Vehicle scams

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For sale advertisements in newspapers and on websites have become a fertile hunting ground for scammers.

Scammers are advertising non-existent goods, hoping to use their so-called bargain to fleece you of your hard-earned money.

They are advertising anything from puppies to boats, cars and car parts to concert tickets, sometimes masquerading as Australians to lull you into a false sense of security.

Sometimes scammers hijack other people’s advertisements and online seller or feedback profiles to fool you into believing they are a legitimate and reputable seller. If you do get conned, notify the website operators immediately so they can remove the advertisement.

Visit WA ScamNet

More information is available on WA ScamNet:

Protect yourself: 

  • Buying something sight unseen from strangers is always risky – particularly over the Internet.
  • Always try to verify who you are dealing with and to get someone independent to inspect the goods. For example, if you are buying a car then pay for an independent inspection by a mechanic.
  • When buying from a commercial shopping website, make sure it is a legitimate business and is a secure site. Scammers have been known to establish false sites. Independently verify that the supplier is a legitimate business with the correct address and phone number. Check that there is adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution and contact details.
  • Sometimes the scammers ask you to transfer the money through a secure payment system. However, the site they refer you to is fake or a copycat site.
  • Selling to strangers online can also be risky. Scammers have been known to use fake cheques, money orders and stolen credit cards. See WA ScamNet's information on overpayment scams.


Quick tips - always look at a vehicle before buying from Consumer Protection WA on Vimeo.

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