Craigslist Vehicle History Report VinInsights Scam

scamI purchased a new vehicle this week, and the old one went up for sale on Craigslist. I’m used to Internet scams but this one was pretty good.

Here’s how it went down.

Vehicle History Report Scam

The “buyer” began a conversation and asked if the vehicle was available and about maintenance records. After I answered, they came up with another dumb question. Finally, on the third email, after I offered up a CarFax report, they asked me to visit USVehicleInsights.com.

Red flag.

Sine I work in Internet marketing I quickly noticed that USVehicleInsights.com redirects users to a link.safecart.com website with a unique identifier and then shoots me over to VinInsights.com.

I’m not sure if VinInsights.com is the scam or not or if the “marketer” is trying to make an affiliate commission on the $25 purchase.

Credit Card Theft?

After searching the web, I noticed this article from the BBB. Apparently, these fake sites are popping up in 2018. You go to the site, order your VIN report, and the thieves have your credit card information.

Trolling the Scammer

I kind of enjoy messing with scammers, so I went ahead and told “Michael Jones” that I purchased the report, but, I sold my vehicle before I could send him the report.

The scammer is going to be wondering why they didn’t get their referral fee or what is wrong once they hear that I completed the purchase successfully and they made $0 on it. hehe

Legitimate Title Reports

VehicleHistory.GOV lists legitimate title history reporting websites on their site. Surprisingly, CarFax is not one of them, however, many title searches begin at 6 bucks.

Did you fall for this scam?

Don’t worry! It happens to all of us and this one was pretty good. A lot of people only sell a car once in a great while. If you were scammed please let others know what happened in the comments section below.

I searched for sites using the identical text as VinInsights and found other sites which could be a scam as well (not sure) including vin-number-check.com and vin-check.net.

Len

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28 Comments
  1. FWIW, the safecart link I was being sent was https://link.safecart.com/2gw25h/aHR0cHM6Ly92aW5pbnNpZ2h0cy5jb20v

  2. Glad I looked this up. Working in IT I am usually hard to fake out. But this one was just about to get me, I almost fell for it but then the tech in me said do a bit more digging before you put in your CC info. I have sold many cars in my past but they used to be so simple. No one wants to look anymore. I got this message after several email back and forth about my car and thought that is strange:

    “Sorry for late response, I would like to see a history report for your Cherokee. If you don’t own it, I would like to suggest if you can obtain it from reportchecks.com. They’re the most detailed report at this time and definitely way cheaper. I don’t want to get one on my own because it will become useless for me if we don’t make a deal. You could always use it as great sales tool to another interestedbuyer if our deal falls through. If everything is clean with the report, I would like to proceed with the deal and you can add cost of report to the vehicle price.”

    So the ling to reportchecks.com takes me to vininstights.com and there starts the process. But again after selling cars a few times I remembered one thing. I shouldn’t have to pay to sell my car. If they want it they will pay for it and look it up. The buyer could have easily asked for the VIN to look it up himself if he was serious.

    Thanks for the post, I am glad I wasn’t caught.

    • Thanks Mike! Glad it helped someone. That is sound advice!! “I shouldn’t have to pay to sell my car”… Yeah they were pretty smooth…

  3. I am glad I looked up this service. Sounds like a scam to me. I have sold several vehicles on my own and never had a seller ask for a report. One had run their own report. This buyer said, “If everything is clean with the report, I would like to proceed with the deal and you can add cost of report to the vehicle price.” So I asked if I could use a service that was cheaper so that if he did not buy it then I would not be out as much money. He insisted I used VINInsights. So now I really don’t feel comfortable so I asked if I could use CarFax since I have used them and only add the $25 (VININsights fee) to the purchase price and I would eat the rest. Waiting to hear back from him. Bet he doesn’t answer or still insists on VINInsights. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  4. Same here! Motorcycle ad on Craigslist, a guys asks me for a VIN report. I send him one, he says he wants me to do another one and to go to “getinsightscheck” which directs to the website you have mentioned in your post. Fortunately I did not do it.

    • Thank you for your comment! Only a handful of people have stopped by to leave a message, but rest assured thousands of people are reading this article. This is way bigger than I had ever dreamed of. I almost didn’t write about it – glad I did, and glad that other people are chiming in! 🙂

  5. Just had same thing, thanks:

    I really think Carfax is not dependable . I checked the history of the sister’s car last summer , accident that we reported a year ago wasn’t included. I’d suggest you usainsightscheck.com since they are dependable source but still not charging a lot comparing to others . I won’t check it by myself , if the history turns bad I won’t be interested in you car so I’m stuck with records that I can’t use , however you can show it to another interested party always .

  6. Just got a message from a ‘buyer’ using almost the exact same spiel as Mike posted above. I almost took the bait but decided to do a little digging which led me here. Thinking I’ll wait a day or so and use your, ‘purchased report and already sold it’ line. Thank you for taking the time to post this up.

  7. Just had this happen today, thanks for the post

  8. Wow, my experience is exactly that of Renaldos above. I like your “play with scammer”, might try that today. So far (until just now discovering this “scam”), I thought buyer was legit & asked him whether he’s local, & if so to stop by & have a look at my car & that if he’s interested I will order a report on the spot … bet I don’t hear from him…

  9. I just had the same thing happening to me, more than once now. I had listed my bike last fall and fell for one of those scams. After a second “buyer” asked me to get a VIN report from a different site, because the one I had wasn’t from a reliable source, a light bulb went on in my head. I just answered him that as soon as he would show up at my door to inspect the bike, I would instantly get that report for him. Never heard from him again.
    A week ago, I listed the bike again and now I’ve had already 2 guys responding and asking me for a VIN report.
    The dumbest one is where a guy asked me if I had a Paypal acct, and said he’d transfer the money PLUS $ 1000, so I could pay the mover hired by him to pick up the bike. Then you get some emails from a fake Paypal site, telling you that you have received money, which is obviously not the case.
    The first red flag to me, is when you got a reaction on your listing within minutes from posting the ad. I think those scammers must run some program that automatically notifies them of new listings on Paypal.

  10. This one almost got me. I’m glad I did a search. Thanks for the info.

  11. Selling bike on Craigslist and the potential “buyer” wanted a usainsights vin report. I questioned this and did a search. This site was the first one that popped up. Thanks for letting people know about these scams.

  12. Received several emails regarding a sale we had posted on Craigslist. He wanted the VIN for the bike…wouldn’t reach us by phone because he was having “technical” issues. Good grief! He gae me the same vin report site. Total scammer! No additional info was shared with him thank goodness!

  13. i got a guy pulling this VIN crap on me right now. says his name is Carlos Ansell. Thank you for this site.

  14. Red Flag! Looked online to verify, and this site popped up. THANKS!!!!

  15. Got the exact same situation as all of the above people have stated. Some guy wanting to buy my bike on Craig’s list and wants a VIN report from insightschecks.com. Didn’t seem legit so I checked into it on line and the scammer used the exact same wording as others have reported. I told him twice I didn’t have a report and was not getting one. He continued to persist three more times. Many red flags. Glad I trusted my gut, trust yours. It never lies.

  16. Hi – Yes, I received one of these from Larry Hunt (larryhunt246@gmail.com). Below is the text from his message. Glad I trusted my gut as well and decided to investigate.

    Hello, I was reaching out to you about your vehicle for sale. Do you have a current vehicle history report for it? If not, I suggest getting one at:

    http://vinhistory.report

    When I was selling my vehicle I got one from there to show people that were interested. It was only $19 which is half the cost of Carfax($40 or more). It will show if there are any issues with it. The peace of mind it gives for such a large sale is a bonus too.

    It will verify that it has not been in any bad accidents, that it has a clean title and that it has not been stolen. There are so many scams out there. People are more likely to look at it with a report provided – it will definitely help you with the sale.

    Let me know if this helps. Thanks!

    • Thanks for posting. I just got one from the same guy. Here’s his post…

      Looking to get in touch with you. Is it still for sale? Any accidents?

      Lets get in touch. Craigslist has been messing up and not sending all my mail. I have an idea. Why don’t you go ahead and contact me direct at me personal email instead please.

      My email: LarryHunt246(at)Gmail_com

      Maybe check your spam folder too. I know mail ends up in there sometimes. Thanks.

      Sent from my iPhone

  17. Thanks!!! Just had one today, usainsightscheck.

    Thought it seemed fishy, glad I googled it and found your post. Now I’m trying to figure out how to mess with him. 😁

    Also wondering if there’s a way to get his site shutdown…

  18. I got the following email from blainecarey@lycos.com in a reposnse to my ad on craigslist.

    “I appreciate your answer, you have a really good vehicle! I am planning to get a personal loan to cover the price and I will not try to negotiate it. I will come to test it and close the deal with you in the same day with cash in hands. in order to get the money faster than usual, my loan officer is asking for the vehicle history report from https://www.carsinfocheck.com/ . I know that this a secure website and the report can not be modified. Let me know if you can get it.”

    Beware of this website https://www.carsinfocheck.com It also claims that they are from Experian.

    • I’m glad that I searched for his email address through google. I had the same experience as you.

      “I’m interested and ready to come , see , test and make a deal for it .
      I need something rather soon , but i would like to make sure you/vehicle and all is ok and legit .
      For that i need a vehicle vin report ,don`t send an old one or get something you find , get me the report from https://www.TitleInfoCheck.com . is what my loan officer asked for and needs .
      I’d just feel safer about getting a vehicle with an official report because I’ve had friends and family get shafted before.”

  19. I also received two different emails from “Larry” with the following text:

    Looking to get in touch with you. Is it still for sale? Any accidents?

    Lets get in touch. Craigslist has been messing up and not sending all my mail. I have an idea. Why don’t you go ahead and contact me direct at me personal email instead please.

    My email: LarryHunt246(at)Gmail_com

    Maybe check your spam folder too. I know mail ends up in there sometimes. Thanks.

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • Just got the same message from Larry for my Alfa. Just out of curiosity, are you selling a similar car?

  20. Also got one a text from a markrogers507@gmail.com. Got no response when I asked him if he was local. His query was…

    1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce — Still up for sale? Do email me at markrogers507@gmail.com

  21. I got the same emails. No phone calls, just the continuous emails with history questions and cash offers IF I will get a VIN/INSIGHTS.COM report. I’m glad I checked into this before hand.

  22. It is 100% a scam – if anyone reading this paid for this so called “report” then you need to call your card company, report the charge as unauthorized and get a new CC number.

    If you are selling a car online and someone is interested in buying the car, you should never have to pay for any kind of report. Real buyers will be happy to call you and discuss the sale over the phone – do not take checks or money orders, very common scamming practices.

    I’d take cash or a cashier’s check – wouldn’t even do PayPal or any other online money transfer option (common scamming tactic).

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