Nigerian fraudsters on Autotrader?


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I'm currently in the process of selling my Alfa (see previous thread about Chelsea tractors) and was contacted today by what appears to be a scam artist of some sort. The dodgy English has all the hallmarks of the usual Nigerian scam emails that do the rounds on a regular basis and it got my spidey sense tingling.

Here is a transcript of the emails:

Hello Seller,
I am interested in purchasing this vehicle ,it suits my requirements perfectly.Why do you intend selling your vehicle,and hope the vehicle is still in a pristine condition,kindly have some pics sent.
Do understand that time is of the utmost essence,look forward to a speedy sale. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any further questions..


To which I replied:

Hi Martin,
The vehicle is completely as described in the ad. It has completed slightly less than the 13,000 miles advertised on Autotrader. You can come and view it one evening this week if you like. There are 9 photos of the car already on Autotrader which were taken last week. As I have already mentioned in the ad, the only reason I am selling it is because my wife is pregnant and I will need a bigger car. It drives beautifully and is a real head turner. I will certainly miss it once it's gone!

Kindest regards


To which he replied:

Hi Ravers,

Thanks for the prompt response it is greatly appreciated. I find the pictures in the advert and condition okay. So i see no further delay. Here is how we are going to do these so there wont be any mix up. Would try to explain as best as i can. The vehicle is going to be shipped to Dublin Ireland as that is where it is going to be used. That is why we would be needing the services of a shipping agent. I have one which we can use would send you his details as soon as we reach an agreement and i know for certain the vehicle would be sold to me. You would be receiving payment via a Cheque which will include money for the vehicle and that of the shipping agent. Upon receipt of the payment all you need do is have it banked and deduct your full funds for the vehicle and remit the remaining balance on top to the shipping agent. Upon confirmation of the money he would arrange all necessary documentations and come for the pick up of the vehicle with a carriage and also sign all necessary change of ownership papers.

In light of this to have the cheque issued and sent out to your address, i would be requesting you send me the following contact details:

Full Name::::::::::
Full Address:::::::
Telephone Number::::::::

Upon receipt of this details we would proceed immediately.

Thanks very much once again and look forward to hearing from you

Anyone had any experience of this? Definitely seems like a scam to me!
Ravers, a mate of mine got that question/response verbatim when he was selling a car here in Belfast. He thought it stank, ran it past me, and I agreed. Pop smoke and await another buyer is my advice to you.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Publish his full contact details in the NAAFI, sit back and watch?
I would, but I fear I may be opening myself to a life of scam emails from the ****.

I was thinking of offering to drive the car to Dublin myself, I could do with a holiday actually, let's see how he worms his way out of that.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Just sent him this, I'll be interested to see his reply.

I will actually be travelling to Dublin next week on business and can deliver the car myself, which will make it much easier for both of us. I was planning on flying but it's no problem getting the ferry, I fancy some sea air. Let me know what address in Dublin you would like the car delivered to, I'll take cash or a banker's draft on delivery.

Had one of these myself a year or so ago, only this one wanted to box it up and send it to Belgium - a right hand drive, 6-year old Mondeo to Belgium? Okaaaaaaaayy. So I mailed him back and said cool, as it happens I've got some.....errm......personal effects that need to go to Belgium for......uumm.......onward transit to the M East *wink, nudge* hey, maybe we could do a deal?? Oh, he mails back, and what would that be? Well, says I, can't really say but I'd be grateful if you would water them twice a day and chuck in the odd Pot Noodle.

Oh, and they only speak Romanian. I think.

Childish, I know, but I was really bored.


Book Reviewer


Think about it, he has a shipping agent 'we' can use. So why doesn't he do it directly and negotiate a discount? Is he a businessman?, who else would deal with a shipping agent? And the 'shipping agent' will send it to Lagos and your cheque will bounce. So you end up out of pocket for the car and a really hefty shipping fee as well.

And, even if it doesn't bounce there have been cases in the UK wherby the cheque was found to have been fraudulently obtained and the person cashing gets it deducted from their account, if they are lucky, and nicked into the bargain, if they are not!

It's a scam, bin it


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The scam is simply that his cheque will bounce and he hopes you will have sent a good cheque to the shipping agent which will be cashed before the one you got bounces. Also happens with stolen credit cards - they give you the card details and you seem to get payment and send off the shipping charges only to find that the original money is claimed back by the person the card was stolen from, and you are out the money sent to the 'shipping agent.'
Ravers, You actually admit owning an Alpha?

I thought they all rusted away years ago.

Just give it to the Scammer, it's not worth anything!!!
I had this recently when selling my 5 series

3 different emails, all with variations on english names, using first names as famly names (ie martin paul, steven roberts) 2 were claiming to be from scotland, 1 from london (the one from london wasnt interested in me driving the 35 mins to deliver, he wanted it to be shipped to Sweden, for his wife)

I forwarded all the emails to Autotrader cust services
You need to read from bottom to top; but here is the reply I sent to the same scam I received last year!

Thanks for the response, i will like you to know the shipping company will be coming donw to your place for the pick up of the car not that you will come amm you to do is to get back to me with your full information requested from you so that the payment can be mail out to you as soon as possible.


Subject: Re: Business and trust
To: "Tommy Tom" <>
Date: Saturday, March 7, 2009, 12:41 PM

This sounds like a great deal, but because of the extra risk involved and extra work involved in shipping to a foreign country I must up the price to £5,345 (the £345 is to cover the feeding of my pet llama's while I am away from home delivering the car). If you are happy to accept the higher price I will get my local mechanic, Mr Noel Edmonds, to check the car for you before shipping so you are happy the car is in good condition. His garage is called 'Deal or No Deal' and is located in Crinkley Bottom. He is a very good friend of mine and we often have house parties at his house on Saturday nights. If you let me know the name of your shipping agent I will begin proceedings.

Kind regards and hope God gives you good weather.

On 6 Mar 2009, at 23:21, Tommy Tom wrote:

Thanks for your mail and am happy to hear the Puchase is still available for sale. The internet price of the Purchase is okay with me and am ready and will be arranging for payment, also the payment will be drawn from my in the state and that associate of mine who is owing me 6,000 and is willing to issue out a Cashier Cheque on my behalf i will have to instruct him to issue out the Cashier Cheque to you then you deduct the said amount and send the balance to my shipping agent that will handle the shipping.

The payment you will be receiving will cover both the payment and the shipment of the Advert.there is an appointed freight agent who will be coming for the picking up of the Advert at your home or anywhere you want him to come. he also has the license that covers him both local and international,i hope you understand,When you receive the payment you will clear or cash the cheque, and deduct the cost of your sales.So i need you to email me with the following contact info below,
Name on the cheque.........
Contact Address............
Post Code.........
Cell Phone number........
Work Number.......

NB: Am ready to make an additional 50 to consider it sold to me and have the advert remove from the website and also deduct any other incurred tax and Immediately you reply me with the information i will start making the arrangement for the payment to be mail out to you in time and immediate ly you receive the payment, will be expecting your reply stating *payment has been delivered* to you understand?.
I wait to hear from you soon Stay well and have a lovely day.
Have a nice day..

Subject: Re: Enquiry
Date: Friday, March 6, 2009, 3:51 PM

The lowest I'll let it go for is £3700. Let me know if you're interested.


2009/3/6 <>

Received: 6 March 2009 01:45

Customer Details:
NAME: MR Tommy Tom
TELEPHONE: 07894 453277

Vehicle Details:
PRICE: £3950

i saw your item via web and am totaly interested in buying it from you so if you dont mind you can get back to me with the recent condition of it and the last price you will like to sell it. Hope to hear from you ASAP.
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