A Scammer Just Emailed Me - What Do I Do?


Aug 18, 2019
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I posted an ad for my motorcycle for sale on a bunch of different motorcycle classifieds websites last week and I just received a text from someone who says that they want to send me a cashier's check for more than I'm asking for my bike. They want me to cash the check at my bank and then send them the difference. Then, they'll send their shipper to me to pick up the motorcycle. This sounds fishy. After talking to a few people, I know it's a scam. What should I do?


Staff member
Apr 11, 2019
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Hi CaptainDan,

I'm sorry that this has happened to you. I know how exciting it is to receive a response to an ad and to have it come from someone such as a scammer is depressing. Don't worry, your bike will sell. It may just take a little more time.

Believe it or not, we find that most of the times people are contacted by scammers, it's because of an ad that they posted on another website. All these sites can become confusing after a while, but I can tell you that we stay very clean. But that's neither here nor there right now. Let's get to your problem.

Please read through our Scam Alert page to learn more about internet scams and to see how they work. We've done a pretty good write up on the topic.

The first thing you should do is remove any identifiable information from your ad. So, if you put your phone number or email address in there, take it out. What this does is it forces any person who may be interested in your motorcycle or ATV to register for an account on our website and then to contact you by replying to your ad. Since we monitor these things, there is much less of a chance that they'll get through to you. Scammers are like water or lightening. They look for the easiest route to take. If your phone number is in your ad, that's the route they'll take. If they have to go through too much trouble and if they know their message may never even reach you because of our defenses, they won't bother. But trust me, if someone is truly interested in buying your motorcycle, it's tough to stop them. I've seen buyers practically knock down walls to get to the bike of their dreams. Don't think that registering for an account to contact you is going to get in their way. Once they reply to your ad, you'll receive an email in your inbox.

The next thing you should do is simply stop all contact with the scammer. These people primarily come from Cameroon, Africa and they are impossible to track down and catch. There are so many of them and they scour the web, looking for ads like yours. There's no sense in keeping up correspondence in a futile attempt of tricking them into some sort of a setup. Just delete their emails and move on.

The best thing to do when advertising on the internet is to educate yourself and to become aware of what scam emails look like. Then, when you receive one, you can just toss it in the dustbin of history.
A Scammer Just Emailed Me - What Do I Do? was posted on 08-23-2019 by CaptainDan in the Support forum.

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