Buying Privately? Watch Out for These Signs Of A Scam

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While we’d all like to have the supercars of our dreams fresh from the factory, most of us aren’t that fortunate! Many people go for used cars, whether for their lower price or simply because they adore older models. While most private sellers are completely trustworthy, there are still a few scams associated with them. Here are a few things to look out for when you’re buying privately.

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Source: Pexels

One of the biggest red flags you should be looking out for is when the car and the owner aren’t in the same geographic place. This kind of scam has been around for decades, yet people are still falling victim to it. The set-up usually involves someone in the military, or another given profession which has to relocate a lot. Having moved, they want to sell their car back home. Sure, there’s no reason this can’t be legitimate. You should still exercise a lot of caution. Think of all the hassle that comes with private selling. Would you pack your bags and leave before tying up all your affairs like this? Keep your wits about you if the car and seller are on different ends of the country.

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Source: Flickr

Another big warning is if the seller wants their money in advance, or wants to use some obscure wiring service. This may sound like an obvious warning to you. It only seems natural for you to hand over your money once you can drive away with the product you’re buying. However, these scams can be surprisingly effective. With all the legitimate used car dealerships like Imperial Carsupermarket, many of us assume a certain degree of trust about used sellers. Be very wary though.

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Source: Wikimedia

Private sellers aren’t regulated like those larger outlets. If they even mention having their money up-front, I suggest you take a moment to think about the situation. The only time you should agree to this is when it’s through a trusted third party such as PayPal. This and other big names will give you some protection against scams.

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Source: Wikimedia

Finally, be very wary of any private seller who makes sudden changes right in the middle of your negotiations. This might be them going back on something they’d said earlier. Other times, the terms of sale will change in the blink of an eye, or the seller might want to make the transaction through a different service all of a sudden. The list goes on, but I advise you to investigate any sudden change in the plan between you and your seller. These kinds of things are all widely reported about car sale scammers. You’ll also find they’re incredibly rare among legitimate private sellers too! Of course, you may just be buying from someone who’s fairly disorganised. However, if they seem to be changing factors about the sale all the time, approach with extreme caution.

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Source: Wikimedia

I hope this post hasn’t scared you off the used car market as a whole! There are a lot of honest private sellers out there. However, being aware of the scams can really pay off!

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