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Hit & Miss Gas Engine Discussion

Scam Warning For all of us!


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  #1  
Old 12-19-2006, 09:58:59 PM
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Greg Downard Greg Downard is offline
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Default Scam Warning For all of us!

I know there has been discussions about posting serial numbers on this site. Below is a recent article I found which might help in deciding if you should post serial numbers or not. (I removed names & location due to court proceedings pending)

Police received a report last week of a John Deere tractor being stolen from a township farmer. The man reported to the police the make model and serial number of the tractor according to the report. 4 days later police received a TIP line anonymous report that a person was trying to sell the tractor.

Investigation found an 83 year old had a family member place an ad on the internet to sell the tractor. They had included the make, model and serial number in the ad the day before the theft was reported. Further investigation revealed the tractor had been sitting in a barn for several years and had not been moved.

Police suspecting a scam and contacted the person reporting the theft . They told him he could retrieve the tractor the following day. After his arrest he admittied he saw the ad on the internet.

The family member who posted the for sale ad said he posted the serial number because he was told most collectors could tell the age by the serial number and would be able to make a better offer knowing the age.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2006, 10:40:34 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

In the gun world when a serial number is posted it quite often has the last couple of digits replaced by XX. Close enough to age the piece but not too much information.

keithw
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2006, 08:31:03 AM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

I would probably not post any serial no#s just for this reason. The way these engines get traded around at shows and swaps, often times for cash with no past owner history, it could be hard to prove its yours if someone else has the numbers and is claiming ownership. If some dirtbag did do that, it would be your burden to prove you rightfully own it which could cost you lots of time and money. Unfortunately the days of buying and selling something for cash and handshake are pretty much gone.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:29:22 AM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

I might be obtuse but I don't see the argument regarding not posting serial numbers. If anything, it could help prove ownership. Possession is "9/10ths of the law". If someone sees my ser. # posted on the internet & later says I own engine ser. # so & so he will still have to prove it if I possess it.

If someone actually stole my engine and had it in his possession I think I have enough written, photographic & personal information on each of my engines to disprove his claim. If I had previously posted my serial number I think it would actually help my case.

Please correct me if I'm missing something.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2006, 09:50:46 AM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

Most of us possess digital cameras. My idea is to take pictures of your engines, especially of areas with distinctive marks...say a deep gouge in the cast from...whatever...
Put them onto a disc with serial numbers, model numbers, etc. for each. Be fairly detailed with discriptions, even documenting who you bought them from. That way, someone could go back to the previous owner who would verify that John Exx did purchase that engine from him which would help establish an chain of ownership.
I could see XXX'ing out part of the serial number, should the item be posted on a sale site, but to totally ignore those numbers might prove detrimental to getting top dollar for a fine piece of machinery.
Those who don't possess digital cameras could take snaps with a regular camera and file those pics away. Be a bit more time-consuming, but would achieve the same results.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:08:04 AM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

I think this is a poor scam to say the least! How can you claim ownership of someone elses item only on the grounds that you know the serial number?
If it worked like that I would have several thousand engines!!! Like Doug, I think that having previously posted your serial number would help your case.
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2006, 12:26:12 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

Well.... I'm with Doug and Mo and Denis.... Many people look at and even photograph serial numbers at shows.

So what are we sposed to do.... Take the tag off when we go to a show...????

I would think that having the serial number in an Online registry for the last 5 years would actually Help Prove ownership....

I think that all the guys that are So Paranoid about their identity should Move to Siberia so their name isn't in the Phone Books or even on the tax rolls.... There was a LOT of info available through public records before anybody even heard of the internet....
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2006, 01:15:11 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

I agree...we should know our engines, well enough, to be able to know if it's ours or not. Photo's & friends, that also know YOUR stuff, is a BIG help, too! All hobbies will have some dishonest S.O.B. hanging around, but this one is about as safe as you're gonna find! If you feel that you MUST take other steps to protect your stuff, I suggest using an etching tool & put some kind of identifing mark, somewhere as not to affect the value of it & record it. If & when you sell the engine/tractor, be sure to pass that mark onto the buyer. Just my 2 cents worth.......
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2006, 01:18:05 PM
Roger Kirschenman Roger Kirschenman is offline
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Exclamation Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

After you look in the phone book go to the county & get a photo where he lives.
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  #10  
Old 12-20-2006, 01:30:46 PM
Wayne Riedlinger Wayne Riedlinger is offline
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Exclamation Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

i had a 7 ton trailer stolen about 8 years ago. 2 years later I came up behind it at a red light. The guy pulling it went into Walmart parking lot and I followed him in. I confronted him, he said he bought it at junk yard in Edmonton. I called the police and 5 people came who could identify the trailer including the man who built it. The s/n had been ground off. The police told us that any body can make up a story. They let the guy go and apologised to him for taking up so much of his time. Thank you you wonderful police man, I wonder what planet they are from.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:13:56 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne riedlinger View Post
i called the police and 5 poeple came who could identify the trailer including the man who built it. the s/n had been ground off. the police told us that any body can make up a story. they let the guy go and apoligised to him for taking up so much of his time.
Thats my point exactly! Its not about being paranoid its about having all your info. in order because if some dirtbag wants to claim he owns something of yours then you have to prove otherwise, and if the dirtbag already has something of yours in his possesion then you are pretty much screwed because as someone else here said "possesion is 9/10 of the law" and our laws today are to protect the dirtbag.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2006, 05:08:46 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

I posted this article just so everyone could be aware that this does happen. I'm sure the 83 year old man had never thought it would happen to him. Obviously the police didn't take long to figure out it was a scam when they saw the tractor had not been moved in years.
I agree with everyone that we need to be able to prove, by what ever means nessary, your rightfull ownership of our collections.

Personally, I have all my items insured and have provided pictures and a list of makes, models, and serial numbers or other identification to my insurance agent to put in my file. This way not only am I protected from theft but if fire destroyed these items beyound idenity they would know I wasn't trying to fraud them. ( I have a policy covering just my engines)I update my files semi yearly beings I am always selling, trading or buying.

And yes I have lots of photos and can describe all my engine in detail.

It is your decission to post serial numbers if you choose.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2006, 05:52:10 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

It's not a new one. I have heard of vultures keeping track of such-and-such engine and reporting it stolen in another area. Then say the owner dies and has a sale, and all of a sudden "Look, here is my engine #XXXXX that was stolen four years ago!" The local gang here robbed a neighbor's house just as soon as he went into the home, took a lot of antique furniture. I am guessing in a dresser they found the title to his '38? Plymouth pick-up. Keep in mind that NE has really easy title transfers. They run the title through the courthouse unnoticed and go take the truck, probably drove it home. The owner isn't able to defend himself, and soon passes, the cops know they stole it, as does everyone else, but no one could prove that Willard did not sell the truck and sign the title before he fell apart. If it would have been for sale I would have had it long ago.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2006, 06:18:38 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

One thing you could do is take the musicians' approach. Take some detailed hard photos (not digital, or take some digital photos and print them out) of you with the engine, along with detailed written info about the engine. Put them in an envelope addressed to yourself and drop them at the post office. When the post office puts their postmark on it it instantly becomes proof that as of that date, the engine was in your possession. This is how musicians copywrite songs.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2006, 06:44:15 PM
Wayne Riedlinger Wayne Riedlinger is offline
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

after reading this i think i am going to crawl under all my tractors and centerpunch a mark onem.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2006, 06:49:17 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

Dippy,

I don't see how the post mark proves you had the photos and info the day of the post mark. The envelope is posted marked not the photos and info. Even if you left the photos and info in the envelope sealed and didn't open them until the police was there, it would not prove anything. You could have inserted the photos and info into the envelope and sealed it when ever you wanted. Maybe if the photo you took of the engine and you was in front of you house and you could prove it was at your house.

John
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2006, 09:58:00 PM
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Default Re: Scam Warning For all of us!

Just take a picture of your engine or whatever with the front page of your local newspaper in it. Make sure the date is readable in the pic. Pretty hard to get tomorrows newspaper today.

One additional step, make sure you are standing with your engine in your shop, garage or whatever.

Have a good holiday all
Ernie
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