Craigslist scam takes couple for ride; looking for help

By Robb Hicken/  chief storyteller

When 19-year-old Niki from Parma began to relate how she’d lost her perfect car, her voice quivered.

Expecting her first child, she wondered what would happen next.

“We had just started looking for a car that we could buy together as we started our family,” she says. “It’s not like we were being unsafe.”

The craigslist classified ad was posted by Sr. Medic Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Morgan, who lives in Boise but has been stationed in Nevada for training. The address he provided Niki was 685 E. Plumb Lane, Reno, NV 85902 – the Nevada Army National Guard recruiting station. BBB calls to the recruiting station were forwarded to headquarters in Carson City, Nev., but were not returned.

Niki says Morgan didn’t want to talk by telephone because the training hours were at such odd hours, and he was stationed in the desert.

“We did all the negotiations by email,” she says.

Morgan alleged the car, a Chevrolet LT 2002 was parked in the backyard of his home. He said his unit was soon going to ship out to Afghanistan and he didn’t want to leave the car sitting in the yard.

When pressed to check the auto, Morgan emailed photos to the Parma, Idaho, couple, but said he was not able to show it to them.

Niki says the price, $2,000 was about right. They were still dubious about the transaction, but when Morgan said he would sell it through eBay, using an eBay Motors Agent, it eased their concerns.

Catlet Turnen, 1403 Slokum St., Dallas, Texas 75207, is the fictitious eBay Motors Agent who was to receive the money, and present the keys and the car to the couple.

“We took a copy of the MoneyGram we sent to Mr. Turnen to the bank and they faxed it over to the army guy (Sgt. Morgan), to show the transaction was complete,” she says.

The fax number Sgt. Morgan provided for the receipt was ( 331) 826-3512. Area code 331 is assigned to part of Chicago and Illinois.

They waited the day of the delivery, but no one came.

“Now, what are we going do,” she asks between sniffles and tears. “I had to borrow the money from aunt, and we don’t even have a car to get to our jobs.”

BBB offers these tips on electronic classified sites:

  • Try to deal with local buyers and sellers.
  • Never wire funds.
  • Use caution when using an escrow service or third-party exchange – make sure it’s reputable by checking them out at www.bbb.org.

eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection (VPP) covers only certain vehicle transactions  completed ON eBay.com, according to the company’s website.

“If a Craigslist seller “promises” you eBay protection programs, walk away,” the site states. “It is fraudulent. Only cars bought and sold on eBayMotors.com can legitimately offer up to $50,000 in vehicle protection.”

eBay warns:

  • Sellers who claim that eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection covers an auto transaction conducted outside the eBay site.
  • Sellers who push for speedy completion of the transaction and ask payments via quick wire transfer payment systems.
  • Sellers who refuse to meet in person, or refuse to allow the buyer to physically inspect the vehicle before you buy it.
  • Transactions where the seller and vehicle are in different locations. Criminals often claim to have been transferred for work reasons, deployed by the military, or moved because of a family circumstance, and could not take the vehicle with them.
  • Vehicles advertised at well below their market value. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “Craigslist scam takes couple for ride; looking for help

  1. Pingback: Craigslist scam takes couple for ride; looking for help | snakeriverBBB | Craigslist Business/ Advertising Marketing on Craigslist

  2. wow

    I’m so glad I came across this. the same person just emailed me back from a reply to a post I left about the same exact Tahoe

  3. Sunny

    Hi there,

    The Tahoe it is in perfect condition, there’s not a scratch or any dents on it. Everything from engine to tires is mint condition. I have a clear title with no liens or loans. I’m selling it so low due the fact that my medical team will deploy back to Afghanistan on August 15 th for a 2 year contract and I won’t let it go to waste in my backyard, therefore I need a fast and reliable buyer. If you are interested email me back.

    A few words about the truck:
    - 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe LT
    - Mileage: 64,800
    - Price: $2.410
    - Transmission: Automatic
    - Engine: 5.3L V8 SFI
    - VIN# 1GNEK13Z12R235285
    - Pics available at: http://s1258.photobucket.com/albums/ii527/burgundytahoe2002/

    Best Regards,
    Senior Medic Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Morgan

    • Brianna Isbell

      I have been looking at a Honda Accord online. Found one, and glad I googled his name..

      Hey there,

      The accord is in perfect condition, there’s not a scratch or any dents on it. Everything from engine to tires is mint condition. I have a clear title with no liens or loans. I’m selling it so low due the fact that my medical team will deploy back to Afghanistan on September 15 th for a 1 year contract and I won’t let it go to waste in my backyard, therefore I need a fast and reliable buyer. If you are interested email me back.

      A few words about the car:
      - 1999 Honda Accord LX Sedan
      - Mileage: 44,150
      - Price: $1620
      - Transmission: Automatic
      - Engine: 4 Cylinder 2.3L I4 EFI
      - VIN# 1HGCG6654XA083212
      - Pics available at: http://s1063.photobucket.com/albums/t507/99accordlx3/

      Best Regards,
      Senior Medic Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Morgan

  4. He is still at it. Just tried the same thing with my son. So glad I googled his name.

  5. Dave Naylor

    Someone needs to arrest these scumbags, Sarge is trying to sell me a gorgeous jeep as we speak! STAY CLEAR FOLKS!

  6. R Thinker

    Yep, same here. He’s operating in TN on Craigslist, and what a scumbag to use the military as cover for his/her/it’s (who knows) shenanigans!

  7. Jess

    Same here for the Honda accord in savannah, ga. What a horrible person! My former husband died in Afghanistan not 2 years ago and I’m looking for a car for my child about to get his license. Just awful!!!!I thought it was illegal to impersonate military solider. Something sounded off I’m so glad I googled his name!

  8. beverly authement

    Andrew morgan told me the identical story! If he keeps moving his dates, he will never leave the country!! Offer was too good to be true, so I checked him out. Found out he told the same story to everybody.

  9. Vonetta

    He is at it again with a truck this time. Beware and don’t fall for it. A friend ask us to check him and we are greatful he did. Because the truck was from this guy! Dude needs to be caught and prosecuted.

  10. Darcie

    Thank you Google, thank you snakeriverBBB!!!! You just saved our family from a devastating scam! Can’t someone arrest this selfish crook? He should be locked away and the key destroyed.

  11. Cheyenne

    I am soon getting my license and saw the perfect car for super cheep! It was this Andrew Morgan guy telling me the same story!! Me and my mom were suspicous of the super good deal and looked it up. So glad too. We don’t want to waste all our money on something that will never come.

  12. Sandy

    Same here. Nice looking Honda but the deal was to good to be true. Sure glad I checked him out.

  13. Rachel

    Yeah, I just got ripped off too for $1700…I am reporting them to the police and I saved all e-mails. I used Western Union and someone had to have an ID to pick up the money so I think we could catch this guy!! We should all band together and create a huge claim…anyone interested?

  14. L Lane

    Just got a reply from Andrew Morgan on a 1999 Honda Accord with 44,000 miles on it for $1470 plus S&H. Did a little digging and here I am.

  15. Pingback: Best question to ask craigslist sales spoof: Why use PayPal? | snakeriverBBB

  16. Greg

    Now it seems he has been promoted and is a LT. Andrew Morgan. He is being moved to Anchorage, AK. I found a listing in Huntsville, Alabama for a 2003 Camry for 2020.00. I recieved almost the same email on descriptions of the car.
    http://s1274.beta.photobucket.com/user/toyotacamry03/library/

    My daughter needs a more reliable car for college and that would have been a killer for us to lose this money. She has worked so hard to get into the Engineering program at a major University.

    Thanks.
    This is the email on the email. (andrew.morgan122@gmail.com)

    • Melissa L.

      Just had the same deal but the car (2003 Camry for 2020.00. ) was listed in Augusta Ga. Here is a copy of the last response I just got today!: “The car is already at our Military Logistic Department Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, U.S. Army, crated and ready to go. The shipping will be free for you because I will transport it using the internal logistic department! The Logistic Department will deliver the car to the nearest US army base from your area and from there I will use a tow-truck to have it delivered at your door. The whole shipping process will take 3-5 days.
      I’m unable to travel in the near future because we are currently involved in a military program. Due to military security reasons I’m restricted from leaving the unit’s facility under any purpose and have strictly limited phone access.I decided to make this transaction through Amazon Payments at a lower price.Using this service you will get a 5 days testing period after delivery. During that 5 days testing period I will not be getting any money.This service protects both buyer and seller and it’s the right way to do this.If you decide to buy this car email me your: Full Name and Shipping address, so I can inform Amazon Payments that I have a buyer! I will forward your details to them and then you will receive an invoice (with no further obligations or fees). Then you will be able to talk with them directly and ask all you want to know.”

      So glad I got on here!!!

  17. CLW

    The car is already at our Military Logistic Department Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, U.S. Army, crated and ready to go. The shipping will be free for you because I will transport it using the internal logistic department! The Logistic Department will deliver the vehicle to the nearest US army base from your area and from there I will use a tow-truck to have it delivered at your door. The whole shipping process will take 3-5 days.
    I’m unable to travel in the near future because we are currently involved in a military program. Due to military security reasons I’m restricted from leaving the unit’s facility under any purpose and have strictly limited phone access.I decided to make this transaction through Google Checkout at a lower price.Using this service you will get a 5 days testing period after delivery. During that 5 days testing period I will not be getting any money.If for any reasons you won’t be satisfied with the car, you notify Google and they will fully refund you in max 24 hours and I will pay for the returning fees. This service protects both buyer and seller and it’s the right way to do this.If you decide to buy this car email me your: Full Name and Shipping address, so I can inform Google Checkout that I have a buyer! I will forward your details to them and then you will receive an invoice (with no further obligations or fees). Then you will be able to talk with them directly and ask all you want to know.

    Thanks a lot!

  18. amhawk

    Glad I googled. Just got this.
    Hi,

    My name is Melinda, happy to see you are interested in my 2004 Toyota Sienna XLE. Let me give you a few details about it.
    Really good shape, never had any problems with it, no scratches or dents, the car is free of any accidents (body type: Minivan, exterior color: White, interior color: Gray, transmission: automatic, mileage: 100,400, engine: 3.3 L 6 Cyl). The title is legally under my name, clear and free of any liens or loans.

    I bought it when i was serving in Nellis AFB, NV but i was promoted and transferred to Fort Richardson in Anchorage Alaska for a 3 years period, so I do not want to let it ruin in my backyard, therefore I need a fast and reliable buyer.

    The car is already at our Military Logistic Department from NV U.S. Army, crated and ready to go. The shipping will be free for you because I will transport it using the internal logistic department! The Logistic Department will deliver the car to the nearest Us army base from your area and from there I will use a tow-truck to have it delivered at your door. The whole shipping process will take 2-3 days.

    As I’m unable to travel in the near future I decided to make this transaction through Google Wallet at a lower price. I believe this protects both buyer and seller and it’s the right way to do this.The final price is $2.000 which include delivery at your home address.

    If you decide to buy this car email me your: Full Name and Shipping address, so I can inform Google Wallet that I have a buyer! I will forward your details to them and then you will receive an invoice (with no further obligations or fees). Then you will be able to talk with them directly and ask all you want to know.

    If you need further information and pics please get back to me as soon as possible!
    Hope to hear from you soon!

    Thanks,
    Lt. Melinda Howard

  19. Lholder

    It’s happening again today – I am currently doing research and I found this site. The car is 2009 Toyota Corolla $2,850.00 exact wording that AMhawk received back except it’s LT Rebecca Klein – FYI

  20. Paulette

    I found a 2004 Nissan Murano for $2100 and got this email reply from a Rebecca Funke
    I will briefly describe the transaction steps so I can make things clearer for both of us.The total price which you will have to pay for the suv is $2,100. At the moment I’m stationed in Alaska making final preparations before deploying to Afghanistan with the U.S. Convoy.The suv is already at our Military Logistic Department in Fort Dearborn in Chicago IL crated and ready to go. The Logistic Department will deliver the suv to your home. The shipping is free for you as you may know we can ship a car/bike/etc from home to the base and back one time in a year for free…. Since the suv is in a military base, with no access you can not go there and take it, only the Logistic Department can deliver it, because the suv is in their custody. Shipping may take anywhere between 2 max 3 days depending on the destination. All documents you need for ownership, manuals, title and bill of sale will be provided along with the suv .

    For the payment I would like to use Google Wallet as a third party. They will keep your money into a protection account until you get the suv and will release it to me after inspection period is over and you agree to keep the suv and to eliminate any concerns you will have 5 days to inspect the suv . If you decide not to keep it Google will refund you the money, no questions asked, and shipping back will be my concern. I think this is more than fair for both of us.
    If you wish to move forward please send me your full name and full shipping address so i can start the transaction with Google Wallet and they will contact you with more info about delivery and payment.
    Glad I looked into it first and reported it to craigslist.

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