Just putting the word out that a scam site has popped up at “autostempest.com” (with an extra ‘s’). They’ve copied AutoTempest’s name and branding, plus a bunch of content from Edmunds it looks like, and appear to be directing people to their site from craigslist postings, and then trying to get money sent for cars that don’t actually exist.
So, a reminder first of all that if anyone tries to get you to send money (directly to them or to a third party) for a car you or someone you trust has never seen, don’t do it. AutoTempest (the real autotempest.com that is) is a great way to find those difficult-to-find vehicles that might not be right in your neighbourhood, but once you do, it’s important that you do your due diligence. We recommend finding someone local to the car to take a look if possible, and then arranging with the seller to take the car to a garage (or dealership) of your choice for a thorough inspection.
If all that checks out, you can fly to the car to do the deal in person, or work with an agent local to the vehicle (again, of your choosing, not the seller’s) to facilitate a long distance transaction and shipping. I’ve personally bought cars that way and it can be done safely, but you do have to be careful. Again, do _not_ send money to anyone to reserve/hold/pay for a car that you haven’t independently verified is legit.
And finally, when you’re using autotempest (or any website!) make sure you’re actually at the correct address: www.autotempest.com (no ‘s’). The easiest thing to avoid mistakes is to add a bookmark in your browser.
In the meantime, we’ll do what we can to work with the authorities in hopefully getting these scammers shut down.
PS: This blog doesn’t get updated much anymore, but we’re still hard at work! Finished up the SearchTempest design overhaul a few months back. Right now we’re working on improving keyword search on AutoTempest, as well as adding additional filters.