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They Tried To Sell His Car

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renegadefm | 13:10 Wed 20th Dec 2023 | Spam & Scams
15 Answers

Not sure if this is a new scam, or if its common these days. 

Basically a friend of mine was at home minding his own business watching day time tv, when he spotted through his window a young couple man and woman looking at his car, when I say looking, really looking, and laying on the floor eying the underneath of the car and all sorts, so he came out and asked the couple what they were doing?

To which they replied, we just arrived and wanted a quick look at the car you have for sale here, we we're just about to knock on your door, but wanted a quick look first. 

My friend was shocked and said, hang on my car isn't for sale, who told you its for sale, so then the couple showed him the picture of the car complete with his house in the background, so there was a moment of disbelief, then the moment of realisation that someone must have taken a photo from Google maps, and used it to try and sell the car on ebay. 

I am assuming then they hope some people will hand over the money online without even viewing the car, but in this case a random couple must have seen the picture of the car which shockingly included address details, hence why they arrived at my friends address to view the car. 

So my friend had to politely ask them to leave and say sorry my car was never for sale, and the couple still in shock as much as my friend left. 

My friend then reported it to the police, but they told him sadly there is nothing they can do, but logged it. 

This made me think if the police can't do anything, surely ebay should have stricter rules to prevent this happening?

Can you imagine if this happened with an online auction of a property like someone's house?

Surely someone needs to be physically there with the keys before money is transferred? 



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They would probably tried to get a holding deposit rather than sell the car.

Question Author


But I think the couple that were viewing the car were innocent in this, they were as shocked as my friend was. 

Why would you try to get a deposit from someone who didn't have a car for sale in the first place? 

from the buyers

//Why would you try to get a deposit from someone who didn't have a car for sale in the first place? //

Really?  They are tea leaves mate thats why.

Question Author

Sorry what I meant was why would anyone be so foolish to pay someone online a deposit on something they haven't viewed in person yet?

Obviously these scammers are hoping people fall in this trap, but my point is isn't there some way that ebay or another online platform can tighten rules on this to prevent it happening?

I mean to lose money to scammers via a car sale is bad enough, but whats to stop this happening via an online property sale? 

Any property sale has to go through LAnd registry and a conveyancer.  Last time aI looked the thieving briefs dont get a hand in buying a motor.

I'm not sure entirely what you think eBay can do.  They can hardely go round and check every item for sale can they?

//Can you imagine if this happened with an online auction of a property like someone's house?//

Selling someone's house without them knowing, does happen & is on the rise, this one in Canada but I've heard of it in the UK;

Question Author

I think what is also worrying is any one of us who own a house/home the address is so easy to find online via Google maps.

I can randomly find a property anywhere in the country, and use the address details and grab a photo and use it in future scams. 

It just concerns me that in this wonderful online world we live in, we have become very vulnerable to scams. 

It just struck me even while writing this that if scammers can make money from a false car sale, their scam ideas could be limitless via property sales or anything that can be sold online.

For example a derelict building near my parents house just last week sold at auction for 236 thousand during an online bidding war, when the guide price was only 50 thousand, but it ran out of control with 102 bidders, but get this, not one of the bidders actually viewed the building. The majority of the bidders where propery developers and wanted the land the building sits on. 

But it highlights to me if that can happen online it opens up a world of possibilities for scammers. 

Your friend should do an image search of the strretview image of his house to see if he can find the advert.  Surely a listing for a used car should include lots of photos, inside and out. 

It is not unusual for developers to buy land or property without viewing.  

Carveat  emptor.

Two cases of houses being sold without the owners knowing here:

The guy in Luton did eventually (after two years) get the house transferred back to his own name, only to find people living in it who said that they'd got a rental agreement with the landlord:

Question Author

Well that is shocking. Seems like nothing is safe anymore, not even our own properties. 

Imagine coming home from holiday to find someone else living in it, its unthinkable, especially when there's personal possessions which fill the property. 

Everyone who owns a property in the UK should be signed up to this service provided by the Land Registry, it is free.

Any property owner who is not living in the property should protect themselves by applying for this restriction

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