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Old 09-23-2021, 05:15 PM   #1
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Scam vs Real Ads?

Iím interested in hearing what criteria you apply in evaluating scam versus real ads (CL, FB, RV Trader). I need to look locally, but there are so many scams. Personally, I rule out anything where the price is ridiculously low, where the seller says they are listing it for someone else, or the seller says they are selling it because either someone died or is seriously ill. I pretty much ignore all ads with the picture is either a single snapshot. I saw one recently where it was listed as Ďindividual sellerí but a quick search of the personís prior posts showed more than 30 classified ads. Obviously, Iím very cautious, but it just seems like there are so many bogus adsÖso, how do you decide what ads might be legit?
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:22 PM   #2
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There is a huge business in Airstream scams - you are right to be cautious.

A simple tip is to right click on the images in the ad and "search google" for the same image. You may find the exact same image used for trailers in other locations - scam.

If you are looking locally you have the luxury of a personal inspection. If the seller is unwilling, back away.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
There is a huge business in Airstream scams - you are right to be cautious.

A simple tip is to right click on the images in the ad and "search google" for the same image. You may find the exact same image used for trailers in other locations - scam.

If you are looking locally you have the luxury of a personal inspection. If the seller is unwilling, back away.
Thanks for the tipÖthat is super cool. I didnít know you could do an image search.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:39 PM   #4
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Craigslist is essentially a sewer now and IMHO is not a useful site for anything.

You have the right ide about criteria. If "sellers" feel the need to explain why they're selling AND are listing cheap, it's a red flag. Unlikely hardship tales, especially ones to "explain" why the so-called seller will only communicate via email or maybe text are red flags.

Refusing inspections, demanding deposits before inspections, etc. are signs of scams, as well as the promise of delivery "included" in the price and the statement that you can "return" it are all reason enough to report and block.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKB_SATX View Post
Craigslist is essentially a sewer now and IMHO is not a useful site for anything...

You got that right. When I was in LE I took a lot of calls in which the complainant was scammed on Craigslist, so many that I NEVER go to their website. (Iíve known people that got good deals on Craigslist but Iím not willing to risk it.)
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:10 PM   #6
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You can find bogus ads on Offerup, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc.. Don't think that because someone has been a member of FB for 10 years, that their ad is any more trustworthy.

Anyway, in addition to the comments above, anytime the seller tries to defeat the communications system set up by the system, especially by putting their phone number or email address as graphics on their picture is probably a scam. Similarly, if they ask you to use what sounds like a reputable "escrow" service to handle the payment. Also, if they are willing to throw in all kinds of expensive facilitation (ie., shipping from across country, but you can still refuse to buy it and get a full refund) for free.

I ran into a new scam when shopping for a used cell phone recently. The price would be good, but not too good to be true. You contact the person, and they say that someone is on their way to come see it, but if you put money down on it (in the form of a venmo payment), then they will turn the guy away and sell it to you instead. Obviously, this doesn't turn out well.

There are many threads on these forums that describe the hallmarks of a scams, new and old. Search for "scam," and you should see many threads.

good luck!
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:34 PM   #7
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I like the one that says send $25,000 in Apple gift cards to hold it and if you don’t like it, you can have the gift cards back. There is never a location to go and inspect it.

I was looking at a 2009 19’ CCD for $25,000 but when I contacted the seller, the trailer was not available to look at and the husband was in hospital etc….

Then a month or so later, I saw the exact same pictures in another ad for a different trailer but the same price.

Beware of the scammers and if you can’t touch the trailer, it isn’t real!
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Old 09-24-2021, 05:41 AM   #8
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Scam vs Real Ads?

I was really surprised at how many senior citizens would give personal information to a stranger that cold-called them. We donít even answer the phone at our house.
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Old 09-24-2021, 06:58 AM   #9
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My personal experience was I found 3 Airstreams locally on RV trader. I contacted and visited all 3. One was a daughter selling for her ill parents, one was a guy who had it parked at an RV park and used it as a crash pad while working between his businesses and the 3rd was a guy who bought it out of state, took one cross county trip and then decided to sell. Any of those could have been a scam. We visited each one and met the sellers and everything was fine. No scams. The actual selling/buying experience is another story worth a separate thread.

Never send anyone a deposit you can’t afford to loose. Check out sellers the best you can. Ask the lien holders name. Check out ADN numbers you would wire funds to (it’s usually listed on the bank’s website). If something seems off and the seller can’t satisfy your concern just walk away. Get a vin number on the trailer. In Florida you can get a lot of info from DMV with a vin and tag. They’ll tell you if there is a lien on the trailer. Lots of scams on the internet, but it can also be your friend when you check out a prospective seller. If you go to a private home to see the trailer and the seller says it’s their house, go to the local property appraiser website and make sure they actually own the house. An hour of internet sleuth work can save you a lot of heartache.
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:47 AM   #10
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The below ic copied from JohnDrew55, and itís all sound advice:

Never send anyone a deposit you canít afford to loose. Check out sellers the best you can. Ask the lien holders name. Check out ADN numbers you would wire funds to (itís usually listed on the bankís website). If something seems off and the seller canít satisfy your concern just walk away. Get a vin number on the trailer. In Florida you can get a lot of info from DMV with a vin and tag. Theyíll tell you if there is a lien on the trailer.

I would simply add personal contact with the seller is crucial. You either generate trust, or not. We live in South Central Texas, and our last two purchases were sellers in Atlanta, and Phoenix. We flew out and inspected both, and got comfy with the sellers.
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Old 09-25-2021, 11:28 AM   #11
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Watch five episodes of American Greed... and proceed

Watch: AMERICAN GREED with a hundred+ good examples of other individuals, getting educated from their business dealings with slick operators selling, opportunities. At a great price, of course.

Clear Title is the first inspection requirement. Check if it is... real or not. Or an old title and the serial number is not the same. Check license plate and insurance papers.

Are the License Plates current? Same State as title? Check it out.

Ask "How many doors does your model have?" If more than ONE... time to say thanks.

Airstream Dealers purchase lots of used trailers and have them on their lot. Even today. Check with an Airstream Dealer. You may pay more... but at least you will own a full sized Airstream... and not a miniature on top of a rock...

If the trailer is at a Storage RV Lot or at a RV permanent Park... talk to the owner that is leasing out the storage space... before you get too far into a 'deal'.

If you believe everyone is honest. Go ahead. You could be among those on American Greed... and telling your story.
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Old 09-26-2021, 06:52 PM   #12
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Thank you to all of you for your input. Itís helpful to know Iím on the right track. I considered this year a wash due to COVID. Hopefully the Airstream fairy will bring me something perfect in the spring.
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Old 09-26-2021, 07:00 PM   #13
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Also look at the background of the pictures. I see a lot of boats advertised "in Colorado" that have palm trees in the background. I figure this means they're in southern Colorado.
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