Safe Buying & Selling
We take all the necessary precautions to ensure that our platform is a safe place for car sellers and buyers to transact. However, since we are not involved in the actual transactions, we offer these key tips to stay safe.
Nevertheless, please take the same common-sense precautions online as you would offline.
When meeting someone for the first time, please remember to:
- Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe, bank, or shopping center.
- Do not meet in a secluded place, or invite strangers into your home.
- Tell a friend or family member where you’re going.
- Take your cell phone along.
- Consider having a friend accompany you.
- Trust your instincts.
Deal locally, face-to-face —follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
- Do not extend payment to anyone you have not met in person.
- Beware offers involving shipping – deal with locals you can meet in person.
- Never wire funds (e.g. Western Union) – anyone who asks you to is a scammer.
- Don’t accept cashier/certified checks or money orders – banks cash fakes, then hold you responsible.
- Transactions are between users only, no third party provides a “guarantee”.
- Never give out financial info.
- Do not purchase sight-unseen—that amazing “deal” may not exist.
Most scams attempts involve one or more of the following:
Email or text from someone that is not local to your area.
Unclear initial inquiry, e.g. asking about “the item.” Poor grammar/spelling.
Western Union, Money Gram, cashier check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a “guarantee.”
Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face to complete the transaction.
EXAMPLES OF SCAMS
- Someone claims your transaction is guaranteed, that a buyer/seller is officially certified, OR that a third party of any kind will handle or provide protection for a payment:
These claims are fraudulent, as transactions are between users only.
The scammer will often send an official looking (but fake) email that appears to come from Car Centre or another third party, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, or pretending to handle payments.
- Distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier’s check:
You receive an email or text offering to buy your item sight unseen and without meeting you in person.
A cashier’s check is offered for your sale item as a deposit.
Value of cashier’s check often far exceeds your item—scammer offers to “trust” you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service.
Banks will cash fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, sometimes including criminal prosecution.
Scams often pretend to involve a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate, etc.).
- Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:
Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low or below market, etc.
Scammer may (falsely) claim a confirmation code from you is needed before he can withdraw your money.
The vehicle may be local, but owner is “travelling” or “relocating” and needs you to wire money abroad.
Scammer may pretend to be unable to speak by phone (scammers prefer to operate by text/email).
- Distant person offers to send you a cashier’s check or money order and then have you wire money:
This is ALWAYS a scam in our experience—the cashier’s check is FAKE.
Sometimes accompanies an offer of merchandise, sometimes not.
Scammer often asks for your name, address, etc. for printing on the fake check.
Deal often seems too good to be true.
- Distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service:
Most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT and operated by scammers.
For more info, do a google search on “fake escrow” or “escrow fraud.”
- Distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which they will ship goods:
He says he trusts you with the partial payment.
He may say he has already shipped the goods.
Deal often sounds too good to be true.