A new vehicle scam has reared its ugly head and as your King of Local Classifieds, we wanted to take this opportunity to warn you about it.
Going by a number of names (including Andrew and Rachel), this Scammer offers a vehicle for sale on classifieds sites. Claiming that s/he lives in the United Kingdom and is not able to show you the vehicle, you will be required to make a full payment (via Western Union).
Do note that the seller claims various reasons for having a vehicle in South Africa despite the fact that s/he doesn’t live here, including a claim that s/he made a documentary in South Africa, spending two years here. This scam is really well thought out and extremely convincing, even providing you with a YouTube link to a trailer for the documentary.
How does this Scam work?
Once you make contact with the advertiser, you will receive a reply stating that you cannot view the vehicle as s/he is abroad, that other buyers are ready to pay the full amount and that, if you want to purchase the vehicle, you will have to make the full payment via Wester Union.
You will receive an invoice along with an Invoice and Transaction number. You will also receive instruction on the type of documentation required to make this payment. Do note that these documents, containing the Junk Mail and Auto Mart logos, are created to convince you that it comes from Junk Mail. This is however not the case.
The seller will also clearly state that you cannot inform Western Union that it is a vehicle purchase. Instead you will have to state that the money is a transfer to a friend.
Once you have made the payment, you are required to send proof after which the seller claims Junk Mail will release and deliver the vehicle to you. The seller even claims a 10 day money back protection in which, should you not be happy, you will receive your full refund within 24 hours.
This is a scam, the seller will disappear after you have transferred the money via Western Union.
Always remember the following:
Junk Mail will never facilitate a buy. www.JunkMail.co.za is an online platform where Buyers and Sellers meet. Junk Mail is not involved in the advertising, buying or selling of any goods – it is merely South Africa’s largest classifieds portal.
Junk Mail will never act as a Third Party or become involved in any dealings between the Buyer and Seller, Junk Mail does not receive, hold or release any funds whatsoever, or ‘store’ any of the products advertised by Sellers on www.JunkMail.co.za.
Junk Mail will never get involved in the Buying and Selling process between the users of our site. We will never ask for any funds of any kind. This particular scammer states that funds are held in a Junk Mail Buyer Protection Account (and variations of this name might also be used). Note that there is no such product as Junk Mail does not work with any funds transferred between Buyers and Sellers.
Also note that Junk Mail is not involved in the communications between Buyers and Sellers. This means that you will not receive any Invoices, Payment Notifications or Payment Requests from Junk Mail or any of its other group companies when selling or buying an item off the Junk Mail website or any of its sister sites. .
When in doubt, contact our friendly Customer Service team to make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate seller.
Top Tips to Avoid a Scam
Because Scammers are getting better and better every day, we wanted to highlight some key tips to keep you from getting scammed:
- Never transfer (pay for) any item you have not seen with your own eyes.
- An advertiser should not require a deposit the products they are selling. Raise a flag when Buyers request a deposit to be paid.
- Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
- Be extremely vigilant with your online shopping. If you are not sure about any advert, or even if you get just a gut feeling, contact our Customer Care Team immediately.
- When reading ads, pay attention to the finer details like grammar, telephone numbers, email addresses and even the spelling used in the adverts.
- Remember that Junk Mail will never request any payments from you, deliver any goods to you or act as a third party.
What is being done?
Junk Mail is working closely with the relevant agencies to try and resolve this issue. At this moment in time, we are removing these fraudulent ads from our site as soon as they are placed. Do note that some may slip through our fingers.
Should you come across any suspicious adverts on Junk Mail or feel uneasy with any Buyer or Seller, please contact our dedicated team as soon as possible.
How can we reach the Junk Mail Team?
There are a number of ways you can contact us about what you feel might be a scam, or if you have been scammed.
1. The Junk Mail Website
You can complete the contact form on our Contact Junk Mail page.
2. Junk Mail Customer Care
If you have been scammed or should you come across any suspicious adverts on Junk Mail, please feel free to contact our Customer Care Team at the following details:
- Telephone: (012) 342 3840
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Via Social Media
Remember to always be vigilant.