Buyers on Facebook Marketplace are being warned about purchasing second-hand cars on the platform as one young mother in Australia found out the hard way. Andy Hansen spent $4,000 on a serviced Holden Commodore in Adelaide only for it to break down needing dozens of costly repairs. On closer inspection, it turned out that much of the car’s paperwork had been fabricated and assertions the car was in good condition turned out to be false.
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Ms Hansen bought the car off of Facebook marketplace, thinking she was getting a great deal as the seller claimed it had hardly any defects but has now been forced to launch a GoFundMe page after putting all her savings into the dodgy vehicle. The case is just one of many internet scams that users are being warned about as experts give tips about how to stay safe online.
Fake service documents
Ms Hansen bought the car in good faith and was even dissuaded from getting an RAA check on the vehicle before completing the purchase, as per the Daily Mail:
This guy just assured us that it was a good car - the advertisements, the paperwork, everything. He sold it to me for all the money that I had left.
Once the car broke down and she spoke to a mechanic it then became clear that there were many issues with the vehicle. It was also revealed that a recent $1,055 service done on the car was in fact fake.
The more they delved, the more they found that it was deeper and basically now, and basically now I'm in line for a new motor. It has a busted motor we have no funds left to fix it and no way out in sight.
The situation is particularly tough as Ms Hansen went on to lose her job after being unable to reliably drive herself there. Ms Hansen also has children, two of whom are disabled, thar require reliable transport between the three separate schools they attend.
South Australian police have since confirmed that an Adelaide Hills man has been reported for dishonestly dealing with documents and has been charged.
Facebook Marketplace Scams
This scam is just one of many involving second-hand cars online and motorists are being urged to watch out for fraudsters lurking on Marketplace trying to scam innocent drivers. In some cases, the car has many undeclared faults and in others the car doesn’t exist at all.
A spokesperson from Select Car Leasing explained, as per the Daily Express:
Professional scammers posing as private sellers pressure motorists to send a deposit, plus extra for vehicle delivery.They then take the money and run – so buyers are left without a car and their money.
A spokesperson for Action Fraud offered some advice on how to avoid being scammed online when buying a car:
We would always recommend that you view the vehicle in person and take it for a test drive before paying any money.
If you're purchasing a vehicle from a website or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first. Look up reviews of the website or person you're buying from.
If you're purchasing an item from a seller on an online marketplace, you can view the seller's feedback history before going ahead with the purchase to check if they're legitimate.
If you decide that you still want to buy a care online make sure you always choose a payment mothed that has payment protection like a credit just in case something does go wrong.
If you think you've been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
- Daily Mail 'Mother-of-four issues urgent warning after being conned into buying a dodgy used Holden with convincing paperwork on Facebook Marketplace'
- Daily Express '‘They take money and run!’ Drivers warned of Facebook scam that could cost them thousands'