Mark

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  17. #17
    I'm selling my TJ.
    https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/6042139539.html

    Lol scuffs or scratches. I don't think he looked at the ad

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  18. #18
    Ha! Yeah, if pics of scuffs are important, he's looking at the wrong rig. For that matter, a VIN is much less important on a semi-dedicated wheeler, IMHO.

    Mark

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  19. #19
    That was my thoughts originally, I should have given that info about the Jeep in my first post.

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  20. #20
    As I said above, you've got to trust your "radar."

    Scuffs and scratches? On a 'wheeling rig? Really?

    Just tell him he can see them when he comes over and looks at it. If he doesn't have time to look at it he's not a serious buyer, period, because nobody would buy a vehicle like that sight unseen.

    He may be trying to set you up for one of those "OK your vehicle looks good, but I am overseas so I am going to send my agent with a cashier's check and then you can deliver the Jeep to my agent" scam BS things. All the requests for pictures are to string you along (to see if you're desperate to sell) and to convince you that he is "for real" before he drops the scam on you.

    I think the best way to deal with scammers and idiots on CL is to not let them rent space in your head. "I'll be around this weekend, email if you want to see it." End of exchange. If he's serious he'll make arrangements to see it, if he hems and haws or tries to ask for more, he's an idiot or a scammer and either way, you don't need to deal with that crap.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by J Kimmel View Post
    You lost two buyers.
    More likely he lost two tire kickers who likely wouldn't even show up and who, if they did, would offer a ridiculously low price.

    If someone wants it, they'll make the effort to come see it. Otherwise they're scammers, flakes, vultures looking for a desperate seller, or other assholes who aren't worth your time.

  22. #22
    Yeah now I'm messing with him I sent one picture of it on its side, from a newly created Yahoo account. I'm home all day with a sick kid, so I have nothing but time to mess with him. I get a sick enjoyment of messing with scammers

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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by not so Quikjeep View Post
    Yeah now I'm messing with him I sent one picture of it on its side, from a newly created Yahoo account. I'm home all day with a sick kid, so I have nothing but time to mess with him. I get a sick enjoyment of messing with scammers

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    Post screen shots of his response.

  24. #24
    tacotoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
    Post screen shots of his response.
    i like how this has changed into a trolling thread for something that is actually for sale.
    hookers and blow!

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by tacotoy View Post
    i like how this has changed into a trolling thread for something that is actually for sale.
    Business + recreation.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
    More likely he lost two tire kickers who likely wouldn't even show up and who, if they did, would offer a ridiculously low price.

    If someone wants it, they'll make the effort to come see it. Otherwise they're scammers, flakes, vultures looking for a desperate seller, or other assholes who aren't worth your time.
    Or someone looking for an address to visit while you are away.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by not so Quikjeep View Post
    "Ok, that's fine, but can you send more pictures to tyoymooye@gmail.com and include a link to your post?
    Ok, that looks odd to me. Wouldn't they have the page bookmarked? Isn't the link to the page in the CL e-mail? Odd they don't know how to find the CL page if they're interested in what you're selling...

    Maybe they don't want to do anything with the VIN, other than make it seem like they're a legit buyer.
    Last edited by Jim B; Yesterday at 11:43 PM.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ZappBranigan View Post
    Just tell him he can see them when he comes over and looks at it. If he doesn't have time to look at it he's not a serious buyer, period...
    If I'm looking at something in, say, Longmont, and I'm in Colorado Springs, I want to see several good pictures before I spend the time to drive up there.

  29. #29
    Wulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B View Post
    Ok, that looks odd to me. Wouldn't they have the page bookmarked? Isn't the link to the page in the CL e-mail? Odd they don't know how to find the CL page if they're interested in what you're selling...

    Maybe they don't want to do anything with the VIN, other than make it seem like they're a legit buyer.
    yeah, that one is scammy. Definitely a red flag if they want you to email another address instead of just replying

  30. #30
    Well I don't think he liked me messing with him, cause he didn't respond all day yesterday. But then I got this today.

    "Here it is tyoymooye@gmail.com

    Can you please include the original post url so that I can keep track of which post is which?

    https://denver.craigslist.org/cto/6042139539.html "

    Lol game on for anyone who wants to troll that email. I think I'm going to take pictures of random cars and send them.

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