SELLING YOUR CAR WATCH OUT FOR A NEW SCAM

SELLING YOUR CAR WATCH OUT FOR A NEW SCAM

Posted on 18. Aug, 2010 in Clayton Update

Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson today warned Victorians looking to sell their cars privately to watch out for con artists offering to find buyers for a fee.  

Mr Robinson said private car sales advertised in newspapers, magazines and online could be targeted by scammers claiming to represent interested buyers and asking for a so-called refundable fee for bringing buyers and sellers together.

However, the scammers simply abscond with the fee, leaving the seller out of pocket.

Mr Robinson urged sellers approached out of the blue with this kind of offer to ignore it, as it is an internationally-recognised scam.

“The Brumby Labor Government wants Victorians to be aware of the latest scams and rip-offs so they can take extra care to protect their finances and property,” Mr Robinson said.

“This scam is known as car matching and has been widely reported in the United Kingdom, where it has cost unwary car sellers an estimated £3 million since 2008.

“Thinking they will get a quick sale, sellers hand over money for a so-called finders’ fee, only to discover the promised buyer doesn’t exist and neither does the promised refund.”

Mr Robinson said Victorians looking to sell their car should consider selling it through a licensed motor car dealership or at auction through one of the major car auction houses, to avoid this sort of fraud.

“If you decide to sell your car privately, never to provide personal or financial details to anyone you don’t know or trust and never pay money up front for a finders’ fee,” he said.

“Always insist on a bank cheque or some other form of direct payment before handing over the car.

“Scams often look and sound genuine.  But don’t be fooled – always remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

For more information about scams, buying or selling a car, or to dob-in a suspected scam, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 or visit www.consumer.vic.gov.au

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