Bike sales fraud warning

Published: 01 September 2009

An MCN reader is warning bike sellers to be on their guard against fraudsters after he was targeted.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Gray was trying to sell his Gilera SMT 50cc privately when a scammer tried to fleece him.

“A guy e-mailed me claiming he lived in Australia and he wanted to buy the bike as a graduation present for his son,” Gray explained.

After a further exchange of e-mails the scamster sent Gray a check for £4,750 – a whopping £3,450 – more than the asking price for the Gilera.

An already suspicious Gray was alarmed to receive the cheque – which had been issued through the scamster’s “creditor” - and rang the creditor to investigate.
This phone call revealed the cheque to have been stolen and fraudulent.

“I had a lucky escape,” Gray said. “I could have ended up with no money, and no bike. I want to make sure other people are aware that this is going on.”

Gray continued his correspondence with the fraudster who even had the gall to ask him a favour: “There is another bike that I have seen and it is still available for sale, but since you have the payment in your name already I would want to ask if you can pay the cheque into your account for clearance and as soon as it clears I am willing to give 250 pounds to you for your stress and transport fee and then I will give you the name and address of where to send the excess funds to.

“The reason I am suggesting this is because I spoke to my creditor already and he said if the cheque is cancelled, he will not be able to issue another payment until another 3-5 weeks as his bank will put a hold on his account for a while to verify that payment is not made on the cheque and this will not be good for me as I really need to get the bike for the graduation which is coming up very soon.”

Needless to say Gray has refused this request and the police are investigating.