My Car Quest

April 16, 2024

Warning – Another Scam – Selling Cars That Don’t Exist

by Mike –

I received this by email from a regular reader of My Car Quest. He was searching for a car on and he thought he found one he wanted but then…

This is the opening of an email from the seller (Austin Box Trucks LLC),

We are a commercial box-truck dealer and got this car recently as a trade-in for a truck. It’s located on our lot in Austin,TX. You can call or email us for more information on it. We also have in-house financing available.

It had 1 previous owner, it comes with full service logs, original manuals and a tool box, A/C is working fine, there are no issues of any kind with this car.

Here is a set of pictures and specs !

Sounds OK, then here is the message from the My Car Quest reader to me,

When I inquired and asked for more pictures they sent an email with pictures.

I was exited, the car seemed great (see the pictures). I decided to check their web site, just to see if the trucking co was legit, and in fact they were the top 5 or 6 responders on Google, they even have YouTube posts. I was ready, called them to actually buy it. The guy answered very professionally, we talked, he claimed that he did not know much nor was interested in foreign cars but got this one as a trade in and had to sell it. He said that it looked funny in the lot next to all of the trucks and was surprised about the number of calls he was getting. Now it was time to discuss the $$ part, he said that they sold trucks all over the US and Canada and that their credit department took care of that, that if I was interested in buying it they would tell me to send a deposit, they would take it off the market, and hold it off until I flew in, checked the car, and if I bought it, I would then pay the balance and they would give me the title. Would they send me copies of both sides of the title? Yes of course! Right away, OK then send me also a picture of the VIN # in the car matching the title. CLICK !!! Oh heck lost my connection!!! From then on I could not get him back on the phone….but my secretary could from a different phone!

I then decided to check Google earth, and in fact it showed a big lot full of trucks…further investigation showed that that address is the Austin City vehicle/truck lot, CLEVER!! Called the Austin police department, who gets 3 to 4 calls a day about this scam, most of the time too late.

They don’t just prey on cars but on boats, motor homes, motorcycles, etc. Police claim they like motor homes because the buyers are easier, more trusting! They have been doing this for over 12 years!!! The authorities can not do anything because the “crime does not happen in Austin”. Actually, nothing happens in Austin…that just happens to be the fake address that they use. Furthermore, the crime is not necessarily a crime but it becomes a civil matter. The people that answer the phones and eventually receive the $$ are not in the US, the authorities have no idea where they are. The guy who answered the phone had no foreign accent. This scam IS very well run. They do not often get the full payment on the sale…just happy to get the deposits.

I went back to Google to check on the phony Co. And there it was on the second page a post from the Ferrari Chat guys warning of the scam. It seems that some of them got taken, one of them from Newport Beach. Victims many times do not come out and say something because they are embarrassed to say so.

Please be aware, stay alert!!!

Caution is always wise when dealing with someone you do not know and cannot meet in person.

I wrote about other classic car buying and selling scams here.

Burning Money


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