Online Car Sales Scams
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Online Car Sales Scams

    Hi, I thought it was worth posting a new warning about car sales scams. I tripped over one recently and have been stringing it along.

    The scam started with a car on sale on Drive (all sites get used) at way under the market price. I flicked an email asking for some details and as a result got a direct response (not via Drive or anything) with links to pics and a long story about inheriting the car, how it is currently in Darwin and the seller is OS.

    As I was suspicious, not the least because of NSW rego and the price, and given the car was quite specific, I did a quick search of Drive and Carsales and found the real car. The real car ad is in NSW where an unsuspecting owner is selling it for a normal price. I emailed the real seller warning him and went the next step with the scammer. (Pics of one of my 505s once appeared in someone else's add a couple of years ago.)

    The latest is a description on how we can "safely" do the transaction with him OS, via a legit online payment house (alert-pay autos). The catch will be the need for me to drop a small deposit into the online account before he arranged for the car to be shipped down for me to look at ....

    I will report the scam but given the volume I doubt anything will come of it. An interesting thing is this scammer is using (or bouncing off) a bigpond account, rather than the usual hotmail.

    Be careful, if it looks too cheap it probably is. I can see at least 2 other similar scams on Drive, Carsales and Gumtree, and that is with a vehicle model where there are only a few hundred for sale australia wide.

    Cheers

    Jim

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Thanks Jim.

    There is the flip side when you are selling a car too. I have put a few cars up for sale in recent times and been contacted by overseas callers offering to buy the car using paypal, western union and paybycash. The scammers sometimes ask you to pay the frieght to ship the car and then once the agent colllects it, will then deposit the balance into the above nominated account. The problem is the money isn't yours for at least 30 days where they can rescind the payment. So not only have you lost your car, you have also given them money for frieght.

    I haven't been caught, but someone out there, not using these avenues for sale, might get stung quite badly.

    The emails originate from either gmail or hotmail.

    Just a heads up if anyone is selling cars to only transact on a personal level.

    Regards
    Andrew

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew D View Post
    Thanks Jim.

    There is the flip side when you are selling a car too. I have put a few cars up for sale in recent times and been contacted by overseas callers offering to buy the car using paypal, western union and paybycash. The scammers sometimes ask you to pay the frieght to ship the car and then once the agent colllects it, will then deposit the balance into the above nominated account. The problem is the money isn't yours for at least 30 days where they can rescind the payment. So not only have you lost your car, you have also given them money for frieght.

    I haven't been caught, but someone out there, not using these avenues for sale, might get stung quite badly.

    The emails originate from either gmail or hotmail.

    Just a heads up if anyone is selling cars to only transact on a personal level.

    Regards
    Andrew
    There have been so many of these buyers responding to French ads,usually in bad French that I have found sellers very reluctant to respond to Australians, genuine or not.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    There have been so many of these buyers responding to French ads,usually in bad French that I have found sellers very reluctant to respond to Australians, genuine or not.
    Yes, well I experienced that non-response despite the assistance of a helpful Frenchman. Mind you, my Google Translate French was probably no worse than their Google Translate English would have been. Anyway, quite infuriating from a genuine buyer point of view no matter how understandable their suspicion might be.

    When doing similar negotiations for an Alpine GT4 in the States, one joy was a company that would contact the owner, inspect the car, check its ownership history, do the paperwork & money transfer, transport the car to the port & ship it to Australia. Not sure if Europe has that but, if not, such a company sounds like a nice commercial opportunity. I didn't proceed but that was only because the car sold to someone else mid negotiations.

    cheers! Peter

  5. #5
    JBN
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    On a slightly different tack, Club Cassis (France) wouldn't accept payment for 2CV parts using Mastercard (because Australie was too far away!!!) but suggested I send a cheque instead (in AUD ???? or what???).

    John
    Sydney Convict Colony, Australie

  6. #6
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I find myself vulnerable to car sales scams. I see an interesting looking car, take it for a test drive, hand over my hard-earned cash, and end up with yet enother car I don't need.

    Roger

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    On a slightly different tack, Club Cassis (France) wouldn't accept payment for 2CV parts using Mastercard (because Australie was too far away!!!) but suggested I send a cheque instead (in AUD ???? or what???).

    John
    Sydney Convict Colony, Australie
    I'll have a word with them, that was some junior. Although the smartcard was invented in France, cheques remain extremely popular. I am at the epoq'auto show at Lyon and nearly all the stands take cash or cheque and hardly any have a card reader. The preferred card here is Visa, it has an easier security system and low commission.
    Think Global - Ride on Spheres

  8. #8
    JBN
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    Thanks Gerry, but I get the same things via 2CViking and he takes Mastercard. Also he is a friend (he calls me bastard) so I prefer to do business with him.


    John

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Bad Bertie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    I find myself vulnerable to car sales scams. I see an interesting looking car, take it for a test drive, hand over my hard-earned cash, and end up with yet enother car I don't need.

    Roger
    I am like that, but it is still better that way than being a gambler?

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