How to distinguish between a genuine seller and a scammer when buying car online

01/22/2018

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Online car scammers are everywhere. Our article will share some handy tips to spot a scammer.

How do you differentiate a car scammer from a real car seller? Follow these useful tips Naijauto mentions below to avoid falling victim to online car scams.

5 Ways to Avoid Car Donation Scams

Tips 1. Check the car photo

No seller affords to redesign their photo's background before they post it on classified websites, so if you find edited car photos, it is likely that they are not legit ones and are downloaded from the internet. And the seller of the listing is usually a scammer.

car photo

No seller affords to redesign their photo's background before they post it on classified websites

Tips 2. Check the car description

Normally, scammers do not like typing detailed descriptions because they lack information about the car. They usually copy the general car description from a random website and paste it in the description field. That would look like this:

  • Make: Toyota
  • Model: Corolla
  • Year: 1999

Notice that scammer’s description is usually very short and doesn't have any suitable explanation of the car. The reason is that scammers hate wasting time to make a valuable description or they don’t know the necessary car information. For instance, scammers always write short description such as “Nigeria used Toyota Camry, buy and drive, for more detail call Mr A”.

On the contrary, real sellers should make a long description, which includes a great deal of information about their vehicle. Therefore, their car description is usually long and very valuable in order to provide car buyers with as much information as possible to come to buying decision quicker.

car descriptions

Scammers do not like typing long and detailed descriptions

Tips 3. Check seller's other ads

Another useful way to spot scammers is checking out their cars posted before. Make sure that their previously photos have the similar background or legitimate write-up. Otherwise, those sellers are likely car scammers.

Tips 4. Other little but important tricks

Those sellers might be scammers if they do the following things:

  • Request your advance payment in order to keep the car for you before you see it
  • Tell that he/she is not in the country, so you must contact with another person to process some papers before you can take the car.
  • Refuse to let you come to his/her house or office to check the car
  • Post the same car on different ads with different prices, features or mileages etc.

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