In dealing with anything, it is always wise to be cautious about scams and scam artists especially when buying or selling online. Classified ads have become a favorite target for scammers, even motorcycle ads.
There are various ways that con artists use to try to steal your money when buying or selling a motorcycle and you truly need to become knowledgeable about these ways. This knowledge can protect you and your wallet. For this reason I have included a link to the Scam Watch page of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission which explains in good detail what a classified scam is. It also gives warning signs to look for when trying to identify a possible scam, and gives ways to protect yourself.
I am also including a link to an article from the office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. This article gives some actual examples of how people are scammed and gives insights into Advance Fee Scams. The Advance Fee Scam is a favorite among scam artists and is one of the most common scams you will encounter with classified ad sites. The article also gives great insight on how to identify a possible scam and how to protect yourself against these thieves.
When you are contacted about the item you have for sale, be wary of people who say they cannot pick up the item in person and who request that you help by sending money to pay for shipment. This article is from the Federal Trade Commission and explains in great detail how scammers issue fake checks to you in an amount over the purchase price and then ask you to use the remaining amount to pay for shipping or other fake costs (Advance Fee Scam).
It is usually good to trust your instincts, so if you get the feeling that something seems not quite right then perhaps something isn’t right. Educate yourself by reading the above mentioned articles and any other articles you can find about scams and ways to protect yourself from them.