Press Release

For Immediate Release
March 5, 2009

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Cyber Used Vehicle Scammers Claim U.S. Military Connections

The FBI continues to receive reports of individuals victimized while attempting to purchase vehicles via the Internet. Victims find attractively priced vehicles advertised at different Internet classified ad sites. Most of the scams include some type of third-party vehicle protection program to ensure a safe transaction. After receiving convincing e-mails from the phony vehicle protection program, the victims are directed to send either the full payment, or a percentage of the payment, to the third-party agent via a wire payment service. No vehicles are delivered to the victims.

In a new twist, scammers are posing as members of the United States military. The fictitious military personnel in the scam have either been sent to a foreign country to improve military relations, or they need to sell a vehicle quickly and cheaply because of their upcoming deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

“Beware of these cyber used vehicle salesmen posing as members of the U.S. military. Scammers are always trying new things and, as always, if any deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said Richard Kolko, FBI National Press Office.

Consumers are advised to investigate as much as possible before engaging in transactions to purchase vehicles advertised online. In addition, users are also cautioned to be aware of the rules and warnings posted by the Internet sites they visit. If someone is asking you as a consumer to break or avoid the rules of the website, it is possible that person is trying to scam you.

To receive the latest information about cyber scams, please go to the FBI website and sign up for e-mail alerts by clicking on one of the red envelopes. If you have received a scam e-mail, please notify the IC3 by filing a complaint at www.ic3.gov.

For more information on e-scams, please visit the FBI's New E-Scams and Warnings webpage at www.fbi.gov or www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com.

Press Releases | FBI Home Page