Are you selling or buying a car? They warn you to be wary of this dreadful scam. A particularly dangerous scam is targeting sellers on Leboncoin.
An interesting scam has emerged on the French site Leboncoin. Cases of fraud in car sales within Leboncoin continue to increase rapidly.
Our colleagues at Capital.fr report a new scam on Leboncoin targeting car dealers. Very concretely, counterfeiters copy car sales ads to attract potential buyers. When someone takes the bait, the sales process begins – the customer writes a check that the criminals can then verify with their bank.
However, the aim is not to defraud this Internet user directly, but to defraud the author of the original advertisement. With the photo of the check, scammers can initiate a sales pitch with the original authors of the ad. Secondly, if they call the bank to verify the authenticity of the check, in most cases they will be given a reassuring answer.
Be extra careful when buying or selling cars on Leboncoin
From there the scammers just need to make an appointment to recover the car. Since the counterfeiters are not sold through the advertisements they reproduce, in most cases the check holder results in opposition. Moreover, if he does not do this, he is the one who finds himself trapped in this formidable equipment. Scammers win every time.
All they have to do is get the car and put the gray card in their name. This type of “cheat theft” is not covered by insurance companies and leaves defrauded salespeople and customers with no recourse – especially since investigations are complicated by the scheme. This is what happened to the dealer of a used BMW 335d for 29,900 euros at the beginning of April.
The seller is quickly contacted by a customer asking who to write the check order to. Then the next day he receives a photograph of the check in question. In this case, he had the misfortune of encountering a bridge: it was closed when he called the bank to verify the authenticity of the check.
However, as we have seen, this measure may in no case provide really useful information to the seller. The check was the truth from another ad copied by sharks. He then decides to issue a bill of sale on behalf of the buyer. From there, the fate of the sale is sealed: the buyer can legally obtain the vehicle’s documents on his behalf.
A few days later he calls his bank to make sure the check is cashed… except that he is told that he only accepted a canceled check a few days ago. The seized gendarmerie continues to collect evidence. But “there are a few pieces but it’s too long” , the seller regrets. Insurance has already confirmed that it won’t cover what appears to be fraudulent theft.
How do we avoid such traps when buying/selling cars on Leboncoin? On the buyer’s part, it is essential to object as soon as possible to any check drawn up in the perspective of a maturity limitation/imposition – and a prolonged or non-executed sale. On the selling side, protecting yourself is more complicated. Ideally, a sales document should never be issued without a receipt.
Beyond that, we can say that Leboncoin can limit the harmful potential of this type of cheating, for example, by detecting and more actively blocking accounts that reproduce too much car sales ads, without being affiliated with a registered company. Or by detecting duplicate ads more aggressively.