Monday, December 01, 2008

Warning: UK fraudsters target online car sales

I am selling my car and posted on Autotrader last weekend. So far I received no less than 4 scam emails from crooks trying to part me from my cash. Fortunately, I did my research and came across this excellent explanation from Jim at Autoshippers UK. I am trying to summarise it here but please read his comprehensive post.

The typical scam involves a "buyer" purporting to be a garage wanting to pay the price and pay you extra for you to pay his shipping agent directly. Say you sell your car for £5K and shipping costs £500. You accept his offer, receive a cheque for the car plus extra for the shipping (£5.5K). Your bank informs you that the cheque has been paid to your account. You pay the shipping agent as instructed for £500, usually through Moneygram. A few days later, your bank informs you that the cheque has bounced and withdraws the amount from your account. Leaving you with having paid "shipping fees" of £500 to some unknown untraceable "shipping agent".

You have been warned.


Anonymous said...

Joel, that is a terrible story. I hope you manage to sell your car. I advertised mine recently and the car market has fallen off a cliff due to the credit crunch. It's a great time to buy but a poor time to sell.

Joël Céré said...

So true. Fortunately I did not fall into the trap but it is amazing the amount of scams I received just from posting on one website. Car is still for sale but it has only be 4 days so I am still hopeful.