Javier – Jul 10, 2020
Victim Location 84043
Type of a scam Phishing
I listed my car to sell on Craigslist and a local classifieds service. I received a text from someone who said their name was Chris saying they are interested in the vehicle and that they needed the VAT paperwork. I told him that I could send him a CarFax but I didn’t know what VAT paperwork was. He said I could get the VAT paperwork at a website called vinanalyst.com. He kept referring to VAT paperwork as if it was a thing. I checked out the website but there were a few things that made me suspicious:
• There was no contact information anywhere on the page.
• I googled "VAT paperwork for selling cars" and there was no information about such a thing on Google.
• There were no reviews on Google about vinanalyst.com, nor was there any information on ScamPulse.com or any other website I searched. The only reference to "Vin Analyst" came from their website.
• I chatted with a separate person on the website. This was 10pm at night MDT. About the same time I was talking to the other person over the phone. I asked him how long the company has been in business and he said 3 years, but I looked up the domain registry for vinanalyst.com and the registry said that the domain was only purchased a little over 140 days ago. From whois.net: "Creation Date: 2020-02-14T02:45:34Z"
• The person I chatted with also said their corporation was located in Delaware, but on the Delaware business entity search website there was no company by that name.
• When I communicated with the person over text, he was starting to use some tactics to make it feel urgent to give him the VAT paperwork. I asked him where he was located and he wouldn’t answer. So I stopped responding at this point.
• I looked up information on consumer.ftc.gov and found information about these types of scams through this article:
The FTC article’s description of the scam matched vinanalyst exactly.
Anyway, this was my experience and I hope it will save people the hassle in the future.