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16 Jan 2019
Watch out when buying a car or scooter online

People looking to buy a second-hand car, scooter or oldtimer had better watch out. In 2018, at least 31 interested buyers lost a total of 171,000 euros to scams. They thought they had bought a car which they had only seen on a photo. That car was never delivered.

Fraudsters have put up beautiful pictures of vintage cars like an Austin Healey or a Porsche 911 or a virtually new Vespa on the leading Dutch online trading site Marktplaats. Most of these cars are offered for sale from the UK or Germany.

In this type of scam, the seller quickly agrees to a nice low price and asks the buyer to pay the transport costs and insurance premium in advance. The total amount is usually around 5,000 euros, especially if the car has to come from the United Kingdom.

Last year, as many as 31 people reported that they heard nothing from the seller once they had sent the money. They saw that the image of their dream had been removed from Marktplaats.

In 2017, 21 Dutch consumers were duped. They collectively lost 107,000 euros. Of course, the number of duped car enthusiasts may be much higher in reality as many people would rather not admit that they have been fooled.