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Avoiding buying a stolen bike
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My brother lives on the other side of the country from me and is trying to buy a mountain bike. He sent me a listing for a bike that is pretty much what he is looking for, his size, looks to be in good shape. He is pretty excited.
I take a look at the ad and my first thought is "that might be stolen" 2018 bike that went for 4k now priced at $600, and looks to have been used very little.
Now if it were me, I would move on, or if I went to look at it; feel like I could ask some questions that would help determine if the person was legit or not. On the otherhand, I know there are a lot of people who are not working right now, and might be moving on from stuff like bikes, someone might have left it in a house they vacated and the landlord is trying to get money, all sorts of stuff happens that leads people to sell bikes below market.
Any tips on helping him make sure it is not hot?
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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Have your brother check out local bike clubs websites or local FB stolen bike groups. They usually have a version of when the bike was stolen, what it looks like, etc. Where I live there are plenty of online forums like this listing stolen bikes.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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Could be the ad is just fishing for people who will send money for a bike that will never come. A 4k bike for sale for $600 seems very fishy to me.

If you have a "craigslist safe place" at a police station, see if the seller would meet there for you to look over the bike. If it's stolen they might not be willing to go there.

I just sold a mtb and it went for a bit over 3k so I used a police station lot that has a security camera. I liked the added sense of protection of the exchange being recorded ( I assume) and being in a police station parking lot.

Pactimo brand ambassador for 2020 Pactimo.com I sometimes have discount codes, PM me if you're interested.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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It’s a scam. The bike doesn’t exist, and the photo was hacked off the internet. If you contact the seller, they will attempt a send-money for a delivery that will never happen scam. We’ve been seeing it a LOT in our city, on Craigslist. I’ve flagged countless listings of this. $4K-$10k bikes for $600. And for some odd reason, the asking price is almost always $600. In fact the scam has been perpetuated so much here, that I question any bike listed for $600, even if it’s not worth it.

Athlinks / Strava
Last edited by: Dean T: Oct 20, 20 13:23
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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yes, interesting thing was when I was searching for the bike there was also a Tarmac listed for $600.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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Most folks who drop $4k on a bike keep the receipt/registration, and would be willing to supply it with the bike (and send you a photo of it prior to the sale).

When selling used luxury goods on sites like eBay, including the original sales receipt is pretty common as a way to prove provenance.

All that being said, probably a scam (as noted by the PPs).
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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I'd never seen/heard of this $600 scam so out of curiosity I just checked my local Craigslist and quickly found three suspect listings all at $600.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [logella] [ In reply to ]
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Probably a scam. But for legitimate purchases meet in person during business hours in the parking lot of your local police department. If the seller can’t provide a receipt from the original purchase, get the serial number and go inside the department and explain your purchase. They can run the serial number through a national database and see if it’s been listed as stolen. It will only be in the database if the owner knew the serial number, so make sure you write yours down. If it’s not listed as stolen, then you did your due diligence before buying.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [logella] [ In reply to ]
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Here's an example of what you get, when you contact the "seller". This came from a triathlon group on Facebook, last year, after someone tried to inquire about a bike, that was listed on the Wichita Ks. Craigslist. It's when we became aware of the scam, and started watching for it:

I finally got a response from a person calling herself Christine Benavidez. I got an email plus 9 photos of the bike. Here is the email exchange:

Hi, my name is Christine
My CERVELO P3 CARBON shimano di2, never had or need any paint/body work done, garaged keep always, without any problems, tires and wheels are in great shape as well. The bike it is in excellent condition,it has been very well maintained.I am selling it at this final price of $600 because my husband died 1 month ago (he had a heart attack) and it brings me bad memories and that's the reason I want to sell it asap.I, along with my daughter decided to sell the house and so we moved to my sister in Omaha, NE trying to start a new life.I want to use eBay services for the safety of both of us so if you're interested in purchasing this bike just email me with your full name, address including the zip code and phone number, so I can notify eBay that you are selected as my possible buyer and they will contact you to explain the entire procedure. I am waiting for your reply.P.s. Also, you have the pics attached
Thank you

My response:

I am interested in the bike, do you know what year model it is? I live close to Wichita, KS can I stop by and look at it? Also, can you provide the chassis serial number? Do you have any of the original paperwork?

christine.benavidez22@reagan.com
10:30 AM (1 hour ago)
Hello again , Please give me a little time to explain you the process of this transaction . As I told you in my first e-mail,we just moved to my sister in Omaha

My Response:

11:12 AM (49 minutes ago)
Christine, I understand I am very sorry for your husband's loss, I am sure you are still grieving. My best friend that lives in Omaha, off of 78th and Jackson st. will pick up the bike, and pay cash.

christine.benavidez22@reagan.com
11:17 AM (43 minutes ago)
to me
Hi,
In order to buy my bike you have to make the payment to eBay,they will hold your funds until you receive the bike and you inspect it,after that,in case you won`t like it you can send it back on my cost and eBay will send all your money back.If you decide to keep you have to announce eBay,and they will release the funds to me.You will get the bike with all the paperwork and the bill of sale which will be already signed and notarized onto your name.Send me your full name , phone number and address so eBay can complete the invoice onto your name and send it to you by email.Don`t worry in case you won`t like this transaction you can cancel it whenever you want and you will be charged with nothing.

My Response:

Christine, all I was asking for was the year the bike was built and the serial number. With such and expensive purchase I want to make sure it is not stolen.

No reply.

Athlinks / Strava
Last edited by: Dean T: Oct 21, 20 10:54
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Eroc43] [ In reply to ]
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It's usually worth reverse image searching the picture. If it's stolen, that might not bear fruit, but if it's a scam they probably ripped a photo from the internet.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Nice work. It's always fun to play with scammers.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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agree 100%.
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Re: Avoiding buying a stolen bike [Justicebeaver] [ In reply to ]
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I'll send you a text so you can prove you're real...lol...
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