False enquiries also known as buyer scams, are when scammers pose as buyers acting interested in your car for sale but have no intention of purchasing your car. They will act suspicious in their email messages with behaviour that may seem too good to be true or a bit odd. We recommend communicating with buyers and sellers through the carsales message functionality in your carsales member account.
What to look out for
- Someone who cannot meet or speak with you over the phone.
- State they are interstate or overseas and are unable to view your car yet want to buy it.
- Someone who wants to proceed with a sale through a third party company
- Scammers are unlikely to negotiate on price and will offer you the exact asking price, or may even offer to pay more.
- Scammers may overpay your account and say that was due to a banking error or for shipping, insurance, customs duty or agent’s fees and provide you with a fake receipt.
- The catch is that the seller will refund the excess amount to the buyer based on the information provided in the fake receipt. Meaning the scammer will often end up with extra money in their pocket as well as the car you listed for sale.
- Be wary of legal threats from scammers. They often try to use threats to scare people into parting with money.
Top tips for safe transactions
- Never complete a transaction based on buyers emailing you a proof of payment, receipt or a money transfer number.
- Independently verify with your bank, PayPal or other account that the funds have been received by personally logging in and checking the account yourself
- Do not accept international cheques or money orders.
What do I do if I get an email that looks suspicious?
If you receive a suspicious email or SMS, the first thing to do is to contact our customer care team here. Make sure to include screenshots of the scam message. Our team will investigate the message and advise you on its validity.
Australian Government Websites
- Contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (ACCC) on 1300 302 502
- Report a scam through Scam Watch
- You can also report online fraud to the Australian Government via ReportCyber
- Sign up for the Stay Smart Online email alerts