Scams – A common problem faced by nearly everyone who advertise their car online for sale.
If you choose to sell your car yourself privately, most sellers in Brisbane have the choice of a number of online portals.
The most common and popular are CarSales.com.au. CarsGuide.com.au and Gumtree.com.au.
My friend has decided to advertise her car herself.
There are a few things to take care of before doing this.
Firstly, she has children. The children travelled in this car with her for a few years. Therefore the car was dirty – you know – with food scraps and all manner of small stains between everything!
So she wisely spent a few hundred dollars getting the car professionally detailed.
This included having the carpets shampooed and cleaned.
Like in real estate and selling a house, it is important for your car to look its best.
Then there are photos.
It’s not a good idea to just take any old photos in your driveway.
Taking care of background location and correct sunlight direction can make a massive different to the quality of your photographs and of course your finished advertisement.
There are some online tutorials you can find if you think your photographing skills are less better than point and shoot.
She couldn’t advertise straight away because she had a few work commitments she know of in the coming weeks.
There is not much point of paying for an advertisement and not being able to show the car to prospective buyers.
Even if the ad is free of cost, it would have soon got annoying to make notes of calls people had made, diarise to call them back, then either forget – or have those people then not return your calls – which usually happens as soon as someone loses that initial buying interest.
Anyway, after waiting for the right month in her schedule most suited to showing people the car at nights after work, she posted the advertisement, firstly on CarSales.
Within a few days she called me saying she had received an email from a guy really interested in her car.
Being an old dog in the car selling business, I was immediately sceptical. But hey, that’s just me reacting to experience and she may have indeed had a genuine buyer on the go.
She sent me the email.
Straight away I knew this was a scam.
She first responded to the enquiry’s questions about availability and price.
Then got this reply within a few hours:
Thanks a lot for the email. I’m away at sea at the moment,i work with New Zealand Oil and Gas (NZOG) and we are presently offshore in New Zealand Taranaki Basin on kapo project. We do not have access to phone at the moment,its 15days off and 15days on,which is why I contacted you with internet messaging facility. Where is it located at the moment?
I’m very satisfied with your advert,i will like you to get back to me with the present condition and i want it delivered before my arrival.I won’t be able to come for the inspection due to the nature of my work and i would have called but our calling is restricted.Regarding the payment, pls get back to me with your final asking price and your bsb,account number and name on account so i can process the payment,I have also contacted my courier who will come for pick up after the whole fund has been cleared into your acct.
Can you smell a rat?
Anyone who indicates payment using PayPal or Western Union is 99 times out of 100 a scammer probably from a north west African nation.
Look at the spelling and punctuation as well – suspect.
Do an internet search on just grabs of this text, and I found multiple people had posted receiving similar scam emails from the same or similar email addresses.
In my friend’s case, the email address she received this mail from was:
But after only a few simple Google searches, similar scams have been sent from the following email addresses:
Maybe someone reading this post might recognise some of them?
Moral of the story – DON’T REPLY THIS IS A SCAM.
They try to gain your trust, and in some cases, may even pay a small deposit. But eventually, you will be asked to pay them for something like “import duty” or some other expense all the while they will be promising final payment afterwords.
Which you will never see.
I hope this helps anyone who might read this post.
Be aware of anyone who insists of using only text message or email.
But these scammers will be happy to call as well. I’ve heard of this happening. Usually they will be heavily accented despite them trying their best to sound local.
Please beware when trying to sell your car yourself online.
I’m not sure what the exact figures are, but the Australian Federal Police every year estimate fraud originating from West Africa costs gullible Australians millions every year.
Don’t be one of them!
Make it easy on yourself and don’t worry about these scammers, give me a call today on 0411 362 229 and I might have cash for your car waiting.