Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54

    Handling MoneyGram Transactions

    I'm sure this topic has been brought up before, but unfortunately searching didn't help. Plus I factor in the time element in hopes that experience of others may help.

    The problem: I found a bike on CL that I'm interested and after negotiation, and hesitation from the seller, he suggested that we use MoneyGram for the transaction.

    On it's face, it does seem like legitimate local CL add, and about after 2 weeks of talks, he agreed to ship the bike to me. He says he doesn't have PayPal and that's why he's asking me the to send money via MoneyGram.

    Now, for the whole thing to get started, I need to pre-pay -- that was my promise from the get-go: I prepay, he packs the bike, I send him the shipping label and he takes the package to the nearest post office.

    My fear is that while this may have not been a scam from the beginning, the seller may be having thoughts about possibly taking the money and disappearing. So far I only have his phone number.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    119
    There has to be a third-party service of some sort out there that would hold funds in between – something like you send the third-party the money for the item, send the seller the shipping cost, he sends you the item, and the third-party sends him the money.

    Or he could just get a free PayPal account. There's no way I would send the full price under those circumstances that you're describing though, that's just asking to get ripped off.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
    I'm sure this topic has been brought up before, but unfortunately searching didn't help. Plus I factor in the time element in hopes that experience of others may help.

    The problem: I found a bike on CL that I'm interested and after negotiation, and hesitation from the seller, he suggested that we use MoneyGram for the transaction.

    On it's face, it does seem like legitimate local CL add, and about after 2 weeks of talks, he agreed to ship the bike to me. He says he doesn't have PayPal and that's why he's asking me the to send money via MoneyGram.

    Now, for the whole thing to get started, I need to pre-pay -- that was my promise from the get-go: I prepay, he packs the bike, I send him the shipping label and he takes the package to the nearest post office.

    My fear is that while this may have not been a scam from the beginning, the seller may be having thoughts about possibly taking the money and disappearing. So far I only have his phone number.

    Thoughts?
    How far away does he live from you? Was the bike listed on your local CL but he is not local? CL is full of scams like this. I wouldn't wire cash to some unknown person.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Thumper33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    167
    Okay, if you trust the guy (somewhat) but want extra assurance, here are a couple crafty ideas that come to mind...

    1.) See if the guy will either Skype or FaceTime you. Record it. Get the entire plan of the transaction on the recording. You then have proof. Also, have him show is drivers license in the recording. I wouldn't tell him you're going to have him do that ahead of time so he has to pull it out of his wallet then and there. Chances are if I were going to show someone a fake, I wouldn't carry it on me all the time in my wallet. Maybe a criminal would... I dunno. Just thinking this way you have proof to take the police with his photo Id, face on video, and agreement of what's going down.

    If you wanted to, you could make sure the address of his house matches the address on his license. Have him walk outside and show you the number on the box, or a piece of mail, or whatever.

    Some of this might creep him out that your even asking for it, but those are my thoughts anyway.

    2.)Another idea is to ask a local bike shop in his area to be the middle man. Offer them $50 or so or whatever is reasonable. Chances are that he will need someone to pack it and ship it for him anyway.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Thumper33 View Post
    1.) See if the guy will either Skype or FaceTime you. Record it. Get the entire plan of the transaction on the recording. You then have proof. Also, have him show is drivers license in the recording. I wouldn't tell him you're going to have him do that ahead of time so he has to pull it out of his wallet then and there. Chances are if I were going to show someone a fake, I wouldn't carry it on me all the time in my wallet. Maybe a criminal would... I dunno. Just thinking this way you have proof to take the police with his photo Id, face on video, and agreement of what's going down.
    I like the idea of getting his DL. He's a dude from another state that I found using onecraigs.com.

    I really doubt that he'd do a Skype or FT but maybe I can get him to send me a pic of his driver's license and look/google him up to make sure he's legit.

    Yea, there's always the possibility that he'll get creeped out and balk. It took about a week for him to send me a pic of the serial number of the bike. I think he was paranoid.

    Do you think having the whole agreement via text messages and his DL is enough to potentially make a claim? It's a written agreement after all

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    119
    I like the bike shop idea.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3,399
    I skim'd the posts, no fn way in hell I would do a money gram transaction, think Western Union. Just IMHO.
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  8. #8
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    I'll be in for $150 for shipping and having the shop package it etc. Not sure if it's worth it.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Streetdoctor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    1,178
    Not a chance.
    Front Range, Colorado

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    466
    100% of moneygram or similar wire transactions are scams

    I would trust someone asking for bitcoin more than anyone asking for something like moneygram/westernunion

  11. #11
    because GIANT
    Reputation: 127.0.0.1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2,461
    it's a scam


    do not do it.
    "Eating Spam, and Oreos, and drinking Thunderbird, baby" -Baby Huey/James Ramey

  12. #12
    I didn't do it
    Reputation: Mookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,346
    Definitely a scam. No way Jose would I do this.
    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  13. #13
    Beer Please! SuperModerator
    Reputation: Klurejr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,080
    Scam.

    Either he signs up for Paypal (with which you can get a fraud refund) or he meets you in person with cash.

    Chances are he does not have the bike at all.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

    Know these before you post:
    MTBR Posting Rules
    e-bike forum rules

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    466
    there are a few possibilities for why they want moneygram:

    - they are scamming you
    - they stole the bike and dont want to be identified, will steal your money too
    - the bike is legit but the seller is a scumbag and sees an opportunity for easy money
    - if they were bad at english they could be an illegal immigrant and cant open a bank account for Paypal, might not scam you but still high risk

  15. #15
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by idividebyzero View Post
    - if they were bad at english they could be an illegal immigrant and cant open a bank account for Paypal, might not scam you but still high risk
    Yep, I spoke to the guy. He sent me a picture of his passport - I will not reveal details, but I think you're right.

    Now here's another question - how do I get out of this? He only has my phone number. Should I be concerned?

  16. #16
    Beer Please! SuperModerator
    Reputation: Klurejr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    5,080
    Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
    Yep, I spoke to the guy. He sent me a picture of his passport - I will not reveal details, but I think you're right.

    Now here's another question - how do I get out of this? He only has my phone number. Should I be concerned?
    text him back and tell him you are no longer interested in the bike.
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

    Know these before you post:
    MTBR Posting Rules
    e-bike forum rules

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3,399
    Just say you found a better deal closer to home.

    I would have already told him to foff!

    If he continues contact, tell him you will report him to the cops.
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Thumper33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    167
    I wouldn't be concerned. I would tell him you really wanted to make it work but with the trust required you just don't feel like it's safe enough FOR BOTH PARTIES. If you put it that way, I don't know how he could be pissed unless he really is trying to scam you.

    When I bought my bike sight unseen, I at least had him take it to a bike shop and the bike shop was the middleman. I got to pay credit card through the shop, and they gave the guy store credit in that amount. He wanted to buy a new bike from them anyway, so everyone wins. I paid a little more, but I couldn't find a similar deal locally so it was worth it. If you're nervous, trust your nerves. Don't do it.



    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  19. #19
    I didn't do it
    Reputation: Mookie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    9,346
    The dude will quickly move on to another potential sucker. He won't bother you for long npn. The meth fix is calling...
    Let's eat Ted
    Let's eat, Ted
    Remember, commas save lives

  20. #20
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    I think you guys are totally right, even though to be honest, I expected more of "take a risk for something that you love" attitude. At the end of the day, it is an older rare bike, and from my posts you can deduce that is either a Marin or GT... there's 2 of this kind that pop up on the entire nationwide CL. One of them would not ship and actually sold last week.

    Another thing that adds to the flavor - this dude, unless being a bike specialist, never ever said anything about disassembling it. I've bought another bike through CL long distance and the guy asked me all kinds of questions such as "how do you remove the pedals", if he needed to take off the shifters and crank etc. Sadly, I have to pass.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3,399
    Great decision you work hard for your money! No chances, unless you are at the Casino
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  22. #22
    West Chester, PA
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,147
    Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post

    Now here's another question - how do I get out of this? He only has my phone number. Should I be concerned?
    Just block the number. And flag the ad on CL.

  23. #23
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,419
    no chance I'd do the wire transfer.

    If I trusted the guy was legit and it was a REALLY desirable rare classic bike, I'd drive to pay cash and pick it up in person before I'd wire any money.

  24. #24
    Pro Crastinator
    Reputation: .WestCoastHucker.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,900
    Hi, I am Nigerian Prince who can and do vouch for the authenticity of Moneygram. Please send all funds now to complete transaction...


  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    no chance I'd do the wire transfer.

    If I trusted the guy was legit and it was a REALLY desirable rare classic bike, I'd drive to pay cash and pick it up in person before I'd wire any money.
    Where does this guy live? Maybe someone on this forum lives close buy and can go check it out for you.

  26. #26
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    20,419
    Amusingly enough, because I posted here, a tapatalk user called "counterfeitmoney" who happens to be the admin of a message board of the same name started following me

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  27. #27
    That makes me smart
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    13,777
    Picard?!? Damn it.
    "I can almost smell the alcohol oozing from that post."

    mtnbkrmike

    A global map of winds. Pretty cool.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3,399
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Amusingly enough, because I posted here, a tapatalk user called "counterfeitmoney" who happens to be the admin of a message board of the same name started following me

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    I've had a couple of weird ones follow me too, I think that was one of them. Both were from some middle eastern "location".
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation: djlee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    128
    Lost in this thread is that the seller was never advertising his bike for sale nationally. I've sold plenty of bikes and parts on local Craigslist boards because I don't want to deal with shipping.
    You searched him out and convinced him to ship. Maybe he's not so tech savvy and doesn't understand the nuances of the shipping game - that doesn't necessarily make him a scammer.
    Just an alternative thought for what it's worth.

  30. #30
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by djlee View Post
    You searched him out and convinced him to ship. Maybe he's not so tech savvy and doesn't understand the nuances of the shipping game - that doesn't necessarily make him a scammer.
    Just an alternative thought for what it's worth.
    That's true, but still doesn't mean that he can't just take the money and never ship the bike to me.

    Short of convincing him to ship the bike to me first, and then I Moneygram the money to him... I don't think it's worth the risk

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,297
    Moneygram/Western Union - no doubt a scam. There are so many variations.

    I found a "local" ad once similar to this for a Santa Cruz 5010c, except when I contacted the guy he just happened to be out of town "for college break" (in the middle of the semester) and wanted to use Western Union. I didn't even bother to reply.

  32. #32
    In dog years, I'm dead.
    Reputation: burtronix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    994
    Here's a plan of action for you. Get an old wallet or drawstring bag that you won't mind never seeing again. Stuff it full of the full amount for the transaction, including shipping & handling - make sure at least half the amount is coins, not bills.

    Then take it to your largest nearby body of water & pitch it as far as you can. You will get the same result with far less frustration or hassle.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

  33. #33
    Anytime. Anywhere.
    Reputation: Travis Bickle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,450
    In the old days I bought and sold a few things through the MTBR classifieds. I would send a MO, and at the same time the seller would ship the part. Never got burned, and certainly didn't rip anyone off. That said, Paypal or cash is the we way to go.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  34. #34
    B A N N E D
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    4,812
    Quote Originally Posted by npn View Post
    On it's face, it does seem like legitimate local CL ad
    Post a link to the ad.

    Scammers often copy photos and descriptions from ebay ads.

  35. #35
    npn
    npn is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    54
    The link is gone. He might've sold the bike or who knows, but I haven't heard from him after we spoke 2-3 days ago.

    I had him take pictures of the serial number and he did - from that I could tell what year the bike was which matched what I thought it was in a first place (based on frame/decals/components)

Similar Threads

  1. Scam? Fraud: Bike For Sale Selco Transactions
    By maggiemaecra in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-03-2012, 08:12 PM
  2. 2010 Enduro expert size L handling problems
    By socalfreerider1973 in forum Specialized
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-30-2011, 01:07 PM
  3. Chainstay length, sliding dropouts and bike handling...?
    By The_Mickstar in forum Singlespeed
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-12-2011, 01:25 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-11-2011, 10:04 AM
  5. Handling changes.
    By ironlegsracer in forum Titus
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-01-2011, 04:18 PM

Members who have read this thread: 69

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •