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Airplane Scam

Scam AlertA guy I work with was looking to buy a plane. He saw a few promising ads on craigslist, but his e-mail was down at the time, so he asked me to send a couple e-mails for him. About a month later, I finally got a response from one guy:

Sorry for the late response but I work in the US Air Force and it's very hard for me to reply faster. I wanted to let you know that the 1963 Cessna 172 Skyhawk is still available, i had a buyer but his loan did not get approved. The final price is $18,000 ,so if you are still interested please let me know ASAP.

Here is a link with more photos: mike-seamon.site40.net/Aircraft.Pictures

The plane was left to me by my father after he passed away last year. At this time the plane is in Olympia, WA in hangar on a private residence ,where my father lived. If you're not able to come pick this up, we can use Amazon Payments service to handle this deal. Let me know if you have any questions, for some reasons your previous email did not load on my screen.

Thank you,
Mike Seamon ,TSgt, USAF
375rd TRS/Det. 11
DSN 251-3397

My friend had already bought his plane by then, but I've been dreaming of owning a plane for years, and $18,000 for a 172 seemed like a hell of a deal. Of course, there's the old saying that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, but I still thought I'd look into it, even if just for curiosity. So, I sent the guy an e-mail asking for more info and a number to call him at. Here's the response I got.

Hi Jeff, this 1963 Cessna 172 Skyhawk is in excellent condition, never been involved in any kind of accidents, clean and clear title, no mechanical problems, no rust, no leaks, power options all functional and it will need nothing in the near future. I'm the owner of the aircraft but i don't really know the technical details, i'm not a pilot and i never used it, I inherited it from my father who took great care of this aircraft. It is a IFR certified ,constant speed propeller. All the details that i have from the Cessna you can find here: mike-seamon.site40.net/Aircraft.Pictures/Aircraft_description

I want to sell it because I don't have use for it and I could use some quick cash right now, rather than waiting for a better offer (selling takes a lot of time too... and time is money). So I'm willing to let it go for $18,000 , First come, First served.

We are in a dgt training mission here in Montana until 10th of November and i can't meet you to do the deal in person, but I have some great news for you.The shipping will take 7-10 days thru uShip and it will be free anywhere in USA, my previous buyer already paid for it and uShip didn't want to refund him so I have the aircraft sealed at a local shipping company that work with uShip, ready to be shipped out. If we cannot meet face2face I would like to use Amazon Payments purchase protection to take care of this deal, smooth and safe.

Let me know if you have any other questions, hope i didn't miss anything, if we use Amazon Payments program this is not a sight unseen deal anymore.

Thank you,
Mike Seamon ,TSgt, USAF
375rd TRS/Det. 11
DSN 251-3397

Wait. What? An airplane, sealed in a container ready to ship? Who in their right mind would buy an airplane without first performing a full inspection? I mean, I wouldn't even buy a car without looking it over first, and maintenance on an airplane is far more important.

Well, my wife thought the whole thing sounded fishy, too, so she did some digging, and found this page on a forum:
So they scam in planes too

Turns out that the whole thing's a scam. Oh well, it's like I wrote above - if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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