It’s not that you shouldn’t use online classifieds like Craigslist to try and save money on a big purchase, because you can really find some steals on there — the problem is that the item might actually be stolen.
A man in Tennessee learned this the hard way, to the tune of $30,000.
The whole thing started March 14 when two men flew into Nashville and rented a Chevrolet Suburban at the airport, ABC Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV reports. Police say the suspects, Kaleb Louis, 22, and Maurice Lewis, 20, allegedly rented the vehicle with a fake ID and stolen credit card, then posted the SUV for sale on Craigslist. On March 15, Kyle Whitlow, 28, answered the ad and met the sellers at a fast food restaurant to purchase the Suburban. Whitlow told police he got suspicious when he handed over $30,000 in cash and the sellers didn’t count it before rushing away. The alleged thieves are still at large, according to WKRN.
When trying to put the Suburban’s title in his name, Whitlow discovered the car belonged to EAN Holdings LLC, aka Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The police seized the vehicle, leaving Whitlow without the SUV and his $30,000. That’s down-payment-on-a-house kind of money. Or a year of college tuition. Or a lot of things.
“It’s enough to make you sick,” Whitlow told WRKN-TV, adding that the title the alleged thieves showed him looked real.
Used Suburbans posted for sale in Nashville range from about $27,000 to more than $50,000, according to car-shopping site Edmunds.com, so the $30,000 price tag on the allegedly stolen car is understandably attractive. On top of that, the caper was impressively elaborate — still, a thief’s cleverness isn’t likely to make a victim feel any better about having been duped. In summary: Exercise immense caution when buying something expensive from a stranger on the Internet. Or just don’t do it.
More on Auto Loans:
- Are There Car Loans for People With Bad Credit?
- What to Do If You Can’t Make Your Car Payments
- Top 5 Worst Car Buying Mistakes