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  1. #1
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    Default Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    In one of the local newspapers last week there was an ad for a Bobcat excavator - which based on the model number, was great deal. The ad had an email address so I sent off an email looking for more info.

    I do cruise some of the construction equipment auction sites like MachineryTrader.com and Ironplanet so I had a rough idea of what this excavator would go for on auction. And the price this person is looking for is about half of a decent auction price.

    The person responded to me a day or so later - saying that if I was really interested they would send pictures and a description. I responded that I was - and a couple of days later I got another email back with some pics of the alleged excavator (the pics look good) - along with a pic of the serial number plate, and the hours. There was also the obligatory sob story about how the brother had fallen off a horse so they now had to sell the farm and so on.

    All of this could be true - or it could be a scam.

    I guess what I am trying to figure out is how I can further deduce whether this is some type of scam or not. Since I have the serial number is there some place I can look up whether that is a stolen piece of equipment?

    The person said they wanted to use Yahoo finance to do the transaction . There must be an escrow service they offer.

    Somebody has also told me to look into whether there is a lien on the unit - the person could be on the verge of a repo on it and might be trying to do an out of state liquidation sale for less than the unit's value. I am not quite sure what the implications of all that might be or how I can really go check this out - other than taking a ride down to Tennessee ( I am up in MA)

  2. #2
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    Get and address for where the machine is located.

    One test would be to find out a time and day that you could have your "budy" who lives in tennessee come over to take a look and try out the machine.

    I've found this to be the best way to flush out the frauds.

    Joel
    Joel
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  3. #3
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    Another good test is the price. Most scams are under $5,000. I've seen 40 and 50 thousand dollar machines for $4,999 with free shipping from Europe. And that brings up the next clue, the free shipping.

    Ask for a phone number. They usually explain whey the can't receive phone calls, that's a good clue.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

  4. #4
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    It may be a great deal. I have been watching mini excavators for the last few years and with the economy like it is people are unloading construction equipment left and right. Prices on mini's are dropping which is good if you have the money to buy right now but a lot of people are scared to part with very much money right now since no one knows what is going to happen. I wouldn't be surprised to find more and more low houred machines on the market for great prices as people just try to unload them to pay off their loan.


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  5. #5
    Veteran Member JoelD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    I think there is definately some truth to what Robert wrote.

    On the flip side the scammers are out there hardcore.

    Definately some deals to be had though.

    Joel
    Joel
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY View Post
    It may be a great deal. I have been watching mini excavators for the last few years and with the economy like it is people are unloading construction equipment left and right. Prices on mini's are dropping which is good if you have the money to buy right now but a lot of people are scared to part with very much money right now since no one knows what is going to happen. I wouldn't be surprised to find more and more low houred machines on the market for great prices as people just try to unload them to pay off their loan.
    I have been watching off and on for the last few years also. I have noticed on the IronPlanet.com and MachineryTrader.com sites the prices of mini-excavators going for auction is probably 1/2 to 1/3 of what they would go for new - and definitely less than what they were selling for used a few years ago.

    I am familiar with that $5000.00 rule with the scammers - this guy though, is asking for $5800.00.

    His last email said he wanted to use "Yahoo Finance" as a way to exhange the money, I did some quick searching and found a number of references out there to people trying to use "Yahoo Finance" during their scams - so that makes this whole thing seem suspicious to me.

    I am going to respond to the guy and say that I have somebody in the area I could send by to take a look, or that I may be down in that area in the next week or so. I will also add that I would like to use a different escrow service. We'll see what happens from there.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    Ok, never mind - this thing is definitely a scam.

    I did a quick search on Google for "Michael Winslow excavator" - and found a number of references to people getting spam email with similar BS about trying to sell a Bobcat excavator.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    I suspect the scammers have figured out that they can steal larger dollar amounts and still not be persued. Alot of the newer scam ads I see are now between 5 and 10 thousand dollars.

    I don't think running the vin. to see if its stolen will give you much indication as to whether an ad is a scam or not. Frequently the scammers use pictures of peoples legitimate ads from CL or Ebay. Using "borrowed" pictures from a legitimate ad won't show a piece of equipment as stolen.

    I'd be especially leary of any sale wanting to use any escrow service. This is frequently used in scam ads...... since they claim you will have Xnumber of days to take delivery of the item, and Xnumber of days to try the machine out before they get their hands on your money. In actuality, the will link you to a website which is a great copy of the escrow site, including trademarked logos, etc. Unfortunately, your money is then transferred directly into the scammer's hands and never really held in escrow.

    As you found out....... simply googling key words from the ad will usually bring up many ads using the same info..... all over the place (frequently with very different prices, etc.). Its usually pretty easy to figure out at that point its a scam.

    Un fortunately, the are SO many scams out there now....... really the only way to do business is to avoid any machine you can't go look at in person and pay for when you pick it up.

    I'm glad you figured it out before wasting too much of your time on it..... and before you sent them any money.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    I have been in contact with a guy in Lincoln, NE trying to sell a 2005 Bobcat T-300 with 1,000 hours, and three attachments for $ 4,200. Same sob story about brother falling off the horse, closing through Yahoo finance, and he purchased the machine from a rich friend for $4,200 and wants to make someone happy. This is probably a $15,000 to $ 18,000 machine. Thankfully,
    I showed the email's to my wife before I wasted anytime chasing this "deal" and her sense of mistrust dragged me back to reality.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
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    Default Re: Great deal on Bobcat excavator - Scam??

    Quote Originally Posted by jgdlandman View Post
    I have been in contact with a guy in Lincoln, NE trying to sell a 2005 Bobcat T-300 with 1,000 hours, and three attachments for $ 4,200. Same sob story about brother falling off the horse, closing through Yahoo finance, and he purchased the machine from a rich friend for $4,200 and wants to make someone happy. This is probably a $15,000 to $ 18,000 machine. Thankfully,
    I showed the email's to my wife before I wasted anytime chasing this "deal" and her sense of mistrust dragged me back to reality.
    Scam for sure. If it sounds too good to be true............................

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