Be aware and watch out for criminals who are currently using Facebook Marketplace to advertise things that aren’t theirs to sell. These on-line criminals are using stolen photos or videos of real vehicles or items to try and convince buyers to part with their money.
How the scam works:
- You click on an advert for an item or vehicle you like the look of and start a conversation with the seller. They reassure you through their messages that everything’s genuine.
- They might even share official looking contracts. Or give details of money-back guarantees.
- They’ll ask you to pay money upfront. They may ask for a deposit to secure the deal. But it could be for the total amount of the purchase. They’ll ask you to make the payment by bank transfer.
- After you send the money the contact stops and the seller disappears.
Not only are you without a new vehicle or the item you thought you bought, but you’ve lost your money.
Remember when purchasing a car or van on-line:
- A photo or video isn’t proof the vehicle or item exists. Make sure you have it in your possession before making any payment.
- In the case of a car or van, follow the government’s advice on purchasing a used vehicle. This includes completing an HPI vehicle check for essential information about the vehicle.
- Buying from a reputable vehicle sales site? If so, stick to their dedicated advice and processes on ways to pay for your vehicle.
- Research the seller and read the reviews. Compare several review sites to help rule out any fake reviews left by the criminals.
For more information on fraud and scams please visit this website. Take Five provides a wealth of useful information: https://www.takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/