Fraud surrounding the Used Car market has been a serious nuisance for decades. Thieves pose as both buyers and sellers in an attempt to con innocent victims, who should take every precaution to stay safe.
The good news is that staying safe when buying or selling a used car is relatively simple. Many of the scammers’ tricks have been around for years and you can protect yourself rather easily.
The two types of crime are easily split into two groups. The fraudulent sellers will try to sell you a car that they don’t own. They will ask for a deposit and then simply vanish into thin air. The other is a buyer who has an ulterior motive…to steal your car!
NEVER transfer any cash amount without seeing the vehicle first. Make sure you have done your research and there is no doubt the seller is genuine.
It sounds obvious, but as a seller never allow someone to test drive your vehicle on their own. Don’t be fooled by them offering to leave their keys as security as these could be worthless. Also, never leave them alone with your car. Be sure to stay with them at all times and never give them a chance to make a quick exit in your vehicle. Not leaving the keys in the ignition at any time is a good starting point.
Before allowing any form of test drive be sure to thoroughly check their driving license and of course insurance cover. Never leave this to chance!
When it comes to making payments ensure this is done face to face if you’re buying a car. If you’re selling never accept personal cheques.
Latest Scam Warnings:
- PayPal Scam – often scammers will attempt to purchase your car via a PayPal account, usually for the full amount. Be very cautious in these situations, as it could be a fraudster. They could have easily created a fake account using a stolen credit card, which will land you in all sorts of mess. Be sure to meet them face-to-face and take payment in the same way.
- Online Buying Company – This scam is very sneaky and often hard to spot as the ‘company’ involved can look very professional. In short you will be contact and offered a reasonable price for your used car. You will then be directed to a website and asked to supply all the details about the vehicle. They then arrange a collection date and a holding deposit, refundable after the purchase has been finalized. Of course this never takes place and your car is never collected. As for your deposit this is long gone.
- Avoid Hard To Reach Sellers – If somebody has a car for sale, they are usually very contactable. If then after repeated diversions to voicemail you get no response, be very cautious. May scammers will want to keep all correspondence to e-mail only, simply to carry out theft as outlined above. They will use every trick in the book to stay off the phone so be warned.
- Undervalued Cars – Be careful if you think you have found an absolute bargain. Yes you do find some great value vehicles on CarsFromKent, however if it looks too good to be true then it probably is. Scammers will try anything to entice you to their supposed car.
- Sellers Abroad – This is a very common trick. Sellers often value cars very competitively and claim they want a quick sale due to moving over seas. Once they have your attention they will attempt to rip you off. Be sure to carry out all the regular checks and procedures no matter how much of a rush they are in.
- CarsFromKent DOES NOT arrange delivery of vehicles on behalf of any seller. We do not arrange the transfer of funds. If a seller informs you otherwise then report them immediately.
- CarsFromKent DO NOT sell used cars. We simply advertise them on behalf of third party sellers. If someone tells you that we are the owners this is not true and should be reported immediately.
If you would like any more information or advice regarding the buying or selling of used cars, please read the following articles: