Buying things from private parties can be risky. Even if you’re sure that you’re purchasing a legitimate, genuine product, exchanging any amount of money with a stranger is no fun. One Texas man recently had a terrible experience buying what he thought would become his dream car, only to discover his new purchase was a stolen vehicle.
Jake Rowe found the GMC Syclone of his dreams in Odessa, TX, but the warning signs started popping up almost immediately. The first was the truck’s price, which at $4,200 was significantly less than most examples. That seemingly too-good-to-be-true price was just the beginning, as the seller also admitted that they didn’t have a title for the pickup, saying that the seller’s deceased husband lost it before he died. The seller told Rowe they’d gotten the truck as payment for clearing a property for the older woman after losing her husband.
Rowe got a bill of sale, called the widow, and ran the VIN to find that it was not reported stolen. His peace of mind didn’t last long. Once he got the truck home, Rowe checked Facebook to see it had been listed by a different person with a different price, and when he contacted that seller, he got the same origin story that his seller gave, only with a different widow’s name.
“I got the truck home, and got back on Facebook, and noticed the truck was listed by a different man with a different price. I reached out and asked how he got it, and I got the same story, but the lady’s name was changed. So I knew something was up,” Rowe told The Drive.
The Syclone Facebook group helped Rowe track down the truck’s origin story, which revealed the actual owner’s identity. They had no idea it had been stolen, but Rowe did the right thing and returned the Syclone to its rightful home. Police told him not to expect his money back, but members of the Syclone community started a GoFundMe to help out, which has raised more than $2,400 as of this writing.
[Image: Jake Rowe via Facebook]
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