They can be hugely irritating, which is why Auto Trader has developed its free ‘Protect Your Number’ service to help protect sellers.
The way this works is to replace a seller’s number with a unique Auto Trader number in an advert; when a buyer calls it, they are redirected to the seller’s personal number – but without ever seeing that number. At the same time, the system can block known scammers and nuisance calls.
Spotting fraudulent buyers isn’t easy, but there are a few scams that the government’s Money Advice Service picked out, including:
- People who try to buy a car using a Paypal account set up using false details
- Text messages that encourage you to phone to text back, only to be charged a premium rate
- A buyer offering to buy your car for the full amount via Paypal, then claiming they’re overpaid and asking to be refunded through a different method. Then, they cancel the original transaction and you lose the money you’re paid back.
- Buyers posing as an exporter who asks you to send ‘shipping fees’ to overseas buyers
- Emails from websites that request log-in and payment details for your card
- A buyer who pays by cheque and takes the car before the cheque clears, only for the cheque to bounce because it’s a forgery