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Fraud car adverts on Autotrader

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I recently was involved in a fraudulent car sale attempt via Autotrader. I wondered if anyone else had been involved in one. My primary aim is to publicise and ensure others aren't conned.

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So what happened, can you tell your story so others are warned pse?

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So what happened was, I was looking for a new (second hand) car and browing the ads on Autotrader. Was looking for a small car for Mrs Presley and a Fiat 500 jumped out from the page as being top-spec, low mileage and a great price. There were quite a lot of photos and good description. One of the photos listed was just a screen-shot of a mobile phone number and email address. I emailed the lady, **Name removed ** asking for more details.


From then on there were various email exchanges where it transpired she was an air hostess that had recently moved from London to the Netherlands and was looking to sell her car. The price was cheap as she wanted a quick sale. I could either fly to Netherlands to view the car or she would have it delivered to the UK, at her expense where I could test drive, check all the registration documents and make a decision either way. All sounded good so far. Googling her name and the car registration checked out OK too.


Where it started to sound suspicious was her "safe payment choice". She said to protect us both, we would use an escrow service. I would pay the funds to Amazon Payments who would hold in for 7 days until I gave the approval to release if I wanted the car and only then would she get the money. Hmmmm.


I was now aware it was an attempted fraud so played along for a bit. She used the following excuses:


She couldn't take phone calls (because she was an air hostess and had to turn her phone off).

It wasn't allowed to drive a right hand drive car in the Netherlands.

She didn't have the registration documents for the car (as she'd already deposited these with Amazon).


She was keen to send pictures of the car and after a week she returned to say the price had dropped £500 too, in a desperate attempt to persaude me to make the payment.


The car is real and the registration is legit, the attempted fraud is that Amazon Payments doesn't exist. The safe payment you make is probably to some dodgy hustler in Eastern Europe or Nigeria. It was pretty well thought out and I was impressed with the background details (The Lady does indeed exist and work in the airline industry). If a deal sounds to good to be true, it probably is. I was grateful I had enough sense not to make any payment for the car but I know a lot of others have been caught out.


The ad came off Autotrader shortly after I saw it, so all my dealings were then with her off-line and direct.


Most consumers would know - never part with cash if you don't actually see the car and the V5 registration documents, but I know others have been duped into believing the story, thinking they were getting a great deal, trusting the escrow payment protection system and paying out.


I actually found it quite amusing in the end, but be warned.


I still have the emails from ST so can upload.

Edited by PresleyPlays
removed name

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Can't see the sense in removing the name from my post earlier. One of the points is this name stands out in future google searches for people selling dodgy cars.


Can I name a garage if I bought a dodgy car from them?

Can I name a shop that mistreated me?

Can I name an organisation I have an issue with?

Can I name a ficticious person who is attempting to defraud car buyers?


Many other forums are listing the names/email addresses of the fictitious individuals operating these schemes. You can google the name, Mr Joe Bloggs Car Fraud and be made aware of problems. This is not a real person remember!

Edited by PresleyPlays

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