A Corvette Action Center member recently reached out to us and wanted to share his story about getting scammed trying to purchase a 1967 Corvette from a private owner who was storing the car at a shipping company in Florida.
“An ad was posted on one of the classified ad sites by the seller “Christopher Rosania” for a 1967 Corvette at a very good price. Many pictures were sent and of course they looked great. Supposedly, he had it stored at Mas Auto Shipping in Miami. There was supposed to be an escrow service to hold the money until the buyer received the car and had it inspected. Then the money would be released. I wired the money, but never received the car and put through a cancellation to Regions Bank in Miami but have not received a refund.
Wanted to get this info out there so nobody else would get scammed.”
The Corvette that Fred was trying to purchase was a Tuxedo Black 1967 convertible with red leather interior and the L71 427ci, 435hp engine.
Fred initiated a wire transfer of funds from his bank to Regions Bank in Miami where the escrow account was set up by the scammer. After not receiving the car and trying to get his own bank to recall the money, Regions Bank told him that they could not give out the escrow account holder’s information. As of this writing Fred still has not received his money back and Regions Bank is not responding to his inquiries.
He has now reported the incident to the Better Business Bureau as well as the Internet Security section of the FBI which specializes in the investigation of consumer wire fraud cases.
Recently, the MAS Auto Shipping website was suspended.
We decided to do a little investigation on our own and here’s what we could find.
Who Is Christopher Rosania?
We tried to find out who this Christopher Rosania is and while conducting numerous searches online, it appears, Fred was not the only one scammed by this loser. We found a thread over on the Toyota Nation website where a Christopher Rosania or “Richard Groff” was conducting the same type of scam with a 1977 BJ40 Landcruiser. Click here for all of the details of that transaction.
Unfortunately, that was the extent of what we could find on the scammer.
A Tale of Three Shipping Companies
The Mas Auto Shipping website and domain name was registered through a company called NameCheap; a domain name registrar and hosting company that has offices located in the United States, Portgual, Ukraine and India.
The domain name was purchased anonymously as far as we can tell when viewing the WHOIS information shown below:
By using Google’s search engine cache functionality which cached a copy of the website on April 14th, we can see some of the information that was on the site prior to the hosting account being suspended:
Riverwood House, Killacrollan Road, Aughrim, Wicklow, Ireland was the address of Prestige Transport Limited – a shipping company that was established in Ireland on 07-21-2016 and was only in business for a couple of years before the company was dissolved.
The director and secretary of Prestige Transport Limited can be seen listed on an Irish business listing website:
Veerkade 8F, 3016 DE Rotterdam, Netherlands is the address for Cargo Shipping International, a shipping company that has specialized in the shipping and logistics industry for over 30 years.
Unfortunately, without further in-depth research, it’s almost impossible to determine if these three shipping companies are related, or if the scammer just used the other shipping companies’ information as a “prop”.
According to the Better Business Bureau regarding MAS Auto Shipping: “BBB could not confirm the existence of this company’s operation in Florida. We did not find a corporate registration on file with the Florida Secretary of State (Sunbiz.org).”
No Car – No Money
Given what little information we could find above, it’s probably safe to assume, the scammer was an individual who essentially paid pennies to register a domain name and a cheap website hosting account, set up an online “shop” and advertised a 1967 Corvette that never even existed.
We would like to remind our readers to please do your due diligence when shopping for antique / classic cars online. There are tons of scammers out there just waiting to take advantage of an unsuspecting buyer. When it comes to spending tens of thousands of dollars for a car that you’re purchasing sight unseen, make sure to check if the dealer and/or shipping company is a legitimate company registered to do business in the United States and registered with the Better Business Bureau.
You can never have too much information when it comes to purchasing a big ticket item and wiring funds to bank accounts online.