Be aware of spoof emails claiming ‘buyer protection’
Action fraud advice > 2015
Online auction websites are being used by fraudsters to advertise vehicles for sale which do not exist.
The fraudster advertises on an auction website and gets their victim to agree to purchase a vehicle, making sure that all correspondence is done via email. The victim then receive emails which claim to be from genuine payment merchants or auction websites which state that the money they have paid for the vehicle will be held in an ‘escrow account’.
The email indicates the money will be released to the seller, once the person has confirmed that they’re happy with the purchase. The email says that this will provide the person with ‘buyer protection’. In reality these emails are fraudulent, they don’t come from the named companies and the bank accounts are controlled by fraudsters.
- Always stay within the terms and conditions of the auction websites.
- Remember that PayPal do not include vehicles under their buyer protection.
- Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money.
- Be vigilant of emails that purport to be from genuine companies and check the ‘domain’ name of the email address for any inconsistencies.
- Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
- If the vehicle is below market value consider whether this is an opportunity which is too good to be true!