This is a time honored truth that I have “learned” time and time again. Basically I’ve come to understand that you can never trust someone who tells you “trust me”. On the surface that seems pretty obvious, someone shouldn’t need to tell you to trust them. However, the people who have burned me in the past with “trust me” always seem to have a way about them. Something about their personality when they say trust me somehow puts their victim at ease. Clearly they can sense the other persons trepidation, this is when the “trust me” appears. But what is it that makes that “trust me” so convincing?
The last time this happened to me was when I sold my AMC Eagle SX/4 near the end of 2012. At the time I had a collection of 4 vehicles (this was pretty impressive as I was living in the downtown of a college area, where parking was at a premium). A number of things happened that year that forced me to move to a city about 45 miles away. With the move I was going to lose the extra parking spaces I had, so I decided to sell off two of my cars. I had placed an add for the Eagle on craigslist and got few responses. Soon enough though someone was interested but they only wanted to pay half. I was asking $1200, mostly because the car was from California (I live in the north where cars rust). Not to mention it only had 66k on the odometer, black interior (in decent shape) and it was a 4 speed! Anyway I spoke with the guy about the car and he came over to see it start. It had lost the clutch cylinder so it couldn’t be driven at the time. We got the car to start and I agreed to $800 on the car and a tow for my 1983 Camaro Z28 to my new place. I’m happy to help someone out a little and I thought it was a reasonable deal. Payment came in the form of a check that the soon to be buyer had received from a painting job he had done. Certainly this was a red flag, but time was short for me to finalize things at my old place. We made arrangements for him to come back and tow my Camaro and I gave him the title. This is when I make the fatal mistake. After I give him the title, I still had the keys. I was going to give them to him, but then I hesitated. That’s when the “trust me” came out. And as you already know, I did, and I gave him the keys. Well sure enough, the car was gone when I got home from work and I never heard from him again. He got just what he wanted, the car for $600, and I was stuck without a way to tow my other car. I called, he never answered. Luckily there wasn’t an issue with the check he signed over to me. I suppose I could have pursued things further, but to what end? Can you partially steal a car, or would I have been on my own in a civil case anyway? I guess it matters little now.
So this was just one example. I’m sure that many among you wouldn’t be so easily fooled. However, I know that many others have fallen victim to similar situations. I guess all you can do is try and learn your lesson and keep your wits about you in the future.