One of the most interesting results of the covid pandemic is people are now more trusting when it comes to shopping online. However, that opens the door for them to fall victim to scams. Sadly there has been an alarming rise in the number of scammers trying to catch people out with used cars. We want to have a look at it today so you know what to be careful of. Plus, we always recommend you work with a professional car broker or reliable dealer if you want to make a purchase.
The most alarming rise has been in the number of scam sales on social media platforms and eBay. There are reports they have grown by a whopping 70%.
A common scam here is people create listings for vehicles that don’t exist. What they do is take pictures of real cars, vans, or motorbikes. This makes it look like an actual vehicle is for sale. However, in the majority of cases it is a complete lie.
What the scammers do here is wait until they get interest from an unsuspecting buyer. They then pressure them to pay a deposit or the whole amount. They may even lie about there being other interest to get people to commit. Generally they ask for a bank transfer so they can get away with the money. Once you pay, the listing and seller can disappear.
What to do?
Sadly people do fall for scams like this, especially when the listings look real and the sellers seem genuine. However, there are some important things to look for to protect yourself. Plus, as we said above, you can work with a car broker or reputable dealer. It is easier to avoid the risk of a scam if you don’t deal directly with a seller.
One thing you should always do is check the vehicle’s details. You can use the DVLA service to make sure the registration number, make, and model match their records. If not, the vehicle isn’t legit and you should avoid it.
Secondly, you should always look at the vehicle before you do anything. You shouldn’t even pay a deposit without first being able to see it in person. Ideally, you should view it at the registered address for further proof it is real.
It is fantastic that we can use so many different methods to pay for goods and services today. However, card payments are generally the most secure. You get more protection than with bank transfers or cash payments.
Finally, if you fall victim to a scam you need to act quickly. It can be possible to stop the payment if you speak to your bank. Sometimes you can contact the seller’s provider too and report the account number. Even if the money is not recovered, many banks offer protection against these kinds of scams. You may be able to get a full reimbursement if you can prove you did sufficient due diligence.
Do you want to be a car broker?
The number of scams is a big issue for buyers, but it makes good dealers and brokers look better. They can get a lot more business if people don’t feel comfortable buying from private sellers anymore.
If you are thinking of a new career path or want to start your own business, broking could be perfect for you. The UK is a great place to be a car broker because the second hand market is so big. There are plenty of buyers and dealers looking for vehicles. You could earn a lot by supporting them.
You can learn more about broking on our website. Then, we have some fantastic materials to help you start and operate your business.