Buyer and Seller Fraud Protection
911uk Purchase Protection Scam
It has come to our attention that there is a possibility that Scammers may try and use the 911uk name to attempt to lure you into parting with your money. This is a variation on the Fake Escrow Scam detailed below, with the twist that the escrow site pretends to be associated with 911uk and that the seller is supposedly verified by 911uk.
911uk has notified the relevant authorities and has requested that the website the scammers use be closed down. In the meantime please be on your guard and be aware that 911uk does not offer any approved seller scheme, purchase protection program nor do we offer payment or transaction protection. If in any doubt note that 911uk correspondance will only ever be sent from an email address ending @911uk.com
911uk must strenuously assert the following:
THE "911uk Cars Vehicle Purchase Protection Program" AND SIMILAR SYSTEMS DO NOT EXIST. THIS IS NOTHING TO DO WITH 911UK. IT IS AN ATTEMPT TO DEFRAUD. YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO DELETE THE E-MAIL AND NOT TO ENTER INTO ANY COMMUNICATION WITH THE SENDER WHATSOEVER.
911uk are closely engaged with our internet security colleagues to take further action on this matter. 911uk take the welfare of our users extremely seriously and we hate the idea that our name is being abused in this way - and we definitely do not want anyone to be defrauded because of it.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. The used car market for almost all cars is extremely liquid and a cursory glance at Auto Trader listings or price guides like Parkers will immediately reveal what that market price is. Any car offered for significantly less than this is likely to have major issues:
- The car may be stolen.
- It may have outstanding payments due on it.
- It may have major crash damage.
- The car may not exist at all (as in the above example) and is a pure invitation for you to send a fraudster money and for them to vanish without trace.
The world might be a better place if it was full of people who legitimately sold things to complete strangers for far less that the market has decided they are worth, out of the goodness of their heart. But this is not our world. As ever on the internet as in life please take great care in all financial dealings with people you don't know. If it smells wrong, it almost certainly is. If it looks too good to be true, unfortunately it almost certainly is.
Even if the car seems appropriately priced you should NEVER send money to people you haven't even talked to, to buy a car you have never even seen, supposedly located in another country. There is an army of people out there who will happily take your money and disappear into the electronic ether - please do not keep them in work. If you have been in touch with these criminals, please forward all their e-mails etc. with additional information to email@example.com.
Latest Scam Warning! If replying to any advert whether on 911uk or any other car site, please be aware of the latest scams that are in operation.
- 911uk.com does not offer cars for sale; we only host adverts on behalf of private and trade sellers and do not hold cars ourselves. If a seller tells you that 911uk.com is the seller we can confirm this is not the case and the matter should be reported to us.
- 911uk.com DOES NOT organise the delivery of any cars, and we DO NOT handle the transfer of funds. If you receive an email claiming 911uk.com is involved in your transaction we can confirm these emails are fraudulent and should be ignored no matter how genuine they may appear.
- Be suspicious of cars that are undervalued; if a deal appears too good to be true it often is. We appreciate that some cars are cheaper than others, but be wary of vehicles that are priced significantly under market value.
- Be suspicious of sellers who claim to have moved abroad and are looking for a quick sale as a result, as this is a common scam technique being used at the moment. Also be on your guard for sellers who claim to be working overseas.
- Never contact a seller directly using an email address they have written on their photographs or submitted within the advert text. All 911uk.com adverts offer a legitimate way of contacting a seller via every advert. Unscrupulous sellers often ask you to contact them using other addresses as these bypass our automated fraud warnings sent if we suspect a seller is not genuine.
- Never send money via an unsecure method of payment like Western Union Money Transfer.
- Where ever possible, deal face to face and always view the car before progressing with a deal.
Protect Yourself from Scammers
|Its a sad fact of life that there
are unscrupulous pondlife around who attempt to exploit others' good nature
for their own gain, and although we haven't currently had any of this
walking scum here they have been known to target for sale websites around
the net, so forewarned is forearmed.
The following is not meant to scare you but will provide you with the knowledge to ensure that you don't add your name to the growing list
of people caught out in fake buyer scams.
Lets start at the beginning -
these guys very rarely actually want your items. Hang on, if you're
selling items, how on earth would they get your money too? Easy, they
pay you too much in the first place and then politely request the 'excess'
Exactly how it works will vary from one scammer to the next, but the
usual pattern works like this:
An inevitably very enthusiastic buyer will get in touch usually by email
(the scammers can't usually afford foreign phone calls), offering to buy
your items. He won't haggle, the asking price is absolutely fine. He'll
entice you into a string of emails back and forth during which he'll become
very friendly (often asking how your family are) all on the pretence of
asking questions about the items. He's not interested in your answers, this
is just to build up a 'relationship' with you so he can later rely on you
trusting what he says.
The Overpayment ScamWhen you get to payment, you'll discover that
miraculously there is someone who happens to owe your new friend money, more
than you want for the items, and that dear Mr Scammer has a wonderful idea
about how to combine these two transactions into one. All you have to do is
accept this payment from his 'colleague', pay it into your bank and wait for
it to clear, and then send him on the excess amount over and above the cost
of your items. If you haven't smelt a rat yet, you're about to be taken for
a particularly painful ride.
Being a prudent sort of chap, you wouldn't normally consider something as
odd as this, but he did seem such a nice bloke. Still, you'll wait until the
money is clear and then you'll imagine that all is well, and this is
precisely where the scammer has the advantage. The cheque he has paid you
with (or indeed the bank transfer) is either counterfeit or stolen, and it
can take up to a month before your bank finds out. All that cash that went
to your account will then be debited straight back out again and the bank
won't care a stuff for your argument - its unfortunately your
Meanwhile, you've passed on the couple of thousand extra
pounds direct to the scammer, usually through Western Union or similar. All
of a sudden your emails start coming back unanswered, because Mr Scammer is
busy injecting your hard earned cash into his arm. Even if you can trace him
(which is damned unlikely) he'll be in Nigeria, Russia, or similar where the
police basically couldn't care less. Ouch.
So, how do you spot this delightful piece of walking garbage? Easy! Has
- Been incredibly enthusiastic about your items, even to the point of
ignoring faults youve pointed out?
- Offered your asking price without question?
- Written to you in appalling English, often in ALL CAPITALS?
- Asked after your family, your work, etc. and just somehow been a bit
- Offered to pay by Direct Transfer into your bank, but for a variety of
reasons not from him personally?
- Offered more money than your original asking price with a deal to get
back the extra funds?
- Asked you to get involved with Western Union for payment?
- Encouraged you to lie to Western Union staff about reason for payment?
- Used the word 'modalities' in his emails? (God alone knows why!)
If your 'buyer' uses any ONE of these things, be very very very
suspicious. If there's two or more of the above, Congratulations, you've
hooked yourself an 'Advance Fee Fraud' scammer! You've essentially got two
choices here; either ignore it and you're unlikely to hear from him again,
or mail him back and tell him he's retarded if he thinks you're going to
fall for this load of nonsense.
There is a third alternative,
though, for those with some spare time and the desire to eke a little
revenge for the poor sods that have gone before you and lost money - you can
'bait' your scammer and see how long you can keep him going before he
rumbles you that youve rumbled him. With a little luck and some dedication,
you can persuade your scammer to really go to great lengths to obtain your
money, visiting a variety of banks, sending photographs, creating documents,
etc. Yes, of course its bad form to mock the afflicted, but remember this
loser originally got in touch with the direct intention to take money from
Now, youre fully equipped with all the tools necessary to avoid
unscrupulous fake buyers. Use a healthy degree of cynicism and good luck
with your sale.
Click here to go
back to the Classified Ads Index.
Fake Escrow Scams
This fraud revolved around the scammer setting up a fake website offering escrow services.
Escrow services act as a third party in a long distance sale, A genuine Escrow Service allows sellers to send goods safe in the knowledge that funds exist and are being held safely until the goods have been delivered. In turn, the buyer can feel secure in that the car can be seen, checked for suitability/condition and the money will only be paid over when this is confirmed to the Escrow Service. In this scam however, the fake escrow site is run by the "seller" and is therefore not the safe place for your money that it appears to be.
When used with car sales the "seller" normally asks for money to be paid into a specific escrow service before they will bring the car for you to view. Costs of shipping the car from one country to another, or problems wih timewasters are commonly used excuses for wanting to use an escrow service. Once the money is paid to the escrow service it will immediately be transfered out by the "seller" who will disappear, never to be seen again.
The fraud can also work the other way, a fraudulent buyer can attempt to trick a seller into handing over a car that haven't been paid for by simply sending an official-looking e-mail from a fake escrow service stating that funds have been received and to go ahead and with transfer of the vehicle. The scammer will disappear with the car and the fake escrow service will string the seller along for long enough for them to make a clean get away.
While genuine ecscrow services can be a good precaution, you should be EXTREMELY wary of anyone who insists on using a particular site. NEVER follow links given in emails, always navigate to the site yourself via a search engine. Check any site out VERY carefully before using it, The fake websites can be extremely hard to spot. Several sites (including Ebay) maintain lists of genuine escrow services which should always be checked.
If in any doubt, do not send any money to anyone. There are always plenty more cars on the market which are not scams. if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.
The most common scam attempted via the internet is of a foreign buyer or agent wanting to buy your car or bike despite not having seen it. They say they'll agree to the asking price. The details of the scam vary, but usually start with asking for your name, address and sometimes bank details.
Sadly, you need to be suspicious of any buyers from Africa for this reason. Sometimes these scams also originate in Spain or The Netherlands.
BE WARY OF ANY BUYER WHO SHOWS MORE INTEREST IN OBTAINING PERSONAL DETAILS THAN THE CONDITION OF THE GOODS THAT YOU'RE SELLING.
"Quick Sale Required"
A scam that has emerged this year is from con artists claiming to have a reason for selling very, very quickly. Sometimes this is to do with a claim that they've had to move out to mainland Europe at short notice they say the are in a rush to sell and that the car is cheaply priced because of that.
Bargain cars always attract a lot of responses, especially via email. The fraudsters then try to get potential buyers to send large deposits to secure either delivery of the car or first look at it. The car probably doesn't even exist - often the pictures have the number plates blanked out or inconsistencies. IF THE PRICE OF A CAR SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE - TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! If anyone's ever in a hurry to sell a car they can sell it to a dealer at a knockdown price rather than punt it around the Internet.
Forged Bankers Drafts
Vehicle sellers should be aware of the possibility of receiving forged bankers drafts when selling their vehicles.
Sellers have received what they thought were genuine bankers drafts only to be informed by their banks days later that the draft was forged. The money is then stripped from their account potentially leaving the seller out of pocket if they have already released the vehicle.
Forged bankers drafts can look genuine, with authentic looking watermarks and bank branch stamps on them, so sellers should not release vehicles until they've had firm confirmation from their bank that they can withdraw funds safely on the cheque (check with your own account holding branch for details). Criminals can try to obtain vehicles with fraudulent drafts relying on the sellers perception that drafts are as good as cash, but banks will not honour fraudulent drafts or drafts that cannot be cleared through lack of funds.
Do not release your vehicle until you have had confirmation from your own bank that the bank draft is genuine and has been paid by the bank issuing the bank draft. Ask your bank whether the draft has been 'given value' rather than 'cleared' as it seems there is a difference between drafts being cleared and funds being in the account.
Be particularly wary of potential buyers who view your vehicle after the banks have closed (Friday or Saturday afternoon or Sunday) and produce a bank draft already made out for the full asking price. Don’t be pressured into letting the vehicle go - a genuine buyer will not mind waiting until the draft has cleared.