Any other person may have simply shrugged off the fact a military person could not talk to you over the phone because they were in training in San Antonio, Texas.
Lisa Schmidt, a Boise real estate agent, says she’s been looking for a while online to find a truck. She thought she’d found one, but the person was out of area, and only focused on the dollars.
A second inquiry to another advertisement brought her anger forward. The response she received was different (spelling and grammar as written):
‘The price was reduced at $2,350 as I need to sell the truck before the 10th of June when I will be leaving with my platoon back to Afghanistan, so I don’t want getting it old in my backyard.’
Schmidt says she considered, wrote back and asked a few questions and suggested they talk on the phone about the truck.
The response was an email. It read:
‘We are training, getting ready for Afghanistan and I am only allowed to check my email. This means that I am doing a special training and I am not allowed to get out of the unit. The truck is already sealed and ready for the shipping here in the base. They will help me deliver the truck to buyers address.’
Filled with disdain, she recognized it was a scam right away.
“As a military wife and a veteran, this disgusts me,” says Lisa Schmidt, with Silverhawk Realty in Boise. “My son is in Afghanistan and I feel like these kind of scammers are making a mockery of our service members real plight.”
Having first-hand knowledge, she knew the military was not going to ship anything to anyone other than the designated home address. Both she and her husband, retired-Lt. Gen. Mark Schmidt, have been involved in the military for 34 years. Mark now operates an aviation consulting business in Boise after having commanded 12th Air Force and previously Mountain Home Air Base.
If you’re looking to buy a car online, watch for these red flags:
- Sellers who want to move the payment process from one service to another (such as, from Craigslist to eBay Motors, or ).
- Sellers who claim that a buyer protection program offered by a major Internet company covers an auto transaction conducted outside that company’s site.
- Sellers who push for speedy completion of the transaction and ask payments via wire transfer payment systems.
- Sellers who refuse to meet in person, or refuse to allow the buyer to physically inspect the vehicle before the sell.
- 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. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.