Tag Archives: Craigslist

Scam Artists Re-Sell Stolen Cars on Craigslist

In the past, we at the Approved Loan Store have advised our readers to stay away from Craigslist car deals that seem too good to be true, and we were sad to hear yet another Craigslist car buying horror story late last week.

WILX, an NBC affiliate in Lansing, Michigan, first reported that car thieves are re-selling cars on Craigslist to unknowing buyers. The sellers are forging car titles to go along with the car and replacing the VINS with fake VINS or scratching it off completely. Oftentimes, the seller insists on dealing in cash and meeting in a parking lot after business hours. This way, the buyer wouldn’t be able to check the VIN with the Secretary of State until after the sale is done.

How can you avoid these scams and make sure you are getting a quality car at affordable terms? First off, it is better to go through a dealership as opposed to through a private seller. Most private sellers are great, and there are reputable private sellers available, but it is riskier than going through a dealership. Second, go through an Approved Loan Store dealership. Our Special Finance Representatives will find you the car you want at the right price, whether you have stellar credit or no credit at all.

If you are ready to get into a new or used car today, fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and get the latest car buying news and tips by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook, following Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribing to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!

Consumer Alert: Westchester Car Buying Scam

At Approved Loan Store, we want to make your car buying process easier and more pleasant. Unfortunately, there are people who offer car terms that are too good to be true, and we have to deal with the fall-out of disillusioned consumers who fell prey to these scams. That is why we wanted to alert our readers to a recent car buying scam in Westchester. It is our hope that by reporting about this scam, car shoppers in the New York City area will not fall for it and then wind up out of money and without a car.

We heard about this car buying scam through the Scarsdale Patch. According to their report, a Westchester man was trying to buy a 1961 Impala from a seller on Auto Trader. The buyer was instructed by the seller to wire the payment for the car through a Google Wallet account. Once the transaction was complete, the seller promised that the car would be shipped. Anyone familiar with these kinds of scams will know how it turned out. After wiring the money late last month, the buyer suddenly couldn’t get a hold of the seller, and even more infuriating, the buyer saw that the car was still listed as available on the Auto Trader Website.

Not everyone who purchases a car through Auto Trader, Craigslist, or other websites has a poor experience. Car buying online can seem convenient, and we have many car buying tools on our website including our online auto loan application. However, there are risks to going through a private buyer on Auto Trader or Craigslist. Even if the seller had shipped the 1961 Impala, there is no telling what condition that car would be in. Furthermore, if a seller asks to have money wired in advance, run the other way. Money transfers are an immediate red flag. To avoid these problems, we recommend buying from a car dealership, preferably an Approved Loan Store dealership. If a private seller still seems promising, though, deal with the seller in person and get the vehicle inspected before purchasing.

Are you looking to get into a new or used car? Good credit, bad credit, no credit, we want to help you get into a great car at terms you can afford! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and connect with us by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook, following Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribing to Approved Loan Store on YouTube!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cops Catch California Craigslist Car Crook

Since the start of Craigslist, there have been horror stories of scam artists taking advantage of consumers looking for a good deal on an apartment, a stroller, or a car. It is impossible to know exactly what to expect when responding to a Craigslist ad. Sometimes, the poster is a perfectly normal human being who doesn’t want to pay to advertise their used furniture on another website. Other times, the poster is a predator looking for their next victim. Even with these warnings, though, people still use Craigslist in hopes of finding that one great deal, even when it comes to a major purchase like a car. If you needed another reason to stay away from Craigslist’s car ads, this story out of Belmont, CA will hopefully do the trick.

A family in Belmont responded to a Craigslist ad for a 2011 Nissan Altima. They wanted to be safe and make sure this ad was legitimate, so they met the seller Christopher John Prew in person to check out the car. Everything seemed to be in order, and they handed over a $500 cash deposit. From here, the deal started to seem fishy. Prew didn’t have the car title with him, and he agreed to meet the family later to hand over the title and receive the rest of the payment for the car. He left with the money, and the family called the police. As it turns out, the car didn’t belong to Prew at all. The Nissan Altima was a rental from Hertz.

Fortunately, Prew didn’t get away with it. The police set up a meeting with Prew, posing as another potential car buyer. When Prew showed up, he was taken into custody. He is being charged with one count of theft by false pretense, though the police believe that there might be other victims that have not yet come forward.

You don’t have to take a chance when car shopping. Approved Loan Store wants to help you get into a new or used vehicle, even if you have poor credit or no credit! Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook, following Approved Loan Store on Twitter, and subscribing to Approved Loan Store on YouTube.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Craigslist Ad Offers to Trade Burial Plots for VW Bus

Jalopnik’s weird car listings from Craigslist are always good for a laugh, and yesterday’s bizarre “Found on Craigslist” segment did not disappoint.

On the Houston area Craigslist, a mysterious buyer posted that he was looking for a VW Bus, but he didn’t make a cash offer. Instead, he offered to trade the VW Bus for four “premium” burial plots in Webster, a city about 30 minutes away from Houston. According to the ad, these burial plots are worth about $3000 each or $12,000 for all four plots, but he will “entertain all offers.”

After a quick search, I found out that the burial plots are likely located at the Forest Park East Cemetery, and from the looks of their website, it is a very nice cemetery. Lots of trees and flowers and all. I don’t know how much plots usually run as far as pricing, but like the folks over at Jalopnik, I have two questions. First, why would someone pay premium for a location or view that the deceased won’t actually get to see? Second, why would anyone have four unused burial plots, and who would trade their car for burial plots?

In the strange world of Craigslist, there is usually someone for every offer, but even so, this is a bizarre offer. I am really curious if anyone takes this Craigslist poster up on this trade, and if they do, I want to know what the original poster plans to do with that VW Bus. Jalopnik thinks it is a morbid father who had a change of heart and wants to take his family on a road trip. My guess involves ghost hunters with dream of traveling cross-country and investigating America’s most famous haunted houses and asylums.

No matter what the circumstances, you don’t have to trade burial plots for your dream car. Let Approved Loan Store help you get into a new or used vehicle today! Fill out the online secure auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Missing Air Bags, Other Hazards Face Private Car Buyers

The price might be right for cars on Craigslist, but car buyers could be putting themselves at risk for hidden problems like missing airbags.

Today, a CBS affiliate in Oregon ran a story about how used car buyers need to be wary of missing airbags, particularly with private sellers. Sometimes the airbags have been stolen, and other times they were deployed and never replaced. Car buyers can’t even trust that the airbag light on the dashboard will indicate a problem. Thieves and scam artists have found a way to trick the airbag system so that the car buyer has no idea anything is wrong until it is too late.

Doug Hansen, an airbag repair technician, was interviewed in the report, and he had a chilling story for any car buyer, especially for parents buying a car for their teenagers. Hansen recounted, “We had a gentleman buy a car for his daughter going away to college. Bought it in a parking lot from somebody he met on Craigslist, and they brought it in and it was about 29-hundred dollar repair bill to make the car whole again, safety wise. The system was a fraud. His good deal wasn’t such a good deal anymore.”

Buying a car through Craigslist or a private buyer might seem like a bargain, but these hidden problems could end up costing thousands of dollars in repairs. In an accident, they could also lead to injuries or worse, the loss of life. You don’t have to take a chance to get an affordable used car. Approved Loan Store can help, even if you have challenged credit or no credit. Fill out our secure online auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest news and consumer education by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Outrageous Craigslist Car Ad Becomes Internet Sensation

What does it take to make a $700 1995 Pontiac Grand Am into one of the most wanted cars on the internet? Simply make the greatest Craigslist ad ever.

On Wednesday, Jalopnik posted what they claimed was “the best Craigslist car ad ever.” The ad, posted by Joe Strachila, was for a 1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT, a fairly run-of-the-mill used car. The ad, created by Joe’s lifelong friend Kyle Miller, was anything but ordinary.

I thought I had seen just about everything on the internet until I saw the ad’s headline, “1995 Pontiac Grand Am GT – AKA – JESUS TAP-DANCING CHRIST.” The splashy bright-yellow and blue ad claims, “Never in your life has a car made you so appealing to the opposite sex…EVERY PREVIOUS OWNER HAS HAD A BEARD. This was the car that broke Pontiac. When it came off the production line, each person in the company had a collective aneurysm from the visual masterpiece with which they had blessed humanity, and gave up entirely.”

Of course, the question I had was that if the car was so amazing, why was the owner selling it? The answer was that he wasn’t man enough to handle it. “I tried to be,” he laments.” “I grew my beard to unreasonable lengths, trimmed my fingernails with belt sander, ate nothing but lumber for 6 straight days and knocked a polar bear unconscious. The car chuckled at my failed attempt at manliness, and became so bloated with testosterone that it literally blew a head gasket. Oh right, you’re definitely going to have to fix that…”

I seriously doubt that any car, much less a car with a blown head gasket, could live up to the hype of this Craigslist ad. Still, I have to give the seller credit for creativity. He took a $700 1995 Pontiac Grand Am and turned it into an internet sensation, and now, he is flooded with offers for the car. Supposedly someone even offered $10,000 for the honor of owning “Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ.”

Only one person can get Joe’s 1995 Pontiac Grand Am, but if you’re looking for a car that will blow your mind even if you don’t have mind-blowing credit, Approved Loan Store can help! Fill out an auto loan application here, and keep up with the latest in auto news by liking Approved Loan Store on Facebook and following Approved Loan Store on Twitter.