Craigslist scammer pretends to be father of fallen soldier

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Detroit (MI) – There’s a sickening Craigslist scammer who is pretending to be the father of a fallen US soldier.  The scammer has placed ads in Michigan-area Craigslist sites selling his son's BMW for cheap, but here’s the problem – the scammer isn’t the father and the car doesn’t exist.  Now the Better Business Bureau in Eastern Michigan is warning people to be vigilant against such ads.

In the ads, a man claiming to be the father of fallen U.S. Army Spc. Byron Fouty is trying to sell a BMW M6 for just $2800.  This would be an insane discount since the Kelly Blue Book value of the car is $80,000.  According to the ad, the car sale would be a gift to his son’s memory and the scammer goes on to say, “money are not a problem, all I want is to find the right person.  That person who’ll love and take care of this car.”  The ad instructs buyers to wire the money to an escrow company that the Better Business Bureau says is fictional.  Furthermore, Fouty’s step-father Gordon Dibler says the late Army specialist never owned a car, let alone a BMW.

The Craigslist ad has since been removed, but the Better Business Bureau believes many people might have actually sent in money because the order page linked to a real trucking company – that wasn’t involved in the scam – and was adorned with a fake Better Business Bureau seal.  The Bureau is warning people that real escrow companies will never ask for payments via wire transfer or PayPal.

Craigslist has recently been hit with a spate of scams especially related to real estate and apartment leases.  Scammers copy existing rental ads and instruct prospective tenants to wire their first and last month’s rents, along with the deposit amount, to an offshore account.  

Fouty and other soldiers were ambushed and killed by Al Qaeda soldiers outside of Bagdad more than a year ago.  His body had been missing since the attack, but has been recently found.