joewein.de LLC
Fighting spam and scams
on the Internet

Home / Blog / About us
Spam
419/Nigeria
Online fraud
jwSpamSpy
Contact

Email Spam Filter:
jwSpamSpy
Try it for free!

Google
 

Beware of Fraud: Bike seller uses bogus escrow service

Be careful when using escrow services to pay for expensive items from remote sellers, such as cars, motor bikes or computers. Only use well known escrow services with a proven track record. We have come across cases of attempted fraud involving high end sports bikes offered at very low prices to trick buyers into sending money to crimninals.

Here is how the scam works: Someone places an online ad for a car or motorbike. The bike is supposedly low mileage and in excellent condition but offered below market price. When a person is interested in buying it, the seller suggests using an escrow account to protect the buyer's cash payment. The buyer will pay the agreed purchase price by Western Union wire transfer to an escrow company. He will then have a chance to inspect the merchandise of the seller before releasing the escrow funds to the seller and taking possession of the goods and ownership documents, or so he is told. In reality the escrow company is a scam, with its website only a few days or weeks old. The person who picks up the payment on behalf of the fake company is the seller or an accomplice of him.

See also:

Free webmail accounts (for example, wcreed00@yahoo.com) are used for most communications. Often phone numbers in the UK (0044/+44) or the Netherlands (0031/+31) are used. These will then be anonymous cell phones (for example, 0031 648 088 432).

(Note: There is also a reverse scam, where the seller is defrauded and the buyer is the crook. This version of the scam involves fraudulent cashier's checks with a face value exceeding the purchase amount.)

"alliancedelivers.com" fake escrow scam

 
A D   C O N T E N T
Ad Type FOR SALE
Price $4,700.00
Ad Text 2004 Honda CBR1000RR Like new,just a few months ols.Perfect condition,1300miles on it.All ican say is-you must have it #M003342 $4,700
A D   F E A T U R E S
Photo 1 [PHOTO]
Photo 2 [PHOTO]
Photo 3 [PHOTO]
S P E C I A L   P R O M O T I O N S
C O N T A C T   I N F O R M A T I O N
Name wendy
eMail Contact Information (Click this link to get this ad's contact information!)


When contacted, the seller confirmed the bike was still available:

I still have it for sale
I want to let you know that i just married and i decided to follow my wife in United Kingdom
I took the bike with me thinking to register here,but when i saw how big registration
taxes are here,i decided that is better to sell it within usa space,is even cheapper
for me to deliver it in usa than to register here
The price includes all shipping taxes to your address ,like i said
This is the reason that i want to sell the bike,plus that i just bought a house and i have other priorities right now
The bike is in excellent condition,never down,no scratch on it,the title is clear and it has only 2300miles on it and is curently registered in united states
I owned the bike just for my pleasure,never abuzed of it,always services on time
I wait news from you and you can reach me to this number 0031 648 088 432
anyway if you are interested i will propose a fair way to make this transaction

The person interested in buying found this story odd, particularly that a person claiming to be in the UK was using a Dutch mobile phone number (0031 6xx xxx xxx).

We investigated and found that other bike buyers had come across this scam a few weeks before. One of them quoted the following response by the seller as follows:

I want to let you know that i just married and i decided to follow my wife in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
I took the bike with me thinking to register here,but when i saw how big registration taxes are here,i decided that is better to sell it within USA space,is even cheaper for me to deliver it in USA or Canada than to register here.

Same story, same words, same quirky capitalisation and punctuation. Only the countries and the phone number (0031 622 049 716) are different, but both phones are Dutch cell phones.

The seller in that thread suggested to the buyer to use an escrow company, that the seller had never heard of before. The prospective buyer was smart enough to decline:

"alliancedelivers.com", suggested in an email dated 2004-10-31, was only registered as a domain on 2004-10-26, i.e. five days earlier. Its website no longer exists now. It was probably shut down after it was discovered that it was a fraud. The trick was to get people to wire their payment there because they trusted the company when they wouldn't have trusted the seller, even though they know as little about one as the other.

     Domain name: alliancedelivers.com
     
     Registrant:
        william childers (73998) alexmm1920@yahoo.com
        10920 W Bee Bee Ln
        Casa Grande,    AZ    85222
        United States
        Phone: (520)8888880 x 
     
     Administrative Contact:
        william childers (PVYED) alexmm1920@yahoo.com
        10920 W Bee Bee Ln
        Casa Grande,    AZ    85222
        United States
        Phone: (520)8888880 x 
     
     Technical Contact:
        william childers (73998) alexmm1920@yahoo.com
        10920 W Bee Bee Ln
        Casa Grande,    AZ    85222
        United States
        Phone: (520)8888880 x 
     
     Billing Contact:
        william childers (N5R33) alexmm1920@yahoo.com
        10920 W Bee Bee Ln
        Casa Grande,    AZ    85222
        United States
        Phone: (520)8888880 x 
     
     Record last updated on 2004-10-26 00:00:00
     Record created on 2004-10-26 00:00:00
     Record expires on 2005-10-26 00:00:00
     
     Domain servers in listed order:
        ns1.abac.com   216.55.128.4
        ns2.abac.com
     
     
     Registrar: NAMES4EVER, http://www.names4ever.com

This scammer has been pulling off the same trick for quite some time. For example, in a thread on socalsvriders.org someone reported a case from September 2003:

From: j k [mailto:eshop2324@blaiteng.net]
Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2003 2:01 AM
To: gtp@***.***
Subject: 2003 HONDA CBR 600RR!!

Dear Aaron,
My bike has NEVER been down or dropped. Bike is in perfect shape. NO ACCIDENTS. NO DENTS. NO SCRATCHES.NO CRACKS. NO DEMAGE. Kept inside. I do not know any problems. All service on time.Runs FANTASTIC . BIKE IS ROAD READY.
The bike is crazy fast and handles like a dream.I will provide you all the papers you need for the bike !
Please let me inform you that I'm a private seller and I'm from London ( U.K. ).The shipping will be made from here .Because it's a long way as a carrier we can use the UPS ( I have a nice discount here).The shipping costs will be supported by me.For this transaction I'm willing to use an escrow service.This is a 3th part service. They will protect your money and my bike.You will have to make the payment for them. They will keep your money in their custody till you will receive and inspect the bike. The service is Autotradesecure ( it's safety, cheap and fast ). I'm sure we can proceed this way. You will find more info about the service here :
www.autotradesecure.com
Thank you for your prompt respond and great efforts !!!

The person received the offer reported the case to the police. However, since all the domains mentioned in that scam were registered with bogus postal addresses and this person is actually based in the Netherlands, he has not been caught yet. Here is a response, one year later, that in some places matches the old one word for word:

From: R I <detotmarfa@yahoo.com>
To: name <emailaddress>
Subject: Re: GSXR
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 09:07:12 -0700 (PDT)


Hello *****,
I really hope you are still interested to buy this bike !
Bike is in perfect shape. NO ACCIDENTS. NO DENTS. NO SCRATCHES.NO CRACKS. NO DAMAGE. Kept inside. It is in showroom condition. All service - on time. BIKE IS ROAD READY. I also have all the original equipment.
Used only on limited weekend basis in the summer. The maintenance schedule has been followed to the letter and all service has been performed by dealer.All maintenance is documented. The bike has a clear title.
I will provide you all the papers you need for the bike together with the CLEAR title!!! This will be transferable to your name.
I want to let you know that i just married and i decided to follow my wife in Rotterdam, Netherlands.I took the bike with me thinking to register here,but when i saw how big registration taxes are here,i decided that is better to sell it within USA space,is even cheaper for me to deliver it in USA or Canada than to register here.
I want to make the transaction throught www.alliancedelivers.com . This is a 3-th part service. They will protect your money and my bike.
They will keep your money in their custody till you will receive and inspect the bike. I'm sure we can proceed this way.You will have 5 days to inspect the bike that is like I described to you, after that you will contact the escrow company to release the money.
You will be able to properly check the bike and verify the papers so everything matches my description!
This is an insurance for you that I am correct! If there is something that is not as described, then you just ship the bike back my charges and the escrow service will fully refund you! The price for the bike is 4750 CAD including all the shipping taxes, insurance and handling to your home address.

If you have more questions please call me here: 0031 622 049 716 Thank you for your prompt response and I am looking forward to hearing from you!!
Sincerely!

Proposing a bogus escrow service, which is really the scammer, is not the only way to cheat would-be buyers. Read this hare-brained proposal:

From: "wendy creed" <wcreed00@yahoo.com>
To: "username" <emailaddress>
Sent: Friday, 03 December, 2004 0:25
Subject: Re: Listing On Recycler.Com

Now maybe this idea of mine will be helpfull to make the transaction as soon as posible, I shall use for payment Western Union,but you make the transfer to UK to any name and address that you want(it can be your wife's name or your father's).You just give me the money transfer control number so
i can check that the funds are available,and that they are in the system.
Once i have the confirmation that the funds are available,i give the shipping company the confirmation to shipp the bike to you
After you receive the bike you just go to an Western Union agency and change the name and address of the receiver with my name(that will not cost anything)
Is this way i have the warranty that the funds are available,and you have the warranty that i can not touch the money untill you receive and inspect the bike.

I wait your answer
Thanks
The scammer is hoping to find someone who doesn't understand (and doesn't bother to find out) how Western Union works: As soon the payment has been sent, it's available to the recipient. It can be picked up by anyone who knows the Transfer Control Number.

You can not "change the name and address" later any more than you can change the name and address on a letter you mailed a week ago. Once it's gone, it's gone.


Fake escrow: europebetterbusinessprotector.com

The domain was registered on 2005-04-13 using a proxy service to hide the identity of the registrant. When we checked on 2005-07-12 it didn't have a working website.

The domain was brought to our attention by a buyer to whom it was recommended by a foreign seller of a motorbike that was quite cheap. Never use an escrow service recommended by the seller, unless it is escrow.com.

WHOIS details for domain "europebetterbusinessprotector.com":

Request: europebetterbusinessprotector.com
connected to whois.crsnic.net [198.41.3.54:43] ... 
connected to whois.aaaq.com [204.174.223.143:43] ... 
Hostway Whois Server Version 1.0 
Domain Name: europebetterbusinessprotector.com
   Registrar:   AAAQ.COM
   Whois Server: whois.aaaq.com
   Referral URL: http://www.aaaq.com
   Name Server: a.dns.hostway.net
   Name Server: b.dns.hostway.net
   Status:      ACTIVE
   Updated Date 2005-04-13
   Creation Date: 2005-04-13
   Expiration Date: 2006-04-13

Registrant:
 
 WhoisProtector  Inc.  europebetterbusinessprotector.com@whoisprotector.com
 1 N. State, Suite 1250
 
 Chicago, IL 60602
 US
 312-994-7654   Fax: 

Administrative Contact:
 WhoisProtector  Inc. europebetterbusinessprotector.com@whoisprotector.com
 1 N. State, Suite 1250
 
 Chicago, IL 60602
 US
 312-994-7654  Fax: 

Technical Contact:
 WhoisProtector  Inc. techadmin@whoisprotector.com
 1 N. State, Suite 1250
 
 Chicago, IL 60602
 US
 312-994-7654 Fax: 

Billing Contact:
 WhoisProtector  Inc. europebetterbusinessprotector.com@whoisprotector.com
 1 N. State, Suite 1250
 
 Chicago, IL 60602
 US
 312-994-7654 Fax: 


Fake escrow service: great-britain-cargo.com
The domain was registered on 2005-03-04 using a proxy service, so the registrant is hidden.

WHOIS details for domain "great-britain-cargo.com":

Request: great-britain-cargo.com
connected to whois.enom.com [66.151.151.170:43] ... 

Registration Service Provided By: Registerfly.com
Contact: support@registerflysupport.com
Visit: http://www.RegisterFly.com
	
Domain name: great-britain-cargo.com

Registrant Contact:
   RegisterFly.com - Ref# 16850077
   Whois Protection Service - ProtectFly.com (16850077.fly@spamfly.com)
   +1.8458183604
   Fax: +1.8456984014
   P.O. Box 969
   Margaretville, NY 12455
   US

Administrative Contact:
   RegisterFly.com - Ref# 16850077
   Whois Protection Service - ProtectFly.com (16850077.fly@spamfly.com)
   +1.8458183604
   Fax: +1.8456984014
   P.O. Box 969
   Margaretville, NY 12455
   US

Technical Contact:
   RegisterFly.com - Ref# 16850077
   Whois Protection Service - ProtectFly.com (16850077.fly@spamfly.com)
   +1.8458183604
   Fax: +1.8456984014
   P.O. Box 969
   Margaretville, NY 12455
   US

Billing Contact:
   RegisterFly.com - Ref# 16850077
   Whois Protection Service - ProtectFly.com (16850077.fly@spamfly.com)
   +1.8458183604
   Fax: +1.8456984014
   P.O. Box 969
   Margaretville, NY 12455
   US

Status: Active

Name Servers:
   ns17.hostingfly.com
   ns18.hostingfly.com
   
Creation date: 04 Mar 2005 04:31:45
Expiration date: 04 Mar 2006 04:31:45


"European Deal (european-deal.org, 2005-05-13)

We received this inquiry from a car buyer:

I am buying a car, and wanted to know if you have heared anything about
www.european-deal.org
I am a little hesitant about sending them the payment for the vehicle becaue
it was the seller who suggested it and made all the arrangements.

european-deal.org is a fraud. The domain was registered in May 2005, despite a 2000 copyright note on the site. The company claims to be based in the UK with offices in London and Madrid, yet WHOIS lists a US postal address. Text on the website matches "Trading-Safe.net", another fake escrow.

WHOIS details for domain "european-deal.org":

Request: european-deal.org
whois server for *.org is whois.publicinterestregistry.net ...
from whois.publicinterestregistry.net:43 [cached Wed Jul 20 23:59:08 2005 UTC]

Domain ID:D106303800-LROR
Domain Name:EUROPEAN-DEAL.ORG
Created On:13-May-2005 02:22:34 UTC
Last Updated On:12-Jul-2005 04:00:06 UTC
Expiration Date:13-May-2006 02:22:34 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:DSTR Holdings, Inc. (R34-LROR)
Status:OK
Registrant ID:DOT-H267XSL2U150
Registrant Name:Mark Burchfield
Registrant Organization:Mark Burchfield
Registrant Street1:903 Edmondson pk
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Brentwood
Registrant State/Province:TN
Registrant Postal Code:37027
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.6153320229
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:mark.b@wire2mail.com
Admin ID:DOT-XG5JVIEFXDXL
Admin Name:Mark Burchfield
Admin Organization:Mark Burchfield
Admin Street1:903 Edmondson pk
Admin Street2:
Admin Street3:
Admin City:Brentwood
Admin State/Province:TN
Admin Postal Code:37027
Admin Country:US
Admin Phone:+1.6153320229
Admin Phone Ext.:
Admin FAX:
Admin FAX Ext.:
Admin Email:mark.b@wire2mail.com
Tech ID:DOT-RWMWFCSBNUTV
Tech Name:Mark Burchfield
Tech Organization:Mark Burchfield
Tech Street1:903 Edmondson pk
Tech Street2:
Tech Street3:
Tech City:Brentwood
Tech State/Province:TN
Tech Postal Code:37027
Tech Country:US
Tech Phone:+1.6153320229
Tech Phone Ext.:
Tech FAX:
Tech FAX Ext.:
Tech Email:mark.b@wire2mail.com
Name Server:NS1.NAMERESOLVE.COM
Name Server:NS2.NAMERESOLVE.COM
Name Server:NS3.NAMERESOLVE.COM
Name Server:NS4.NAMERESOLVE.COM

jwSpamSpy
Are you sick of spam too? Do you want it stopped now?
Try jwSpamSpy, the spamfilter we use to track the spammers!
Free 30-day trial version available now!