A SPECIAL REPORT - My Big Con
Last week I was looking for a BMW Convertible for a client
when I came across an advert for this absolutely amazing bargain:
to see the advert
I contacted the seller via email (as
they suggested in their advert) and asked lots of probing questions. The answers just made
the car seem better and better!
As you will read in the copy of our
email exchange the seller even suggested a fair and reasonable payment system because he
was overseas at the time. Thankfully, I know enough to realise that the payment system he
suggested doesn't exist, so I spotted the chap for the fraudster he was... that and the fact
that the asking price was well under half the market value.
In all seriousness, I regularly see adverts like this and knew what I was dealing with right
from the start, but many people do not... and I wondered how dangerous this scam would be if run
by someone with a little more 'marketing' expertise.
MY SECRET EXPERIMENT
So, I found an out of date advert online for a car with desirable specification. I copied the
photos, concocted a story about why the car was so cheap (but not too cheap to arouse suspicion)
and placed an advert on the Auto Trader website:
Click here to see
MY fake advert
I even bought a mobile phone sim card (for £1), recorded a bogus voicemail message (call
07906 784066 to hear this) and set-up a new email address.
Within a matter of hours my voicemail was full, plus I had received 5 text enquiries and
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID BEING CAUGHT OUT?
Regardless of how great the bargain seems:
1) Never agree anything until you have actually spoken with the seller.
2) Do not pay any money until you have actually seen the car yourself or have had someone 'on
your side' look at it for you, e.g. an independent vehicle inspector. (This is unless the car is
at an Approved main dealer, or large car showroom.)
Of course you could always use an extremely popular Car Finding Service with an amazing reputation
(and modest Founder), but I am not too sure where you would find one of those...