I received a rather alarming mail the other day from a lady who attempted to buy a used vehicle but was a victim of an elaborate con from a fraudster who lured her in with the promise of a good deal. Perhaps she contacted me because the very name of the brand that I work suggests that I will be able to help her, anyway, I digress. These confidence tricksters will do anything to try and secure some money or personal information from you. Gone are the days of these people using bad grammar and overly-complicated tales of how they need you to hold on to millions of dollars for them from a Prince in a foreign land.
These days their stories seem perfectly plausible, and the amount of money that they request is often reasonable. The example that I will use comes from the person who was scammed and promptly mailed me. The seller that she wanted to buy the car from requested a small amount of cash from the buyer to secure a road worthy for the vehicle as this person allegedly had no money for the inspection. The fact that this person wanted close to R2000 for a simple inspection should have raised some alarm bells however the biggest mistake that the buyer made was not finding out any personal details from the buyer, or even attempting to view the vehicle before transferring the money.
I was just grateful that she didn’t pay for the entire car to be honest. It was definitely a hard lesson learned for one of our readers. The purpose of writing this piece is not only to rant about my personal experience but also to raise awareness surrounding these scams and prevent as many people as possible from falling for the same tricks. Here are a few tips that will help you when buying a used vehicle from someone.
These are just a few simple precations that you can take that may save you money or prevent you from finding yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Stay safe out there and remember, if it sounds too good to be true or your gut is telling you to walk away, just walk away. We are in a buyer's market, there are many vehicles for sale, so take your time and find the right car and deal for you.