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Online Vehicle Sale Fraud

The authorities have our ear when they warn consumers that criminals may post scammy online classified advertisements presenting vehicles for sale that are not, nor ever have been, theirs. The scam adverts generally include photos tallying with the vehicle’s description and a phone number or email address to get in touch with the purported seller. 

Online Vehicle Sale Fraud is undoubtedly an engaging theme that will be rewarded perpetually, considering scammers have been able to use copycat versions of the most impactful such scam. 

Common reasons for above mentioned discounted price and sudden urgency: 

  • The seller is in the military or simply moving; 
  • A divorce settlement gave the seller the vehicle; 
  • A recently deceased relative willed the car to the seller. 

The criminal makes the transaction take on legitimacy by deceivingly claiming association with a company of repute. The scammer can assure that the transaction will take place via the third party’s buyer protection program. The fraudster might go as far as to send a scammy toll-free number that impersonates said the third party. The buyer has to buy prepaid gift cards in the sale amount and share the card codes with the scammer, who subsequently notifies the buyer that the vehicle will be in a few days. Post-transaction completion, the scammer generally turns a deaf ear to all follow-up calls, text messages, or emails from the buyer.

Conversely, he may try to coax further payments from the scammed buyer. Naturally, the vehicle stays undelivered. Loss recovery is not an option for the scammed. 

Online Vehicle Sale Fraud, or the virtual vehicle scam 

The virtual vehicle scam has become one of the oft-repeated used car scams. The thrust of the fraud is that the proffered car does not exist for sale, the advert having been cloned from some obscure place. This scam, as a rule, is concerned with placing an online advert on a popular trade site to haul in a dewy-eyed customer. 

Virtual vehicle scam: mechanics 

The advert will draw in a buyer by purporting to feature an in-demand make and model of car, with mileage well below average and a price tag a tad bit below average. The vehicle itself is HPI clear. The seller asks an exciting party to get in touch with him via phone or email, craftily sidestepping the safe contact methods used by classified websites.  escort ataköy

The car will be purported to be sold thru a car dealer of some standing. However, the associated phone number goes to voicemail, and a personal email address is given to contact instead. 

After opening email communications, he will try to draw a large deposit, naturally before the customer seeing the car. Regardless of the premise, the scammer is concentrated on getting your credit card/bank details out. 

The aftermath of having been led up the garden path 

The scammed can be defrauded of any amount, to the tune of the value of the fashionable car in contention. To add insult to injury, you will never lay your eyes on the car. 

Sidestepping the virtual vehicle scam

  • Be wary always of any car being sold alongside a tall story, especially those involving the ‘leaving the country’ ploy; 
  • Take a good long gander at the car first, then consider if you must transfer at all any sum to sellers whose truthfulness you cannot yet swear by;
  •  Carefully weigh the seller’s offer – is the guy rational? Is there a deliberate attempt to grab your interest, rather, to bait you ‘hook, line, and sinker?; 
  • If the seller insists the car is abroad and is doing all he can to avoid your viewing it – cut off talks. There ought to be no reason a viewing would be impossible – how else would you know what you are buying?; 
  • At the cost of coughing up a few hundred quids, take your trade to a car dealer of repute. Obtain from trucking with suspicious sellers mouthing dubious offers. 

How to totally sidestep an online vehicle sale fraud 

  • Does it appear too good to be true? It most likely is!; 
  • Put the internet to use in researching the advertised product, besides the seller’s name, email address, phone numbers, and other one-of-a-kind identifiers; 
  • Employ the internet to research the seller’s contact info stated shipping and payment policies prior to transaction completion. Ascertain the legitimacy of said contact info and that the seller/company accepts the asked-for payment option; 
  • Sidestep sellers who are disinterested in meeting in person or those who are deliberately avoiding the prospective buyer’s physically viewing and assessing the offered vehicle; 
  • Insist on seeing the vehicle’s VIN, license plate, and the individual’s name to whom the car is registered; 
  • Scammers take extra pains to camouflage their moves. They may have legible words in their email name or website domain. In case you feel suspicious and uncertain about an email claiming to be from a legit business, find their business online and get in touch with them directly. 


Online vehicle sale fraud is just a template that it is having more avatars. There are so many possibilities to tweak a detail here, modify a move there. Therefore, it is best to prepare yourself beforehand so that this particular breed of scam, or its ilk, does not ever defraud you. Virtual vehicle scams are a pity but are also avoidable. We all lead virtual lives online. 

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