£12.5k for a non-existant car

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A Hampshire man handed over £12.5k for a non existant car according the the Daily Express today. Sadly as is often the case it was an off-eBay deal and he fell for spoof emails. Even the fact the unsolicited communications came from a total stanger in Slovakia wasn’t warning enough as an email purporting to be from eBay Trust & Safety followed with instructions on how to pay safely.

I’ve always been dumbfounded why people fall for these scams. Firstly they often sound too good to be true, and they are! Secondly why would you pay in full for a car that you’ve never even seen? It’s not unreasonable to pay a deposit but would you send £12.5k to a stranger based on an advert in your local paper?

If you’ve not placed a bid on eBay then you’re not buying on eBay, that also holds true for Classified Ad Format listings. If you’re going to make a purchase off eBay please do not send a significant sum of money to someone you don’t know for something you’ve never seen.

The only good news on this story so far is that the buyers bank, Nat West, is attempting to trace the money however if it’s already moved abroad retrieving it won’t be easy.

The buyer wants his story told and said “I always thought I was cautious but this has been a hard lesson, I just hope my experience will stop others being trapped.”

7 Responses

  1. I have been looking for a car for a few days, and to be fair to Ebay I have not come across any obvious cons, on the other hand I have seen at least half a dozen on Autotrader, Maybe Ebay are policing this side of the business better now and the rogues are moving elsewhere.

  2. Hey Dave, that’s great news! I bought my truck on eBay from eBay classifieds with no problems at all. It was a dealer, I paid a £500 deposit by debit card over the phone and the balance by debit card when I picked it up.

    There’s absolutely no reason why it’s not safe to buy on eBay so long as you’re as sensible as you would be buying from the likes of Autotrader 🙂

  3. I really do laugh at the people who fall for these scams. My ex-bosses daughter though she was buying a new Mini One for £2000. I really did laugh at all the print outs she showed me.

    Ebay & autotrader is pretty rife with people selling cars at stupidly low rates with a huge banner in the middle saying “im not in work for a few days so dont click ask seller a question please mail me to [email protected]“.

    What is even more worrying is the trend of people turning up to view/buy a car with cash and then being held at gun point in England and being relieved of their cash.

    However ive bought and sold many a car on ebay and autotrader and if you follow simple common sense you cant go wrong.

    But who can you trust these days?

  4. whats new its not ebay that is at fault,
    people are robbed of their money every day

    or programs like watchdog, and agencies such as trading standards ,and the office of fairtrade would not be around

  5. “What is even more worrying is the trend of people turning up to view/buy a car with cash and then being held at gun point in England and being relieved of their cash.”

    What trend is this? I hadn’t heard of it, but then I don’t read the papers much..

  6. ““What is even more worrying is the trend of people turning up to view/buy a car with cash and then being held at gun point in England and being relieved of their cash.”

    Great I am off to Glasgow with a sack of cash to buy a car

    its in Scotland

  7. God help you northumbrian you know what those Scottish Gangsters are like! (only joking in case any Scots are reading this)

    Ive read a few cases of this happening in England over the past year.

    Even more stories here in Northern Ireland of people texting numbers from the autotrader saying something along the lines of “yeah we have a load of 42″ Panasonic Plasma’s for £300 each call me quick Dave if you want some”. Off they pop to buy some TVs and find out they are quickly scammed.

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