Spotting a scam

One of our Pricewatch volunteers, Keith Belcher, has seen a number of online scam vehicle offers over recent months and over the last 10 days he feels that one offering an MGBGTV8 has some of typical features of a scam. Here he sets out some of the things to look for. Scammers can be very convincing, so take care.

See our earlier scam article
Suspected fraudster selling V8 parts & then whole car. 180701 More

Updated: 190612
  Keith says "the V8 Webmaster occasionally has requests from members seeking information on the history of Factory MGV8s offered for sale but sometimes they do not divulge the car's source or where it is advertised. Some members are attracted to fraudulent listings on eBay. There has been a recent spate of such listings, so it is worth a short guide to what to look for so you can spot suspicious online offers".

These online adverts will usually have the same main indicators:
1.
Headline price is either an exceptionally low starting price or at best a bargain price for the car pictured.
2.
Seller will often have many listings. If you take time to look at the sellers other listings there will be many, sometimes hundreds or even a couple of thousand other vehicles which will include Campers, Trucks and Construction Equipment.
3.
Prominent email address. This is the big giveaway; there will be an email address prominent in the description. There will also be something like “Please contact me atinviting you to make contact outside the eBay messaging service.
4.
Often there will be a low "Buy it Now Price" or "No reserve" included and the price will be prefixed by GBP. Should you make email contact you will receive a polite email reply explaining the urgency for a sale - something like "I have moved to Germany for work and my car is in the Shetlands" - or some far away inaccessible place.
5.
Encourage you to transfer funds. The seller will assure you of their integrity and that will arrange for the vehicle to be delivered or shipped and then ask you to send the funds direct to their bank account. They will explain that the car will be shipped to you and you will have seven days to reject it. If you are reticent they will sometimes send you a picture of their driving licence. If you question sending funds direct they sometimes offer to list the car as a “Buy it now” listing offering Paypal payment.
Care - risk of a virus
Should you make an initial email enquiry you risk the sender adding a virus, hidden keystroke logger or software which will infect your device to allow them to access your personal and/or bank details. If you agree the Paypal route, after you reply that you agree they will send you a fake Paypal invoice which if you click it, it can be used to glean your Paypal login and password.

Should you make any form of payment, rest assured your funds will immediately be transferred far out of reach - and guess what the car will never arrive and your funds irretrievable.

There are many forms of this scam so beware, you have been warned.