Email and text scams
Tuesday 30 April 2013
Important Information – Phishing email
Please be aware of phishing emails & texts currently in circulation.
Auto Trader will never ask you for personal information such as website log-in details or credit card numbers in an email or text. Never supply personal information via email, even if you’re sent emails claiming to be from internationally recognised organisations.
If you have received an email or text recently claiming to be from Auto Trader and have concerns please delete it immediately and contact our Customer Security Team on 0845 071 0487 or email us at email@example.com.
“What are Phishing Emails? ”
“Phishing” is someone trying to trick you into giving your personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details via an email that looks like it’s from Auto Trader or an Interested Buyer.
Common scenarios scammers invent in order to gain victim’s log-in, credit card or other personal details include:
• Vehicle sellers are sent a duplicate of their advert, with a link to a bogus version of Auto Trader’s sign-in page. Once supplied, the details will be used to change the advert’s description, contact details and on some occasions, take over of the account.
• Sellers are contacted by scammers claiming to be from a credit card company’s fraud department calling about unusual purchases. They will then ask for the card’s details in order to make a refund.
• Calls from scammers requesting credit card details for refunds
• Emails detailing offers for Auto Trader customers, with a full refund if your car is not sold within three weeks
We do occasionally contact customers to ask for payment details over the phone. If you’re unsure about a call, do not provide your card details and call Customer Security on 0845 071 0487.
How Auto Trader can help: Top tips to staying safe online
One of the most common online scams to affect all kinds of internet users is the Advance Fee Fraud, which encourages sellers to transfer “shipping fees” to “buyers” abroad.
The scam usually involves a fraudster gaining the victim’s trust over a period of several emails, convincing sellers they genuinely want to buy, sending a fake cheque or false Paypal payments to cover the cost before insisting on money for “shipping fees”.
A number of sellers advertising cars have been contacted in this way, but the emails are easy to spot. Typically they will:
• Originate from webmail accounts, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail
• Be poorly written, or look as though they’re being sent in bulk with the seller’s vehicle details crudely pasted in
• Encourage sellers to use money transfer services such as Western Union
Auto Trader will never recommend escrow, payment services or payment protection services as a means to send or receive funds for a vehicle, except for if you choose to use the Quick Sale service.
These can include Autotrader Buyers Protection, Yahoo Payment Protection, Google Wallet or PayPal Payments – although PayPal is available as a means to pay for your advertisement.
Text message premium rate scam
Be wary of text messages expressing an interest in your vehicle, but providing excuses as to why they can’t call. Check any numbers you’re asked to call and avoid premium rate lines.
What to do?
PhonepayPlus regulates the content and promotion of premium rate services in the UK. It investigates complaints and has the power to fine companies.
If you receive a text message asking you to phone a premium rate number, contact the free PhonepayPlus helpline on 0800 500 212. Alternatively, you can make a complaint to PhoneplayPlus or check a premium rate number.
If you receive a phone call asking for your credit card details or other personal information, end the call and call Auto Trader’s Customer Security team on 0845 071 0487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.