Is fraud possible in the JEE network offline?

Car buying - online fraud: When buying online is a trap

Buying a car is a matter of trust. However, criminals lurk behind some advertisements on the Internet. And the scams are getting bolder. How can buyers protect themselves?

Only 10,000 kilometers on the clock, not a year old, well equipped and comes at a price that is well below half of the new price. Sounds perfect. A real bargain! Hardly likely. It's probably just a bait. And the saddest thing about it: The scam is old.

"We encounter classic scams in online car trading, we want to consistently point this out and give safety tips," says Chief Criminal Police Officer Harald Schmidt, managing director of police crime prevention of the federal states and the federal states.

To be too good to be true

A clear warning sign of attempted fraud is an offer that is too good to be true. "After a price research, interested parties usually have a good feeling for realistic prices. If an offer seems too cheap, interested parties should pay attention and examine it carefully," advises Schmidt.

Anyone can report suspicious advertisements via the contact form or by telephone to the online vehicle market and have them checked. When in doubt, it is better to forego a supposed bargain than to take too high a risk.

Just email is suspicious

Fraudsters also use a certain scam when it comes to contacting us: "If the seller only wants to communicate by e-mail or the phone number provided is incorrect, this can indicate fraud," says Schmidt.

Payments in advance, cash transfer and escrow service or via alleged forwarding agents usually indicate fraud. "Down payments are not common in online trading, payment should only be made after the test drive and after signing the contract and handing over the car with all important documents and keys at the same time," explains Harald Schmidt.

No checks without reversal

He recommends paying in cash, but with large sums, someone should always be present. And: The amount should be counted and checked directly in a bank branch. The police officer advises against payment methods such as checks that allow reversal.

And: It is essential to use a sample sales contract such as the one offered by automobile clubs for download. It contains all the important data such as identity card numbers for both parties, as well as the description of the car with equipment details and the handover date.

Money only against goods

In the event of a visit and the purchase transaction, the Autoclub ADAC advises the following principle: goods for money. Absolute protection is not possible because the forgeries of vehicle documents and ID cards that are too good are in circulation. But if you take photos of all documents with your smartphone, you have at least starting points later to clear up possible fraud.

Under no circumstances should anyone try to defraud fraudsters themselves, as this could have legal consequences, warns the ADAC. If in doubt, it is better not to negotiate any further, not to be put under pressure and to report the advertisement.

Arndt Kempgens, specialist lawyer for traffic law and trusted lawyer of the Auto Club Europa (ACE) also warns against prepayment, because the money is then gone. Another popular trick: the seller offers to make a vehicle available for viewing free of charge. The interested party should only transfer the transport costs - for a car that of course never arrives.

Asking specific questions

Even if buyers are usually powerless when it comes to professionally forged papers, it is always worth asking a few specific questions in order to discover any inconsistencies, says Kempgens. For example: Why is the car being sold, how long has it been owned, does the mileage information match the maintenance logs?

"Anyone who attentively observes all the trappings gets a feeling for dubious business transactions. Nocturnal meetings to inspect vehicles or hand over money at a rest area or in fast-food restaurants are neither common nor serious," explains Kempgens. And: If the seller has a different name than the one entered in the vehicle documents, caution is always required.

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  • Subjects:
  • Technology,
  • Consumer,
  • Internet,
  • Computer,
  • Automobile,
  • Traffic,
  • Crime,
  • Counselor,
  • Auto Club Europe,
  • Scam,
  • Online trade,
  • Forgery,
  • ADAC,
  • Car purchase