Shills for posing as potential buyers

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Shills for posing as potential buyers

Postby TelemarkSean » May 12th, 2018, 12:58 pm

Here's a Seller Beware:

If you're selling a vehicle private sale, you might encounter people who are feigning interest but whose actual objective is to get you to pay to have a VIN report generated. I suspect they get some kind of commission off of one of these pay-for-VIN-check websites.

There's no reason for you or anyone to pay to have your VIN run. You already pay (via your taxes) for this information. You can safely give your VIN to the interested party and they can call the DMV for free. Similarly, if you're buying a used bike, you can ask for the VIN and there's literally no reason for the seller not to give it to you. The DMV will tell you about any incidents that the state knows about (anything that generated a police report like a theft or wreck) and can answer yes/no questions about the registration. For example: You can ask "Is this bike registered to a person named Sean who lives in Eugene?" However, the state does not know about unreported wrecks/damage. But neither does some random VIN check website.

I just encountered a "Michael Morgan" who was pretending to be interested in a bike I have for sale. He's shilling for If a prospective buyer brings up one of these vin-check websites, you can safely ignore them from that point on. They don't want your vehicle. Don't sacrifice your mental bandwidth to these people.

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Re: Shills for posing as potential buye

Postby gu_rider » May 13th, 2018, 11:33 am

Good info, I suspect a lot of these are chat bots that crawl craigslist searching to new adds. I have had similar responses twice. The response if you write back tends to be very generic which led me to believe they were non-human software replies. Seller be careful for sure.

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Re: Shills for posing as potential buye

Postby Mel » May 14th, 2018, 7:56 pm

Thanks for the heads up TS!!

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Re: Shills for posing as potential buye

Postby st. Mats » May 15th, 2018, 10:03 am

I had one when I had the ST4s posted on CL. I told gave them the VIN and told them to check it..... not a serious buyer.
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Re: Shills for posing as potential buye

Postby KeithU » May 27th, 2018, 10:57 am

This goes for cars too. I sold a Jeep on Craigslist last year and had a shill from some vehicle report website contact me.

They're not bots. The person will actually read your post and ask relevant questions. They lead you on but basically they are in the affiliate programs for these websites. They earn a commission when you send them a copy of the report.

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