The pandemic has driven many consumers to do their shopping online, including automobile purchases. Troy Baker from the Better Business Bureau shares why we need to be extra vigilant and take it slow before we speed right into a scam.
“Be on the lookout for ‘too good to be true’ prices,” says Baker. “99% of the time, it’s a scam”. Scammers tend to get away with these tricks in various ways. First, the items they are selling are too far away to be seen in person. “If you aren’t allowed to see the item, it most likely doesn’t exist. Scammers can pull the photos from anywhere,” explained Baker.
Then, to justify their “cheap” pricing, they prey on your emotions. Often times they say they are in the military and will be heading out on another tour, and they need to get rid of the item fast.
To make it even more difficult to spot a faker, they will direct you to a website that looks like a credible site. “They’ll ask you to send you money to a third party delivery service,” Baker warned. “The site is covered with official logos, and reviews, so it can trick the buyer into sending money right to the scammers”.
In order to protect yourself, Baker gave the following suggestions:
- Do your research beforehand. You can use the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker to help in your search for a reliable seller.
- Ask a family member or friend to help. A second pair of eyes can help spot something wrong.
- Don’t be pressured into making an immediate decision about your purchase.
- When using eBay, Facebook, or other reputable selling sites to make purchases, make sure you communicate and do the transactions through the site you found the item on. Scammers tend to want to take the communication to phone calls or personal texts. This makes you vulnerable, and not protected by the original site’s policies.
For more information about protecting yourself from being scammed, click here.
To see a list of found scammers, or to report a scam, click here.
Click here to learn more about the dangers of virtual vehicle transactions.
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