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4 typical scams when selling your used car online and how to avoid them

29/03/2019 1:11:00 PM

Selling your car online is a wonderful experience but considering your car has been put together with other million cars for sale, the market is massive and becoming a feeding ground for shady business. Not only buyers but also sellers can become victims of scams. Anyone who has tried selling their cars before finding the hardest part is to avoid scammers who try to steal their money and personal information from the transaction. So you will need to be aware of typical scams and learn how to avoid them.

4 typical scams


#1. Offering to buy sight-unseen

After listing your car, you get an instant response from a buyer who offers to buy your car without taking a look at it first because he or she is working offshore now or buying it for their parents living in a different state. It sounds like you enter an easy deal but it can be considered a warning sign of the first part of a larger scam. The buyer will send you a bad check or promise to wire the money and have someone else to pick up your car.


#2. Overpay

In a popular scam, the buyer sends you a check with additional amount to cover shipping fee of the car. You pay for the shipping, send the car but the check is nowhere to be seen. Another example that the fraud occurs the same way but is not as serious is Paypal. The buyer will make up a Paypal email account that is cleverly disguised to look legitimately from a payment company. You still have your car but lose the additional ‘so called’ shipping fee before you know that it is a fake transaction.

While it is not always the case, the buyer can tell you that someone else owes their money that is more than the cost of your car. The other individual will pay for your car as a way to clear off their debt and the buyer will take your car.


#3. Offer to pay with certified checks or money orders


Another common scam is to pay the seller with faking checks or money orders. These thieves are very good at duplicating “the certified cheques”, making them look like ones issued from the bank. The result is that even bankers get fooled. So do not blame yourself for being unaware when you deposit the cheque, sign over the car’s title and ships with the paper, exactly as these bogus buyers want.


#4. Ask for your personal information

When your personal information (bank account number, social security number, PayPal information, passwords, credit card or any kind of personal information that you do not feel comfortable to reveal) is more interesting than your vehicle’s VIN number to some buyers, this may be an attempt at identity theft.


How to avoid scams when selling your car online

#1. Demand a face-to-face or over the phone with potential buyers


If your buyer is legit, the sale will go on smoothly. Many scammers create bogus emails that provide no information. Exchanging text messages is common these days but it is not enough without a phone call. Speak with the buyer on the phone and ask for their telephone number and a time to meet up.

If you opt for selling your car to a used car dealership in Cairns like Mr Wheels Cairns, all you need to do is to send them details of the used car you want to sell. They will proactively contact you to give you a rough estimate followed by a car inspection and cash offer. We operate from a physical location and are a registered business. We offer peace of mind when engaging in the car market.


#2. Always deal in cash


Before agreeing to meet, you should be firm to the prospective buyer that you sell for your car for cash and you do not accept monthly payment in case he or she fails to make scheduled payments to you. If the buyer insists on a certified cheque, never release your car until the transaction is completed at the buyer’s bank.

Some Cairns used car dealers offer cash for car if you want to sell your car. Once you have received their cash offer, they will organise cash payment with the bank for you on the same day and you receive it in full.


#3. Meet in a safe zone

After connecting on the Internet, it is time to arrange physical meetings. For your own safety, you should be the one to choose the meeting place and it must be a public place with many people around. If you are not a professional seller and feel vulnerable, you are advised to take a friend with you and ask for the buyer’s driver license before he or she drives away with your car.

Mr Wheels is a licensed used car dealership in Cairns that offers a hassle-free and safe way to get cash your car. Everything is straightforward and takes place right in our dealership in Cairns, from meeting with our appraisers for car valuation to car inspection. Once you have received our cash payment, we will let you choose preferred time and date for us to pick up your car.


#4. Keep your personal information safe

Should anyone ask you financial information, do not reveal it. And if you give the buyer service records, you probably may want to block your personal information, such as: credit card numbers, phone numbers, social security numbers or whatever information that could lead to identity theft.


About Mr Wheels


Mr Wheels is a privately owned used car dealership in Cairns QLD. We offer a comprehensive service to our customers from buying used cars, selling your cars, used car financing to consigning.

We carry between 50 - 80 Cairns used cars at any one time ranging from Passenger Cars to Commercials to 4WDS. Our prices range between $5000 to $50000 and we welcome trade-ins of all types.

Think of upgrading to a large SUV? Sell your car to Mr Wheels Cairns now.

It is time consuming to sell your vehicle on your own, not to mention additional expenses incurred along the process. If you want to get cash by selling your car contact Mr Wheels Cairns today. Mr Wheels Cairns welcome your trade-ins or private sale at any time. We actively guide you through every step of our easy car selling process and take care of all paperwork. Instant cash payment is available if you accept our offer. We also offer consignment for those who are looking to sell their car at our Dealership in Cairns.

Simply click here to visit our car selling page, fill out the form with details of the used car you want to sell and our appraiser will get back to you soon for a rough estimate on what your car is worth.

If you do not live in Cairns, we can discuss how and where the car is to be appraised.