During the pandemic, we have unfortunately seen more attempts in scamming people for used motorhomes and campervans. These tricks have always been around, however more recently, reports of scams have seen people use Covid-19 to manipulate people into falling for these false advertisements.
Spreading awareness and sharing knowledge of these tricksters will make sure they’re identified and prosecuted correctly. The world is a scary place and money has become tight so anyone lucky enough to splash out on a new motorhome should be able to do so and feel safe.
What is Actually Happening?
The Sun reported an alarming scam that two key workers had fallen for in May 2020. A couple of NHS workers, whose lifelong dream was to own a motorhome, found the perfect one within their price range. They found a post on eBay selling a Cheyene 696G for £14,000, and said it felt too good to be true. These worries made husband Paul check the DVLA before he contacted the seller. After numerous checks it all seemed as if it was safe to go ahead. They had regular contact with the seller and built a rapport, the seller mentioned that she was happy to give it to the couple as they were key workers, rather than selling it to a dealer. This allowed a bond to be formed and the couple went as far to remortgage the house to help fund their motorhome dreams.
The family travelled to Norfolk to pick up the motorhome to find out that the address given had been fake. The people who actually resided at the address had mentioned that they already had two people come for the non-existent motorhome. Due to the payment method, they unfortunately weren’t protected from this form of scam.
How to Stay Safe?
These tricks are sadly very common, and are more of an issue with online sales in general, and don’t just exist in the community of buying and selling used motorhomes. From gig tickets to the latest video games systems, people online have become very intelligent when it comes to trying to scam you from your money.
To stay safe, you should firstly contact the seller. Make sure you are speaking to a real person. When offers like this seem too good to be true, there probably is a good reason you are getting a good deal. Going in blind could lead you facing bot ran scams trying to attack your wallet.
If you’ve bought something from eBay and you’re worried about it being illegitimate, you will have to wait eight days before you can report it. Sometimes we have these fears due to the disconnect to the seller, but normally it works okay after connecting to eBay’s customer service team.
If a seller ever asks you to bank transfer money, this should raise alarm bells. This especially should if the website has a payment system of their own or use known companies such as Paypal outside of eBay systems. Paying through PayPal usually is a very secure way to pay, because payments aren’t received until products are received. These methods allow for protection to the buyer to help fight scams like the one covered above. Sending money over bank transfer gives the scammers the upper hand when you try to reclaim your money.
Being surrounded by stress everyday due to the pandemic has a lot of us turning to retail therapy as an escape. So, it’s imperative we make sure we question what is too good to be true. Make sure you investigate the product and the seller before you make a purchase. Look at reviews and recently sold, if they have bad reviews or maybe have only ever sold one product, this is cause for concern. Additionally, make sure you send money safely with methods that will protect you. Unfortunately, a lot of people have tried to capitalise on the ruins this pandemic has left us all in. Be wise and stay safe.