Victim Location 11203
Type of a scam Fake Invoice/Supplier Bill
I saw an ad on Craigslist for a GMC Acadia 2013, Asking $6,800. Long Story short, her husband died of a heart attack and she has to sell the SUV. She([email protected]) is selling it through a "shipping company that will deliver the vehicle. After I showed interest she said the shipping company will contact me. Then the next day (today) an email came from the shipping company "Iowa Shipping" ([email protected]) a shipping and escrow company with an invoice to purchase the vehicle through bank wire transfer. I haven’t responded to the invoice, instead I researched and doing this report. The 1st red flag was I saw the same ad on craigslist listed at a few states. I searched New York first and then I saw the same ad and pictures on like 3 or 4 other states. I noticed it only after I inquired about the NY ad.
Victim Location 27249
Type of a scam Online Purchase
Listing on Craigslist had a 2006 Mastercraft ski boat with a low price, but high hours of operation. Posting was removed shortly after I made contact. Even though it seemed too good to be true, everything looked very professional…at first.
First email from scammer :
Thanks for your e-mail about my 2006 Mastercraft prostar. It has 1500 hours and no mechanical problems. No hidden damage or defects. As you can see from the photos, the boat was very well taken care of. I have a clear title for it, legally under my name, with no liens or loans on it. The sale price is $4,000. This belonged to my husband who died a month ago due to a heart attack.I cherish his memory but I can’t use it on my own, since the tragedy.My daughter and I sold the house and moved with my parents in Sioux City, Iowa for a new start.
Waiting for your reply if you are interested. Hope you like the photos I have attached!
Good to hear from you, hope you’re doing fine. As for I, I am at the moment living with my daughter at my parents in Sioux City,IA (we sold the house, decided the best way was to start all over, sometimes you just have to leave the past behind, literally).I took the boat with us in Sioux City and decided to use a shipping company(Iowa Shippers) that handles payment&delivery.The delivery is free, by the way.They are 100% safe and have used them before. Using them you get 5 days to try it out, while they keep your money in a trust fund account. If you decide you don’t want it, you can send it back for free and get your money back the next day. I will not get paid until you inspect it for 5 days and make a decision. I can have Iowa Shippers to shoot you a formal e-mail about how this works, with no strings attached, I just need your full name and shipping address for that. And your phone number if you’d like for us to touch base.
Invoice and contact from Iowa Shippers:
Included order details and a phone number to call for wire transfer instructions: (712) 335-7120
The wiring instructions were texted to my phone:
Contact email was suspicious: [email protected]
Martha-Allen.com domain is registered at CheapName.com
Bank was in North Dakota for an Iowa company
Iowa Shippers did not appear in a web search
The street address for Iowa Shippers is a vacant lot, according to Zillow and Google Maps
The name on the "escrow" account was a person, not Iowa Shippers
Googled "Iowa Shippers Scam" brought up a ScamPulse.com report with identical description (RV instead of a boat)
Phone conversations were with people having eastern European accents
I reported the scam to the FBI. "Martha Allen" initiated a followup call after the wire transfer was not completed. I informed her that I reported the scam to the FBI and she immediately hung up.
Victim Location 20794
Type of a scam Online Purchase
I was looking to purchase a boat at a low cost so I looked on craigslist.org and found what seemed to be a deal almost too good to be true. A 1994 Sea Ray 22 Signature in almost perfect condition for $4000. The add had very little detail and at the end of the add they had posted a request to only be contacted by text message. That through up a red flag for me but, the deal still seemed to good to not atleast try. So I sent a text to the number provided and hours later received a message back saying "You contacted me on my work number about the 1994 Sea Ray Greyhawk I need your email address and I will send you all the informations that you need..,."
(copied from my messenger) which threw up another red flag being that now they added (Greyhawk) in the description. I looked online and apparently there is no such Sea Ray called a Greyhawk. Out of curiosity, I then decided to make a fake yahoo email account and texted the email address back to the phone number. Within a couple of hours i received an email from a Kristine Berg. The email was as follows,
Aug 31 at 11:45am
Thank you for contacting me about my 1994 Sea Ray 22 Signature. It has only 400 hours, 5.7 V8 Alpha One Mercury engine, 22 ft long, 8ft beam, used only in fresh water, leather seats, looks and runs like a new one. New batteries, bilges, oil and lower unit serviced. As you can see from the photos, the boat was very well taken care of. I have a clear title for it, legally under my name, with no liens or loans on it. The price is firm, $4,000 and the trailer is included.
This belonged to my husband who died a month ago due to a heart attack. I cherish his memory but I can’t use it on my own, since the tragedy.
My daughter and I decided to sell the house and we moved with my parents trying to start a new life. Let me know if you are interested in buying it or if you have any questions. Hope you like the photos I have attached! Regards, Kristine!
(Copied from my fake email).
I then replied back that I would like to set up a time to come and see the boat. A couple of hours later I then receive
this email "
Aug 31 at 1:21 PM
Thank you for your response. As I’ve explained in my first email, my daughter and I sold the house because we really need a fresh start and moved in with my parents in Sioux City, IA. The boat is here along with the paperwork, at the shipping company, Iowa Shippers, ready for delivery. If you agree, we can use their escrow and shipping services. My brother-in-law used them before and he was satisfied with it. They guarantee protection, for both seller and buyer. But let me explain you this procedure. Besides being safe, you will have a 5 day trial period to inspect it and check everything out. They hold the money until you decide if you want to keep it, if not, after the 5th day, if you reject it, you are refunded right away. To move forward, send me your full name, address and a phone number so I can register you as the buyer with Iowa Shippers. Next, Iowa Shippers emails you the terms and conditions in order to buy it, it’s very easy. Thank you and will be waiting for your reply."
Then I instantly knew that this was a scammer! I then went on google and had searched "Iowa Shippers scam" and found a post from the ScamPulse.com with stories from victims receiving the almost identical story about a death in the family and the item must go now. I have not yet replied. This just happened today 08/31/2018 and as far as the scammers know, I am still a fish on their hook so if there is anything that I can do to help investigators catch these lowlifes please reach out to me ASAP before they become suspicious.
Victim Location 01331
Type of a scam Online Purchase
We found a boat for sale for a really good deal on a MA Craigslist site. When we contacted the person the ad was removed and they didn’t respond for a week, then Sydney Evans ([email protected]) responded saying her husband recently died, so her and her daughter moved in with her parents in Denver Colorado, but the boat is available and with Denver shippers, who will ship it to us, they just need all the money up front to hold in escrow, and she pays the shipping costs. A couple days later, Iowa Shippers contacted us, with an invoice for the boat and an address in Sioux City, IA. When you look up the website (iowa-shippers.com) on the invoices, it exists, but if you change website name to colorado-shippers.com the same website pops up just saying Colorado. After more internet research I see BBB did an article on this earlier this summer as did Craigslist. I hope this information helps save someone else from being scammed and there is a way for BBB to find these awful people.