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Scammers often try to post fraudulent For Sale ads in order to steal a deposit from unsuspecting buyers. If you suspect an ad on our site may be a scam, please contact us . Here are some things to watch out for:
Fraud Prevention Tips for Car Buyers
Very Low Prices - if the seller's asking price seems to good to be true, it probably is.
Out of Country - be very cautious if the seller claims to be in another country. Scammers often use this, combined with other fictitious personal circumstances, as an explanation for the low price on their ad.
Wrong Phone Number - scammers prefer to communicate by email only, and often provide an incorrect phone number or no phone number at all on their ad. If the wrong phone number is posted and the seller won't provide a working number, avoid the deal.
Request For Your Personal Information - inappropriate requests for your personal or financial information are definitely a warning sign, especially when requested early in the process.
Phony Escrow Companies - take extreme caution here. Scammers can easily create websites that look like legitimate escrow companies but are really just a front to try and get a deposit from you. Using a third party facilitator for long distance transactions is a good practice, but only use those that you already know and trust.
TimelessRides.com as a Third Party - TimelessRides.com DOES NOT provide escrow, take deposits, issue refunds or warehouse sellers items. TimelessRides.com provides ad listings only, and is never involved in the actual sale of an item
Wire Transfer - scammers will often request a deposit by wire transfer because it's fast and once they have the money, it's gone. Avoid wire or money transfers.
Fraud Prevention Tips for Car Sellers
Sellers must also take precautions to avoid scams. For your own privacy DO NOT type your email address in the vehicle description area. When contacted, sellers should watch for the following:
Buyer Requests an Inspection - one scam involves a potential buyer requesting that the seller pay for a mechanical/technical inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase. The buyer then suggests a particular inspection company they prefer to use. After payment is sent, the buyer and inspection company are never heard from again. Do not pay for an inspection of your vehicle at a buyer's request. If an inspection is requested, the buyer should pay for it. If you do decide to pay for an inspection, never use a service recommended by the buyer.
A known perpetrator of this scam claims to be with Helping Hands Ministry. If you are contacted by anyone making this claim and they request an inspection of your vehicle at your expense, tell them you are not interested and hang up immediately.
Out of Country - be extemely cautious if the buyer claims to be in another country. This is the most common set up for a scam.
Buyer Has an "Agent" - scammers may claim to have an "agent" or "shipping agent" who is to arrange for the transport of the item, which usually ties into the next warning...
Buyer Sends Extra Funds - do not accept payment for MORE than the selling price of the item. The scammer will request that you forward the extra amount to their "agent" after depositing a cashier's check in your bank account. Of course, you're really just sending money back to the scammer. THIS IS A VERY OFEN USED SCAM.
Cashier's Checks - avoid accepting payment by cashier's check. Although your bank may accept the deposit, it may take 30 days for the check to clear. If it fails to clear the buyer may already be long gone with your item, or if you had sent money to the buyer's "agent" as above, you'll be out for whatever amount you sent.
Buyer is Representing a Client - this is another set up for a potential scam, similar to the "agent" scam listed above, but in this case the scammer is claiming to be the agent for a buyer.
Request For Your Personal Information - as mentioned in the above tips for buyers, early requests for your personal or banking information should arouse suspicion.
Phony Escrow Companies - also mentioned in the buyer's tips above. We do recommend using a legal third party facilitator for long distance transactions, but only use those that you already know and trust.
Emails Only - be very skeptical of anyone who will ONLY communicate by email. Scammers tend to avoid telephone conversations at all costs. They also tend to use free email accounts from providers like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, and others.
About the Author
Daniel Fehn is a web designer, a huge classic car and truck fan, and a wannabe mechanic currently living in Minneapolis, MN. I designed and built timelessrides.com so I could share my enthusiasm for classic vehicles, and created the classified ads section for all to buy and sell their rides for FREE.
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