Guide To Avoiding Internet Fraud
Here at CarBuyingTips.com we are continually scanning the internet to stay up to date on all of the latest online fraud. We get tons of feedback from our visitors and we see these frauds popping up over and over again. We put together this page so that you will be able to avoid becoming a victim of one of these devastating scams.
- Never use Western Union to pay for a car. I don't care how good the deal seems or what a seller tells you, don't do it!
- Search the VIN# from the ad in a search engine and see if it already has been sold or is listed somewhere else, if it is then the ad is fraudulent
- Never buy a car if the seller offers to pay a shipping charge
- Don't buy from another country unless you will complete the transaction in person
- Watch out for American car listings with "USD" next to the price in the ad
- Watch out for auctions requiring "Bidder Pre-Approval"
- Never respond to 2nd chance offers on eBay, most are frauds. Many vehicle sellers on eBay have warnings about this
The most important thing to watch out for is a "seller" that sends you an email telling you to use an escrow service. Specifically, beware of being told to use "eBay Payment agents," "Yahoo Payment Agents," "US Amy Protection Services" or "Google Checkout." Not one of these entities provides any type of escrow or payment services for a used car sale. Also, if a seller offers to pay to ship you a car I will guarantee you that it is a fraud. Don't fall for sob stories like a seller that claims to be a member of the military who is out of the country.
Escrow services are trusted third parties who hold the money until the goods are received by the buyer. However, many scammers set up fake escrow services to steal your money.
- Consider every escrow company to be fraudulent until you have proven them to be real (literally 99% are fraudulent)
- If the deal seems to good to be true then I guarantee you it is a scam
- Don't use any escrow service that the seller recommends or asks you to use, if you need one then you pick the service
- The real Escrow.com would never email you Western Union wiring instructions
- Beware when a seller tells you to email him your name and address, and then emails you back a transaction tracking number from an escrow service
- Any "escrow site" that tells you to fax your payment confirmation is a fraud
- PayPal is not an escrow service
- Don't get suckered in by the professional look of an escrow company website
Actual scammer email we got from a "seller" on Yahoo! Autos
To: Reply to Yahoo!Autos Ad
Subject: Re: Reply to ad: 2004 BMW M3, posted on Yahoo! Autos
Thank you for your interest in purchasing my BMW M3.The car price is only 12500 USD and the price inclued all the shipping taxes.The car is regesterid in U.S. but located in London U.K. whit me and my family becouse i am in U.S. Marine serving our country here in London.After i finish the mision here i want to spend the rest of my life in London.The title is clear that way you will not have any problems to regesterid in your name. Since this is an over seas purchase and in order for both parts to be safe we will use a third party to make this deal. The car will be shipped by Luftransa Air Cargo and she will be delivred at your home address in 8 days. I will send you whit the car the Title in original and the Bill Of Sale
Email me back ASAP if you are realy interested to my beutiful car.
If you determine the escrow site the seller sent you to is a fake, don't ask the seller to use another escrow site, he is in on the scam! There is no car for sale, it's all a fake. Many victims just don't get it. The seller is behind the whole scam.