Classic car fraud advertisements and companies
Since it is to hard to rob bank today, and they do not have any money anyway, the crooks are always looking for other ways. Over the last couple of years, I have seen an increase of crime happening both on the street and behind the computers.
Classic cars get stolen on the street: Yes, they do, it happened to me! Gangs are now focusing on big classic car shows and events where there are a lot of very nice and expensive cars. They are watching and waiting for the right moment. If you have an expensive car, invest in a tracker.
However, what I think is even worse is all the spoof advertisements that are now filling the internet. The other day I was out searching for cars and I found a nice Sunbeam Tiger on the website mobile.de. The car and seller were located in Sweden and not very far away from me. There was a phone number and when I called the man answering had no idea what a Sunbeam was!
This picture above shows one of my cars advertised on autoscout24 for 6,500€ and on my website I have my car advertised for 17,500€!
Here are the warning signs.
- Private seller and no phone number
- You can see that the description has been translated by Google Translate.
- The description is irrelevant to the car or you can tell the seller does not know his own car.
- If it is to good to be true, it usually is. Even if it is in Sweden!
- There will always be some excuse why you need to send the money first.
- If the pictures of the car are in odd sizes, the scammer may have stolen the pictures from another website and cropped away company logos. It is easy to do a reverse image search on google and you will most likely find where they came from.
Next level of crooks of selling classic cars in Sweden: In Sweden the Immigration Office has been handing out ocial security numbers to the left and right. Everyone is welcome here, and when you have a social security number, you can open a bank account and even start a company. The crooks use the identity of these poor people to set up a scam business, and now you think you are dealing with a company that you can trust! This year I have been contacted twice by foreign private people that sent lots of money to a classic car company up north in Sweden and then never heard from them again. (Vintage Garage Germ Aktiebolag in Umeå)
In the last week i had 3 people calling me in regards to a company called AN-S Bil Vintage car specialist. Their phone number does not seem to exist. Their company registration number is not correct and the company does not excist under thos name in Sweden. They advertise cars on Autoscout and then does not answer by phone, only by mail.
What to do:
- Check company information on allabolag.se There you can see how the company is doing, if they have been filed for bankruptcy etc.
- Check phone numbers of private and companies on hitta.se
- Ask around if somebody did business with this company. Facebook is a great source for finding out what other people think. People love to gossip on Facebook.
- Talk to the people over the phone. Do they sound like they know what they are talking about? Can they describe the car in detail? Keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect classic car! There is always something.
When have already sent the money, then the damage is done. Contact the police locally to see what they say.