Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Me: Where can I see your Ford 4610 tractor? (Craigslist, Jackson Michigan. Yesterday the ad claimed the tractor was in downtown  Lansing. The day before that, Flint)

Her: Hi,
My name is  Amy Bauer . The 1988 Ford 4610 Tractor Loader is available, priced at $1.200. Has 1557 original hours, garage kept, 43 HP, 4WD, power steering. Everything is tight, loader works as it should.Has power steering,bush-hog, diesel motor, runs great, very nice condition. Comes with original owners manuals for tractor and loader. This tractor belonged to my husband who unfortunately can't enjoy it anymore as he died, this its the only reason for selling. Let me know if you are interested in buying it and I'll send you more details.
Thank you!

Astonishing! 1500 hours and original paint on the pedals. Fair market value of 1988 Ford 4610 Tractor with a loader and brushhog with 1557 hours is about $12k.

I am interested in looking at it.

I MIGHT buy it.

Craigslist advice to avoid scams. Highlighted at top "Deal locally, face-to-face" First two bullets "
  • Do not provide payment to anyone you have not met in person.
  • Beware offers involving shipping - deal with locals you can meet in person."

Her:Hi again!
After my husband funeral I moved to my parents home in (Hamilton, MT) and got a job. The tractor is already at the eBay warehouse here in Hamilton and the transaction will be done through them. eBay will handle the shipping, the payment and the paper exchange. The tractor is already sealed and ready to be delivered to your place in 2-3 days. You will have free delivery and 7 days to test and inspect the tractor before you make any payment and I receive any money.If you want to move forward, please reply with your full name, shipping address and the best phone # where you can be reached. I will forward your details to eBay and they will contact you with all the info on how to purchase it!
With respect,

You DO realize that your tractor is worth $9000 and you can get $6000 any day of the week.


(She is a widow, right? I cannot take advantage of her)

Her:Hi again!
The tractor is in custody eBay company for inspection.I use them only to handle the shipping and payment for this transaction.If you`re interested in finding more details about the whole process please send me your full name, full address and phone# so I can open a case with eBay. As soon as I have your details I will ask eBay to contact you and let you know what you have to do regarding this deal. 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.PS. Also, the shipping and all delivery fees will be supported by me.
Thanks, hope to do business with you soon! 

My cousin, Dave Schwander lives in Missoula. He is a trucker and can get it shipped on a dead-head load. He agreed to look at it but it has to be on a Saturday.

Can you give him the address of where the tractor is stored so he can listen to it run?


Too much fun!


  1. Hey I answered a ad for a john Deere that was in Dallas TX.After contact it was in eBay warehouse in Kansas city waiting to be shipped to me . Phone number came up as Houston TX. Lady had same story exactly as you describe. After all the back and forth I told her I was not falling for her scam. This was about 6 months ago.

  2. Some years back, I bid on a low mileage Honda Fit that was supposedly being auctioned on EBay. I don't remember the price, but it was about a third or quarter of what the car was worth. I was almost certain it was a scam. Naturally, I had the 'winning' bid, and shortly got a very official looking email from EBay informing me of my success. The email was a total cut and paste job, pretty well done, but with enough very minor differences from a real EBay email in terms of font and graphics that I knew it was not real.

    The seller, supposedly a woman, emailed me and said the car would be shipped from Winston-Salem NC, and directing me to send a Green Dot electronic money order. I emailed back, saying I was actually in Winston Salem, so no shipping is necessary, and I could bring the purchase price in cash. She then replied that she was actually out of state right now, so just send the money order. I replied that I would like to just pick the car up, and would pay double the agreed upon price in cash to do so. After that she (or he) would no longer respond.

    I contacted Ebay and told them about the scam, and forwarded to them the cut and paste email and my correspondence with the scammer. They did not seem very interested in following up or investigating, like it was too much of a bother for them. It might have been trivially easy for their IT people to trace the correspondence to a specific IP address and person, and then just as easy to then notify local law enforcement. They just didn't seem to care.

    Every one of us is still on our own out there. Even in our modern electronic world, Caveat Emptor is still the order of the day. Same as it ever was.


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