Jeffco County Sheriffs’ office has a cautionary tale for all those seeking to sell a car. This seller thought he found an appropriate buyer for his Lexus which was listed on Craigslist. He arranged for the meeting at his home. They negotiated a price. The buyer asked to look at the title. The buyer suggested they go to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) to have the names switched on the title. Together they drove the Lexus to the DMV. At the DMV the seller signed the title. He handed it to the buyer. The buyer was running late for an appointment. They hurried to the seller’s residence, but were too late.
The wife was leaving in the buyer’s vehicle. The buyer urged the seller to give him the keys of the Lexus. He promised to return with the money after his appointment. The seller handed over the key. Hours later the seller told deputies, “I trusted the guy”. The buyer, with title in possession, never showed with money.
This seller had just fallen victim to a growing list of Craigslist robberies, dubbed as Robberies by Appointment. In the news there have been victims robbed at gunpoint, but this crime is different. It’s simply a matter of a business transaction turned criminal. Now, with a signed title, sufficient enough as a bill of sale, the buyer has a new, and free, vehicle.
In July alone, Craigslist was used by about 55 million people nationwide , the popularity of Craigslist and relative ease with which people can offer their wares online opens the door to all sorts of fraud, theft and robberies. Car buyers should also be wary if the car they plan to purchase shows up with no license plates or with only paper plates.