How to protect yourself from fraud when buying vehicles
Web-sites devoted to the sale of commercial vehicles and equipment always attract attention of many different people. Be warned – doing any business from time to time you can come across scammers. Basically, the scammers are working using similar schemes; our following tips will help you avoid hassles.
The most popular fraud scheme:
You find an advertisement which offers to purchase a particular machine at a very tempting price. Sometimes it is even two times cheaper than the similar offers (You can easily check it by looking for comparable vehicles on our web-site). As a rule, no phone contact is given, or phone number does not respond. You try to contact the seller via e-mail, as a result you get reply - you are assured that the condition of the vehicle is great and exactly matches the information provided on the web-site. Dumping price is explained by special sale, bankruptcy, urgent need to move, etc. Of course, this offer will not last long and will be sold to the first person to reserve the vehicle. You will be asked to transfer a little advance payment to reserve the vehicle, as they urgently need to:
- Pay transport company that will deliver the truck / machinery to your door.
- Make sure of your ability to pay.
- Buy the truck / machinery / car out of pawn (or loan)
They will ask you to transfer money using Western Union or other instant payment system, as time is very important and you need to pay quick to get that gorgeous price. Or they’ll sell it to someone else in a few hours.
Once the money transfer is complete, the “seller” disappears and does not respond to emails and phone calls.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of companies represented on our website are truck dealers with good reputation, they have been in honest business for a long time. Besides, we check every company, wishing to advertise with us. However, adequate check takes time as there are so many companies registering on our web-site. That is why we’d like to draw your attention to the typical signs of scams.
Typical signs of scammers:
- Offers having significantly lower price than comparable vehicles
Compare the price of questionable offer with prices for similar vehicles on our web-site. Is it about 1/3 or even 2 times cheaper? Be warned – there is high risk that you are dealing with a scammer. The reason of this super-low price does not matter - "sellout", "moving to another country," "desire to sell quickly." Why couldn’t they sell it for this price to the local dealer? Why look for customers abroad? You should always keep in mind that no sale can reduce the price of truck by two or three times comparing to market.
- Pawn requirement
An advance reservation of the machine is a fairly common practice. In this case, you should clearly understand who you are transferring money to. The company selling real machinery will only use services of bank wire transfer. Never make any money transfers before signing the purchase agreement. Never send money via instant payment systems such as Western Union and MoneyGram. Paying to individual accounts is also great risk.
- Incomplete information about the company
Any respectable company will place as much information as possible. They don’t need to hide from customers, they need to promote the company. Be careful, you should know as much as possible about your business partner - telephone numbers, web-site, email addresses, registered and physical address of the company.
- Non-working phone + free email (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc.)
The phone number indicated in the advertisement does not answer on a regular basis, or the number simply does not exist (invalid country code, city, a few figures are missing). Company selling truck for 50.000 Euro has no corporate website and uses free email (like yahoo.com, msn.com, google.com)? You’ve been warned.
The steps to buy truck / equipment safely
- Verbal agreement or correspondence via Email, about purchasing equipment: condition of the vehicle, price, delivery terms, etc.
- Checking the vehicle and your partner yourself.
- Signing of the sale agreement.
Again: All financial payments should be done only after signing of the sale agreement.
Tips that may save you a lot of time and money if anything goes wrong:
- Do not delete your email correspondence with the seller - in the case of any questionable situations, your only evidence are these emails.
- Do not pay for the purchases using Western Union, MoneyGram or other instant payment systems.
- Always sign sale contracts
- Before payment ask the seller to provide all relevant papers for the vehicle - registration certificate, technical certificate, etc.
- See the truck / machinery / seller with your eyes. Some sellers will help you with invitation, hotel, transportation, etc.
Please pay attention to the “Dealer status” icon on our web-site, found on Truck1 dealer page. This icon is created to give you brief summary on the dealer. These icons represent aspects of our cooperation with current seller: reliability of the seller, number of years in business with Truck1, official partner of manufacturer) and other information. All this info will help you to make a better decision on choosing this dealer.
If you are still in doubt about any advertisement, please contact us. Truck1 team will try to clear up the situation, as we are only interested in well-reputed sellers represented on our web-site. We are sure that your carefulness and our recommendations will secure safe purchase for you.