Concerns have been raised by some of our advertisers who have been contacted by
potential purchasers who are not all they appear to be. Here are some pointers that
could indicate a scam:
- The person may indicate they wish to purchase even though they haven't seen the
item for sale. The scam here is that they will send a cheque payment which will
clear, you release the item and then a week or so later the bank advise that the
cheque was a forgery.
- The person may be overseas and say that a client in the UK owes them an amount of
money that is higher than the value of the item being sold. The purchaser advises
you that they will arrange for that person to pay you and for someone to collect
the item being sold. All seemingly innocent. The scam here is that you pay the cheque
into the bank, and send the difference to the purchaser (they usually insist on
a telegraphic transfer like Western Union). The purchased item is never collected
and the cheque turns out to be forged
What We Are Doing to Protect You
We have already taken steps to prevent any enquirer learning your email address
and to protect your identity. When an advertiser makes an enquiry, at no stage are
they visibly given your name or email address. Our automated system ensures that
their enquiry reaches you without them obtaining your email address or name. This
also helps to prevent computerised enquiries (software exists that can crawl the
internet looking for email address to write to). Therefore someone has to physically
sit and write to you but this does not dissuade every confidence trickster.
What Can You Do?
Look for obvious indications that the enquirer may not be genuine.
- Has the email come from a free email provider? To check, take the bit after the
@ in the email address and enter it into your browser after http://www.. Example:
email@example.com becomes http://www.graffiti.net. Of course many genuine people
use free email services but if other indicators are there, question it.
- Is the enquirer offering to purchase without physically seeing the item for sale?
- Has the enquirer asked questions relating to condition even though it is detailed
in the advert?
- Has the enquirer provided a standard fixed line number? If not, ask for one. With
Pay-As-You-Go mobiles, numbers can be switched regularly. Ask the enquirer for their
address and then cross reference the telephone number with the name and address
through directory enquiries. A genuine purchaser will not withhold such information.
- Is the enquirer expressing urgency with phrases like Make sure you mail me back
immediately you get this message or reply asap?
- Is the use of English questionable?
Look After Yourself
Simple steps taken when initially dealing with the enquirer and accepting the payment
can help to avoid any personal financial loss.
- Try to avoid giving out too much information about yourself in the early stages
- Ask for proof of identification such as a passport or photo driving licence
- Ask for proof of address such as photo driving licence or utility bill
- Do your homework and try to confirm everything that the potential purchaser tells
- Do not accept personal cheque payments or cheques drawn on overseas funds
- If you are planning to accept a cash payment check each note carefully
- Trust your instincts. If something does not feel right then abort the deal
Please note, the above information is not exhaustive and is provided for guidance
only. The Austin A30/A35 Owners Club cannot be held liable for any loss resulting
from the following this information. If you are in doubt about any potential purchaser
simply refuse to sell.