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The internet allows us to gather information from anywhere and I have purchased cars from distant places, including Germany.

The internet also allows us to get scammed from distant places. The lure of a great deal is hard to ignore.

In another thread, it appears that several forum members (myself included) found an SLK55 being sold by a dealer in Texas and we were all really interested.

I hired a reputable company to do a PPI and then e-mailed them the particulars on the car and the dealer. The moment he saw who had the car, he called me and told me not to send any money, the deal was a scam.

The car I was sending him to see was the 4th car from this same group this week, the car lot does not exist and the cars are just data and images stolen from the web. They have a professional looking website and about 25 high end vehicles listed and the whole deal is a scam, likely being run from outside of the USA using US cell phones and fake names and addresses. There is a reputable dealership group, with a very similar name, and they are using that name to lend them credibility.

When the inspector calls and identifies himself as an inspector, they declare that the car has been sold. If they call back and say that they are calling about the car, from out of state, the car is suddenly available again. They basically have the car, as long as you do not have the ability to verify anything. They attempt to extract deposits or payment in full, if possible. The address given for the car lot is a restaurant.

I have come away from this with some more experience and 50 photos of a nice black SLK55 and a healthy dose of caution.

Do your homework before you send money to anyone.

BTW, the police detectives are involved and are searching for these folks.
 
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