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Old 06-29-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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Scam? Or just random...

So I am about to buy this 2000 TJ 92,000miles for $9,300 in Florida and here is the weird part...

This guy we will call Tom is selling it for his neighbor who we will call Ed who is out of the country. He has the Signed Title (open title) and a signed Bill of Sale waiting to be filled in but with the signature. Tom the person selling the jeep previously owned the jeep then sold it to his neighbor Ed. Ed (the current owner) has not driven it very much in the 3yrs he has owned it, 7,000miles in 3yrs confirmed by Carfax. So he is looking to get rid of it.

Tom the seller has had many jeeps over the years and is currently driving a wrangle unlimited. A reason he said that the owner trusted him to sell it for him, that and being neighbors for so many years. I have been to his house, I have test driven the car, got the Carfax among others, taking it to MY mechanic today to have him look it over. The jeep is currently at his mechanic and getting the A/C fixed, a mechanic I and friends have used.

Called the tax office here in town they said all I need is the signed title to register it. In florida I am almost certain you DO NOT have to have it notarized. She said I dont even need the bill of sale as the selling price is filled in on the title when signed over.

What do you think? Any thoughts?

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Old 06-29-2011, 11:56 PM   #2
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I'd be nervous about someone selling it for someone who's out of the country...what I would do just to be safe is call the local police department and let them know the situation. Ask them if they've ever heard of any kind of scams like that...with falsified titles, etc...if it's a well known scam they can give you a heads up. But who knows...this guy could also be totally legit.

You could also may sure to write the vin number down and run that past the police to make sure it's not reported stolen or anything...which I doubt it is...but again, just to be safe.

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Old 06-30-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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Yea follow up with what s3nt3nc3d said. Even run a check on Tom & Ed. It would not hurt to speak with the owner even if he is over seas. Don't pay cash if you decide to move forward.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:51 AM   #4
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OP: did the seller provide that carfax or did you get it on your own? I ask b/c with a good scanner it's easy to fake a carfax.
as long as you got the carfax on your own, I assume you already checked the carfax VIN against the VINs displayed. As long as they all match you've done more than your due diligence. It sounds a little hinky but it's not like you don't know where the dude lives if the cops come calling. keep all documents relevant to the vehicle transaction. you oughta be OK.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:56 AM   #5
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OP: did the seller provide that carfax or did you get it on your own? I ask b/c with a good scanner it's easy to fake a carfax.
as long as you got the carfax on your own, I assume you already checked the carfax VIN against the VINs displayed. As long as they all match you've done more than your due diligence. It sounds a little hinky but it's not like you don't know where the dude lives if the cops come calling. keep all documents relevant to the vehicle transaction. you oughta be OK.
I did get the carfax myself along with a couple others to make sure as this is my first car purchase. I'll prob just call the police department in the morning and make sure there are no reports of scams and see what they have to say.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:28 AM   #6
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I use to work at the tax collector's office in J-ville back in the day, technically yes all you need is that signed title (the bill of sale isn't even needed). But for my own piece of mind I would have like to have see a power of attorney for Tom to complete the transaction for Ed, or whatever. This is probably not a scam but if for some reason Ed comes back to town, finds his jeep stolen and you have with a signed title you can give it back but you wouldn't have to. Tom would be arrested for theft blah blah blah...

The only other possible issue is it's a bogus title, and stolen jeep with a replaced VIN. Double check all the VIN plates you can find and if they all match you are fine.

Really this happens a lot more often then you would think... You have a clear, signed title, bill of sale, carfax, and all macthing VIN's you can't go too wrong.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:51 AM   #7
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Another thing to think about here is, if in fact "Tom" does not have "Ed's" permission, when "Ed" returns, you will not only be out a jeep, but also the money. This happened to a good friend of mine with a motorcycle purchase, he even had to hire a lawyer to fight the receiving stolen goods charge.

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I use to work at the tax collector's office in J-ville back in the day, technically yes all you need is that signed title (the bill of sale isn't even needed). But for my own piece of mind I would have like to have see a power of attorney for Tom to complete the transaction for Ed, or whatever. This is probably not a scam but if for some reason Ed comes back to town, finds his jeep stolen and you have with a signed title you can give it back but you wouldn't have to. Tom would be arrested for theft blah blah blah...

The only other possible issue is it's a bogus title, and stolen jeep with a replaced VIN. Double check all the VIN plates you can find and if they all match you are fine.

Really this happens a lot more often then you would think... You have a clear, signed title, bill of sale, carfax, and all macthing VIN's you can't go too wrong.
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Old 06-30-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
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Another thing to think about here is, if in fact "Tom" does not have "Ed's" permission, when "Ed" returns, you will not only be out a jeep, but also the money. This happened to a good friend of mine with a motorcycle purchase, he even had to hire a lawyer to fight the receiving stolen goods charge.
Hmmm. Never thought of the receiving stolen goods issue... Is there a way you can contact the owner to execute a POA? Maybe have a police officer validate the transfer?
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:10 AM   #9
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Would you go this far to sell a vehicle?

For sale 2001 jeep 4.0 $7000 Etc.
Call (you) @ xxx-xxxx

Done.

I like the full page write ups on these scam s.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #10
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Another thing to think about here is, if in fact "Tom" does not have "Ed's" permission, when "Ed" returns, you will not only be out a jeep, but also the money. This happened to a good friend of mine with a motorcycle purchase, he even had to hire a lawyer to fight the receiving stolen goods charge.
Did he have the title signed over? And register the bike?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #11
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He had the signed title and had it registered for 3 years, when he moved from Ct back to RI and registered it, the State Troopers showed up the next afternoon and hauled the bike off as evidence. Luckily he had a good paper trail or the charges probably would have stuck.

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Did he have the title signed over? And register the bike?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:17 PM   #12
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Dude, $9300 is too much money for that jeep. Keep searching and find one that isn't so sketchy. I personally would back away slowly, turn and run.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:49 PM   #13
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I agree with jeepjones. That's too much money with too many strings. I'd keep looking if I were you. If were going to spend that much I'd get something like this
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:58 PM   #14
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Maybe I'm just a risk taker but if the carfax is clean , not stolen, odometer # relates, title registration is for the same area you live in (since they are neighbors the Jeep should of been registered a few times in that area.) and there is a signed title...buy it. You know where they live, if this was taking place in a parking lot somewhere...maybe not.

Maybe one thing I would do is do a detailed VIN check...color, options, trims all match. Comprehensive Chevrolet, Saturn, GMC, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Geo, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Truck, Mercedes VIN Decoder=


Tom doesn't need a POA, he's not signing anything...and thats easier to fake than a title.
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Old 06-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #15
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I agree with jeepjones. That's too much money with too many strings. I'd keep looking if I were you. If were going to spend that much I'd get something like this
Im not sure what is that much better about your choice. Its 3 years newer...but its also 7000 miles MORE than the one the OP is looking at. Not that it is much, but it is also 500 dollars more.
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:37 AM   #16
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Im not sure what is that much better about your choice. Its 3 years newer...but its also 7000 miles MORE than the one the OP is looking at. Not that it is much, but it is also 500 dollars more.
Granted, but I seriously doubt a mere 500 bucks or 7000 miles for a NEWER model would make a difference in comparison. I would gladly eat that crow should the suggested jeep come back with two carfax incidents & a questionable seller
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:43 AM   #17
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Smells like a slightly-defunct rat to me.

I passed on a similar deal recently... person advertising the Jeep said "it's my son's"; when sonny-boy Ivan was there he said it belonged to his cousin's friend (or some similar gibberish - English wasn't his first language). "But not to worry, we got signed title"... yeah.

Besides which I think the price is too high. I just got a creamy 2000 with 93000 on it, with hard and soft tops, for $8000.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:54 PM   #18
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STINKS IN FLORIDA all titles I believe are electronic.I just bought a Florida jeep and got the title in the mail from the owner. I made the check payable to the bank and the bank who released it electronically to the license bureau who gave it to the owner who I had to trust would send it to me. I WENT WITH HIM TO THE TITLE BUREAU AND THEY WOULD NOT SEND IT TO ME. They would only give it to him. He had to sign and get it notarized then send it to me. I only had a bill of sale and the jeep when I left for OHIO. I believe you only get a paper title when the vehicle is being sold.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:55 PM   #19
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i got a 2001 with 65k miles for 10k its a sport, yes d35s but details are in sig. so that price might be just slightly high. unless it has a d44 or something.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:41 PM   #20
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Tom doesn't need a POA, he's not signing anything...and thats easier to fake than a title.
Like you said a signature is easy to fake. Who's to say Tom didn't sign it for Ed? If he is overseas, its more than likely military related, and he can get a power of attorney easily for the guy to sell the car. Otherwise, there is no way of knowing if he is actually authorized to sell it, much less if Ed actually signed the title.
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Old 07-01-2011, 09:03 PM   #21
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If Ed left a signed title then you can verify Ed's signature against the DMV registration.

Buy it and dont look back
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Old 07-02-2011, 09:30 AM   #22
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This is not uncommon, I have a friend who is selling a boat for someone else who is away. He's also handling some repairs and talks to the seller and buyer every day. I think contacting the owner is wise. I've been thru the someone else really owns it thing and it's expensive and ultimately you lose the equipment and your money.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:34 PM   #23
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Update!!!

Just a heads up for all you that might find yourself in this situation. What I did was went on to the county web site and state websites and got as many public records as I could on the owner. I found many documents with his signature notarized, mainly mortgages. I just googled public records state of florida and bam had all i needed. I also called the local police department and had them run the license plate and came back clean.


So I would suggest to all parties involved go online to get examples to verify the signatures from the owner, get his driver license # and the sellers as well as their addresses, call your local law enforcement make sure it is a legal sale and to verify the car is not stolen (and that there haven't been any scams in the area), call your local tax collector to make sure it is a legal sale and what exact paper work you will need, get the car fax as well as other brands, take it to YOUR mechanic (doesn't need to be your best friend but one you choose not the seller), when you meet don't meet in neutral territory meet at the sellers house so you know where he lives. Ask if you can contact the owner yourself (this is not a guarantee ie they give you a fake or buddy's email address, or they have you call someone who poses as the owner, so be sure to ask a lot of questions.)

If you do all that you should be safe, if you feel uneasy have a local law enforcement officer be present when signing the papers, this does little except intimidate the seller and make you feel better.

Good Luck to all you out there!

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