FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.

Scam artists claim to be deploying JBLM soldiers in bogus car ads

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on Feb. 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm with 6 Comments »
February 6, 2012 12:48 pm

Scam artists pretending to be Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers are hocking cars on the web with deals that sound too good to be true.

Officials at Lewis-McChord received several calls last week from would-be buyers who grew suspicious about claims made on web sites such as craigslist and

The ads show off different cars – one is a 2003 Audi; another is a 2006 Dodge Ram – but they share a suspicious request to pay for them immediately through an Amazon-related web site.

In one of them, a woman claiming to be Sgt. Sarah Harper says she has an Audi ready to be delivered within four days for someone willing to pay for the car right away.

“I have dropped my price to $4,950 (purchase price) including delivery and handling to your address since this is an Urgent Sale! I need to sell it before 17th February, when I will be deployed in Afghanistan with my platoon replacing the troops scheduled to come home,” she says.

In a follow-up email, the scammer sent a doctored driver’s license and a false military identification card. She refuses to send a copy of the car’s title because of “privacy laws.” The license and military ID have a few giveaways showing them to be false, but they could pass muster at first glance.

No one by Harper’s name is enlisted in the Army, Lewis-McChord spokesman Joe Piek said.

He said the number of calls about car scams last week was unusual, but he was heartened by the fact that potential buyers checked with the Army before sending money to the scammers.

“It’s really unfortunate that people are posing as soldiers to tug on people’s heart strings,” he said.

Civilians can use basic information – last name, first name, birth month, birth year – to see if someone claiming to be an active-duty soldier really is in the Army. Those records are available at the Defense Manpower Data Center.

Earlier this year, the Defense Department drew attention to so-called romance scams in which con artists co-opted the identities of well know Lewis-McChord soldiers to pull money out of women wanting to help soldiers in trouble. Lewis-McChord senior commander Lt. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti was among the soldiers whose identities were manipulated for the scams.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. serendipity says:

    We saw this ad on Craigslist yesterday. Jay contacted some man and he said he was in Spain. He was selling an airstream worth 20K for 5K. Oh ya, right. He said he was in the military at Ft. Carson. We said I have family there to inspect the airstream. He is gone now. At least in our world.

  2. Recently, a person responded to my craigslist car ad saying he was shopping for his son, but that he is stationed at Bangor as a nuclear technician, about to be deployed out to sea. He wanted to pay via an elaborate paypal scheme and he would sent someone over to pick up the car and title. I told him to screw off. Beware selling high-value items. Receive payment in person at their bank – watch their teller write the check to you. No cashier’s checks, no briefcase full of cash. Safety and assurance are priorities one and two.

  3. whats wrong with briefcase full of cash ?

  4. serendipity says:

    I want a briefcase full of cash. It just ain’t gonna happen. If I find one, I am turing over to the authorites because, well, that’s just the morally right thing to do. lol

    My partner found a wallet on the road recently just full of cash and the person’s ID. He took it to his house. The man just threw his arms around him. Well, thank goodness for that. The next person who came along may have taken that wallet. Who knows.

  5. thebestofthebest says:

    CID is on this as I write.

    These clowns won’t know what hit-em.

    They don’t play same way locals do.

    And since they’re claiming to be soldiers, they’ve crossed into Military/Federal jurisdictions.


  6. boomer95 says:

    let’s hope CID does a great job and place these idiot exactly where they belong. pray to be a juror at their trail.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0