To protect yourself from the most common scams on the internet takes awareness and common sense. A lot of money changes hands in the world of motorsport and this makes our environment an ideal feeding ground for unscrupulous scammers and fraudsters.
The key is to stay alert and learn to spot the warning signs.
The vast majority of scams take the following form:
- The price is too good to be true.
- There is a sense of urgency in the communication, trying to force you to complete the transaction quickly before someone else does.
- A buyer sends you a forged bankers draft or cheque for more than the agreed amount.
- A seller instructs you transfer a deposit to hold the car/engine/gearbox.
Another important thing to remember is that bankers drafts or cheques are not cash. Just because the bank will happily deposit them and make the money available to you does not mean it's a good cheque. Many scams will ask you to deposit the forged cheque and then transfer back to them a portion of those funds. When the bank realises the cheque was forged you are still responsible for that money. Scammers have also been using services like Google Checkout to take fake deposits.
Listen to your gut instincts.
You know when a deal is too good to be true. Scammers count on you to ignore your instincts. Don't fall for it. Not all scammers use broken English and clumsy methods. Some of them are genuine confidence men and can seem like trustworthy, knowledgable people to do business with.
These people are criminals. Do not engage with them in any way. Scammers are the kind of unscrupulous thieves who manipulate and steal money from innocent individuals. Don't give them any information about yourself.
Unfortunately there is no way for us to prevent scammers from answering your ads. Scammers target any website or publication where people buy and sell items. Use common sense and proceed with extreme caution when responding to any offers from questionable sources.