Tuesday, December 22, 2009
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Mark Huffman of ConsumerAffairs.com has a post about the top 10 scams of the year gone by.
And at least one of them should be of note to Kijiji users.
Online car sales continue to grow and so, unfortunately, do online car sales scams. These scams work two ways, with scammers posing as both buyer or seller. As buyer, the scammer will send a cashier's check for much more than the sale price, telling the victim to cash it, take out enough to cover transportation costs, then wire the balance back to the "buyer." The cashier's check is fake, but by the time the bank discovers that, the victim has send several thousand dollars to the scammer.
In a new wrinkle in the online car sales scam, the FBI reports scam artists are now posing as members of the United States military in a new ruse to dupe consumers buying vehicles on the Internet. These scammers claim they've either been sent overseas to improve military relations or need to sell their vehicles quickly and cheaply because of upcoming deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan, FBI officials say.
"Victims find attractively priced vehicles advertised at different Internet classified ad sites," the agency warns. "Most of the scams include some type of third-party vehicle protection program to ensure a safe transaction."
After consumers receive what the FBI calls "convincing e-mails from the phony vehicle protection program," they are told to send either the full payment, or a percentage of the payment, to the third-party agent using a wire payment service.
"No vehicles are delivered to the victims," the FBI said.
Consumers can protect themselves from getting taken in one of these schemes by doing their homework before buying any vehicles on the Internet, the FBI said. Consumers should also know and follow the rules used by the Internet sites they visit. If someone asks you to break those rules, the FBI warns, that person is likely trying to rip you off.
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/12/top_10_scams.html#ixzz0aSIedqNI