Fake Classic Car Dealership Scams Thousands Of Dollars

Classic Cars / 6 Comments

This scam was well conceived and prepared.

Classic car buyers in Oklahoma, California, Florida, and South Carolina have found themselves out thousands of dollars after a ghost company took their money. The company, VNKC LLC, as reported by Bangor Daily News, claimed to be based in Houlton, Maine, and took deposits on cars, including a 1987 Chevy Blazer, a 1970 Buick GSX, and a Nissan Figaro. The buyers were told the money would be held in escrow until the car arrived.

However, the VNKC website was identified as being through a Lithuanian internet service provider but promptly vanished, and the phone numbers disconnected.


The scam was uncovered when the Houlton Chamber of Commerce started getting calls from car buyers around the country questioning the validity of the company. After the fourth call, executive director Jane Torres decided to do some old-school investigative work and drove to the address to look for the business. Predictably, it was a real address but the company wasn't there.

Unfortunately, the scammers were well prepared and believable as they supplied VINs and titles for the cars. However, suspicions were aroused in customers as time passed, then a couple found the same vehicles advertised on other websites. The Blazer shown here is one of those cars.


"I talked to them for over five weeks. I have a copy of the title, the bill of lading, the bill of sale, the VIN number," said one victim and Oklahoma buyer for a classic Chevy Blazer. "It never arrived. After the shipping date, the number I had been calling went dead."

Thankfully, he only put down $500. A Florida buyer parted with $35,000 for a yellow 1970 Buick GSX but was savvy enough to realize something was wrong quickly enough and stopped the check. Houlton Police have also received calls about the business address. "Scams of this nature are not unusual and unfortunately result in victims," Police Chief Tim DeLuca said. "Public education and awareness is key."

Now, the FBI has become involved, and it's impossible to know how many people were successfully scammed before the ghost company started deleting its website and numbers. In all likelihood, though, it will pop up again with a different name using addresses and phone numbers in different states. Future potential classic car customers/victims beware.


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