Automotive

Selling used car - certified cheque?

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  • Jul 24th, 2015 11:18 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Jan 1, 2015
12 posts
2 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON

Selling used car - certified cheque?

I'm selling my car (for $1500) and I've received multiple e-mails from folks living far away and willing to send a paypal (for the selling price) and arrange shipping. These are obviously scams so I ignore them however this one individual with a North Carolina number reached out and offered a reasonable amount. He says he resides in Ontario but is on official assignment in NC, and can send me a certified cheque and have me deal with his mechanic who will do the signing over etc. I have requested he give his mechanic the bank draft or cash but he insists on certified cheque and that not to hand over the car until it clears. He sensed my hesitation (we were communicating via text), so he called me to say he is legit and wants the car, and will provide copies of his drivers license etc and his mechanic will provide.

Even if his mechanic does show up with all the necessary paper work and the certified cheque, how should I proceed? Should I avoid completely? Or take the cheque, wait till it clears (is there a hold period?) and then sign over the UVIP and vehicle transfer?
24 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 30, 2007
32075 posts
19291 upvotes
Toronto
certified cheque can be fake/counterfeited as well. If you choose to accept, then take it to the bank listed on the chq and ask for verification. If the certified cheque is issued in the US, then you can basically forget the whole transaction.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
38211 posts
24390 upvotes
Center of Universe
canuck87 wrote: I'm selling my car (for $1500) and I've received multiple e-mails from folks living far away and willing to send a paypal (for the selling price) and arrange shipping. These are obviously scams so I ignore them however this one individual with a North Carolina number reached out and offered a reasonable amount. He says he resides in Ontario but is on official assignment in NC, and can send me a certified cheque and have me deal with his mechanic who will do the signing over etc. I have requested he give his mechanic the bank draft or cash but he insists on certified cheque and that not to hand over the car until it clears. He sensed my hesitation (we were communicating via text), so he called me to say he is legit and wants the car, and will provide copies of his drivers license etc and his mechanic will provide.

Even if his mechanic does show up with all the necessary paper work and the certified cheque, how should I proceed? Should I avoid completely? Or take the cheque, wait till it clears (is there a hold period?) and then sign over the UVIP and vehicle transfer?
Definitely wait until the cheque clears and the money is in your account.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 10, 2004
4649 posts
2224 upvotes
Edmonton
$1500 cash or nothing... if they want a certified cheque then you goto the bank with them and cash it. Not to say that it can't be faked, but I'm not sure they would go to the bank if it was.

Sucks for the guy if he's legit, but way too many scams out there.
Deal Addict
Mar 8, 2007
1463 posts
135 upvotes
U4IA wrote: $1500 cash or nothing... if they want a certified cheque then you goto the bank with them and cash it. Not to say that it can't be faked, but I'm not sure they would go to the bank if it was.

Sucks for the guy if he's legit, but way too many scams out there.
\

^ What he said.

Don't sign the ownership over until it clears. Go with the mechanic or whoever his rep is to the bank together and cash it.
Buy/Sell/Trade with confidence, 50+ positive feedback.
Deal Expert
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Oct 6, 2010
15508 posts
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Toronto
canuck87 wrote: I'm selling my car (for $1500) and I've received multiple e-mails from folks living far away and willing to send a paypal (for the selling price) and arrange shipping. These are obviously scams so I ignore them however this one individual with a North Carolina number reached out and offered a reasonable amount. He says he resides in Ontario but is on official assignment in NC, and can send me a certified cheque and have me deal with his mechanic who will do the signing over etc. I have requested he give his mechanic the bank draft or cash but he insists on certified cheque and that not to hand over the car until it clears. He sensed my hesitation (we were communicating via text), so he called me to say he is legit and wants the car, and will provide copies of his drivers license etc and his mechanic will provide.

Even if his mechanic does show up with all the necessary paper work and the certified cheque, how should I proceed? Should I avoid completely? Or take the cheque, wait till it clears (is there a hold period?) and then sign over the UVIP and vehicle transfer?
Sounds like a scam. I'd personally find another buyer, can't be that much more of a headache that this sounds like it could be/turn out.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 1, 2015
12 posts
2 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON
Thanks for the responses. I messaged him that the ownership will not be handed over until the bank says everything is good (whether by my bank speaking to the buyers bank or other method), and the hold period is over. I also said it will be in his best interest to do cash or bank draft (either sending a cheque to his mechanic and his mechanic gives me cash instead) and it would be a quick sale, otherwise he will have to wait for the cheque to clear completely. Awaiting his response.
Deal Addict
Apr 4, 2013
1274 posts
410 upvotes
You could ask the guy where he lives in ON. Have him provide the address and postal code and you could do a name search.

The bigger question you need to ask is why would someone in NC need to buy a car in another country? I am assuming that when you state that he offered a reasonable amount, that it was less than the $1500 asking price? Surely this guy can buy a car for less than $1500 closer to where he is currently located. Is there something special about your car that would attract buyers from another country?

Smells like a scam to me.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 1, 2015
12 posts
2 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON
cbr663 wrote: You could ask the guy where he lives in ON. Have him provide the address and postal code and you could do a name search.

The bigger question you need to ask is why would someone in NC need to buy a car in another country? I am assuming that when you state that he offered a reasonable amount, that it was less than the $1500 asking price? Surely this guy can buy a car for less than $1500 closer to where he is currently located. Is there something special about your car that would attract buyers from another country?

Smells like a scam to me.
Nothing special about my car... its a 2003 Civic, completely basic. I assumed he needs a car for when he's coming back. I am very hesitant to pursue it, I'll only accommodate if his mechanic comes to me with cash or a bank draft, and if it is a cheque, no papers will be handed over until everything is in the clear (probably a week or so after deposit). Along with his drivers license copy so I can take to service ontario that the car is sold (in case they don't register it within the timeframe).
Member
Nov 10, 2013
324 posts
105 upvotes
Unionville, ON
I wouldn't risk it
your car isn't hard to sell, there are plenty of buyers locally.

the thing about fake cheques is, even if the bank "clears" your fund, they get always go back weeks or even months later and take the money back out if they found out the cheque was fake or forged.
Member
Nov 10, 2013
324 posts
105 upvotes
Unionville, ON
canuck87 wrote: Nothing special about my car... its a 2003 Civic, completely basic. I assumed he needs a car for when he's coming back. I am very hesitant to pursue it, I'll only accommodate if his mechanic comes to me with cash or a bank draft, and if it is a cheque, no papers will be handed over until everything is in the clear (probably a week or so after deposit). Along with his drivers license copy so I can take to service ontario that the car is sold (in case they don't register it within the timeframe).
if he pays by cash then that's okay
bank draft can be faked just like a certified cheque.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
4031 upvotes
Toronto
if a certified cheque is fraud it can still clear in five days. Five day hold is the hold your bank puts. So once your bank removes the hold it could still be found out to be fraud.

The safest is a draft but even that bears risk in case like this.

What i don't get Is why someone would go out of their way like this for a 1500 car.
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15094 posts
2697 upvotes
I smell a scam..from a mile away.

Cash is KING. Nothing else.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Mar 18, 2005
23361 posts
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Niagara Falls
I would also think it's a scam. This guy is OK with you signing the car over to his mechanic friend but not OK with sending his mechanic friend the cash instead.

Personally I'd tell him cash or no deal.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 1, 2015
12 posts
2 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON
Just an update, the guy is obviously a scammer, I've been probing him more and more, and he's been providing some dodgy answers. His mechanics phone number is an Alabama area code, he's sending a cheque for $1030.30 more than asking price, and hasn't seen car at all and wants to send cheque right now. This is actually getting entertaining...
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
38211 posts
24390 upvotes
Center of Universe
canuck87 wrote: Just an update, the guy is obviously a scammer, I've been probing him more and more, and he's been providing some dodgy answers. His mechanics phone number is an Alabama area code, he's sending a cheque for $1030.30 more than asking price, and hasn't seen car at all and wants to send cheque right now. This is actually getting entertaining...
What's the asking price?
Generally the scammer sends more money and request that you wire transfer the difference back.
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 1, 2015
12 posts
2 upvotes
Etobicoke, ON
vkizzle wrote: What's the asking price?
Generally the scammer sends more money and request that you wire transfer the difference back.
$1500. At the beginning of our conversation he seemed legit, because he asked if I could do $1350, which any reasonable buyer would do. It's only after the fact he started to say he will send me a cheque without seeing the car and him living in North Carolina, flags started to get raised. And now willing to spend more or less the same value of the car on shipping lol.
Member
Mar 15, 2008
269 posts
32 upvotes
Yep. I would stay away. Sounds too fishy because US buyers don't normally buy from Canada:
1) Import paperwork
2) Transport costs of the car across states
3) Speedometer is in Km instead of miles
4) Cars tend to be slightly cheaper in the US (so why buy in Canada?)

The only reason I can think of in favour is the current exchange rate.
Deal Expert
Feb 24, 2007
15094 posts
2697 upvotes
canuck87 wrote: $1500. At the beginning of our conversation he seemed legit, because he asked if I could do $1350, which any reasonable buyer would do. It's only after the fact he started to say he will send me a cheque without seeing the car and him living in North Carolina, flags started to get raised. And now willing to spend more or less the same value of the car on shipping lol.
If he throws in a duct-cleaning service..I would close the deal. :lol:

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