Please watch for anyone saying that they are selling an item on Craigslist but they are located in Birmingham, UK and are using Express Transports as their agent for the sale. We were looking to buy a boat from a "Mike Anderson" and this is what transpired....
*** We sent an email through Craigslist asking if the 93 18' Ranger 481V Commanche Bass Boat was still for sale.
a Mike Anderson replied - Thursday, September 4, 2008 6:07 PM
From: "Mike Anderson" Add sender to Contacts To: firstname.lastname@example.orgMessage contains attachmentswinmail.dat (3KB)The price is $2900. See more pictures attached .Look, I 'm now in Birmingham UK, and will be moving here permanently soon, but I am using Express Transports services so I can sell the boat from this far away. They have it in a storage place in Minneapolis since I left . They will take care of the shipping , paperwork, and everything else. Also, there's a return policy included. So if you want to buy it, please let me know and I will explain you how Express Transports works and how we can proceed. Please excuse me for my grammar use, I had a stroke six months ago and I'm recovering.
(note: Pictures were not attached)
*** We replied asking if the delivery costs were included & asked said there were not any attachments to which he replied:
First of all ,I'll offer in this price delivery 's fees and it 's insurance for the shipping, to make it accessible to you. I want a fast deal , and the boat is ready to go and insured. As soon as I forward to Express Transports your full name and delivery details, they will start the transaction and notify you with all you need to know about payment , delivery, my account status etc. You will have a return policy, so you will have the chance to inspect the boat and inform them if you keep it or not. If you decide to keep it, they will release me the funds, if not, you will have a complete refund within 3 days. So, I am waiting your name and address if you want to do it.
(note: the additional pictures were attached this time)
*** We then sent him our shipping information and received an email from the supposed Express Transports Financial Department.
They wanted us to send the payment via Western Union to their agent:
183 Rookery Rd
Birmingham B21 9QG
If payment is sent before 11:00am your boat will be in the next truck that will go out to you at 18:00pm.
The email also included their "website" http://expresstrans.co.cc/en/ which at that time worked and looked authentic. The thing is though, even though they have operations here in the US and in Canada, the only contact info they had was in the UK. There was also a "corporate" phone number. Which we called. It was a voice mail service.
(Note: When we tried to go to the site later the same night, it was no longer there and still isn't. (as of Sept 11, 2008))
*** We emailed Mike Anderson explaining we needed to talk with him and that we were concerned about paying via Western Union. He replied with...
Sorry, I have this contract and can't just change it like, that, I had to make sure the buyer is meaning business and has the payment, because I offered delivery, return, full refund if not as I described. So it seems fair enough to me to have it safe for both .
Prior to receiving this email, we did a search for scams. The only way we found anything was by the common connection of Express Transports.
He changes his name and email address for different sales such as:
George Berry selling a Vespa scooter, craigslist in Canada had a Vintage Rickenbacker guitar from email@example.com, and in Tennesee, ToddMd@mail2web.com was selling a 1992 Dutchmen camper.
The main thing to watch out for is in all of these, the guy is using almost an identical email message. He is "now in Birmiham UK and will be moving here permanently soon, but I am using Express Transports services so I can sell (item) from this far away. They have it in a storage place in (whatever city) since I left. They will take care of the shipping , paperwork, and everything else. Also, there's a return policy included. So if you want to buy it, please let me know and I will explain you how Express Transports works and how we can proceed. Please excuse me for my grammar use, I had a stroke six months ago and I am recovering."
Express Transports website is a free domain name, their "office email" is a free service and so is the sellers email address.
Thank goodness we didn't send any money!!!!