The rise in car scams and related issues has been unprecedented. Whether you own a car, a buyer, or a seller you are exposed to many dubious people who spend their time finding schemes to rip you off your hard-earned money.
Owning a car is something most people dream of. So it is heartbreaking when you get scammed while trying to buy one. Or in certain schemes, when trying to sell off your used car. We have compiled a list of 5 ways that scams are executed hoping to help you prevent them.
The 5 Common Car/Vehicle Scams In Ghana
- In a report, suspects arrested revealed they visited a garage posing as prospective buyers. They look around and settle on one to buy. Then, They issue a fake check and inform the dealer that it will mature in the next 3 days. So (s)he should exercise some level of patience while they drive the vehicle away. They then use the vehicle to secure a loan posing as the owner. The vehicle is then abandoned and the dealer informed that they are no longer interested.
- Another scheme gaining grounds is that an individual or group approaches a taxi. And asks him to transport them to a remote location where they have to attend to some emergency. The scammer then convinces the driver to wash the car while they both go for some items. Whatsoever excuse the scammer may give, the idea is to male them leave. The scammer then gives another reason to excuse the driver, secretly return to the washing bay to request the key. And drive the car away.
- A popular one is when a buyer and a seller of a vehicle get connected then decide on a place to conduct the transaction. Unknowing to the seller, the buyer is a scammer and hopes to get away with the vehicle of the unsuspecting seller. Upon meeting, the buyer requests a test drive alone during which the supposed buyer drives away with the car. The trick is that the request for the test drive is done after the vehicle ownership documents have been signed. Therefore, without paying, the “buyer” gets the vehicle without paying what is due.
- When shopping on classified platforms, it is common to be asked to pay for the delivery of the item. In some cases, the item is non-existent and all the supposed buyer is looking for is a free payment for delivery of a non-existent item. They would usually not ask for payment for the item itself but rather delivery only. Use the Buy Now feature on Tonaton.com to prevent such scams.
- For buyers who seek vehicles from other countries, beware of who you trust with doing the right job of buying. Common causes are that the individual abroad will request more than necessary as the price of the vehicle. This is often an unsuspecting situation since the person may be quite known. Be sure to confirm prices from websites, auction details, etc. before engaging someone to help procure and ship the vehicle.
How To Stay Safe When Buying Or Selling A Vehicle Online
Staying safe while transacting online should be an active course of action for each and every one. The internet has become a part and parcel of our lives as it makes many things easier, faster, and more convenient. It goes without saying that others also seek to use these media to influence and take advantage of the ordinary person. Part of fighting this trend is to arm yourself with knowledge of how to avoid scams, how to safely transact online, how the common scams work, and basically learn to do due diligence when engaging with strangers online.
1. Keep Things Local
Keeping things local involves engaging with people within your community. The best is to arrange a meeting at a public place that both of you agree on.
This way, you can be able to see the person you are transacting with, pay physically or through other payment options but more importantly to see and well assess what you are paying for.
2. Exchange item and payment at the same time physically.
Scams often involve ripping you off your money. Make this difficult by making arrangements to meet and pay on the spot.
This prevents you from getting involved in some other schemes they may plan. If you are dealing with a registered business seller, get a receipt and make sure any attached warranty documents are added.
In buying electronics such as mobile phones, try to know the device before. With that knowledge, you can authenticate its originality since you can easily be sold a replica for an original. You can go with someone who knows the ins and outs of whatever you are buying be it a car, electronics, etc.
3. Never divulge your personal and financial information to strangers
Part of a salesperson’s job is to gain trust. Hence they make it their business to know how to build it. In the same vein, scammers rely on trust, creating urgency in their offer, and making you believe them.
Make sure to act with a little bit of self-induced distrust to help you stay alert. Make sure not to reveal certain personal information and never give out your important financial information or clues.
4. Use the laws of common sense.
It is often said that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And there is much wisdom in acting with this at the back of your mind. Scammers would often use urgency as a way to prevent you from doing due diligence and making a hasty decision. They prey on your desire to obtain something against you. Stay alert.
Our last words are that scammers are people living among us. You cannot spot one by their face, name, or how they act. In fact, they may be some of the nicest people you ever meet. And for good reason. Equipped with this knowledge, you are closer to spot, avoiding, and staying safe.