With the advancement of technology, the Internet has enabled buyers and sellers of cars to buy and sell cars on various online platforms. Most of these online platforms offer car reviews, online vehicle history reports, detailed car listings, and many other features to aid buyers and sellers of cars to get the deal through. On the flip side, fraudsters have also found a new venue to prey on auto-buying victims. According to Bernama, a total of 461 cases of online car scams were reported in the first five months of 2021, involving losses of over RM5.4 million! Here are a few examples of online scams that you should watch out for!

The “Too Good to Be True” scam

Prospective buyers may come across an attractive-looking car for a price that is well below its market value. When the buyer contacts the seller, a notification of the seller of the car is currently outside of the country will be received by the buyer. As such, an arrangement for shipment of the car will be done upon receipt of payment via wire transfer. Once the money is transferred to the seller, the buyer will be left with empty pockets without the new ride he or she hoped to get.

Fraudsters secretly collecting your information

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a distinctive set of numbers and characters allocated to every car upon its production. The car’s VIN enables genuine potential buyers to determine the car’s provenance by running a background check on it, getting information such as where it was serviced and how often and for what. However, if anyone sneakily proceeds to ask for other financial information, such as a bank account number, social insurance number, PayPal information, passwords, or credit card details, never reveal it.

The overpayment scam

A legitimate seller posts a car for sale. A prospective “buyer” (actually a fraudster) offers to send a cashier’s check immediately plus additional funds to cover shipment of the car overseas. The seller is then instructed to deposit the cashier’s check and wire the overage to the “shipper.” Once the transaction is completed, the “buyer” breaks contract and the seller is left hooked to their bank for the fraudulent check and the missing funds.

The fake “certified” cheque or bank draft scam

Fraudsters will act as buyers and use forged “certified bank cheques” and offer a slightly higher amount than the asking price to make the deal more tempting. Under normal circumstances, sellers are assured that buyers have sufficient funds in their bank account by the bank to cover the transaction amount with any certified cheque.

However, the forgery of these cheques were so good that it may be undetected. They then hand them to the seller who then deposits the cheque and signs over the car’s title or ships the car with the papers. By the time the banker finds out that the cheques are forged, the car is no longer in possession of the seller!Looking for a secured platform to buy or sell your car? Look no further! Visit www.ezauto.my to learn more about our car bidding platform to get the best deal today!