Sellers have been targeted in a scam involving false buyers and fake PayPal transactions.
An email scam is being circulated with a fabricated PayPal receipt showing a deposit has been made to the recipient’s account for the full amount of the item and additional shipping agents payment.
Sellers who have legitimately placed an advertisement have been approached by interstate or overseas buyers who, at first, appear genuine. The false buyer asks a series of standard questions and has often negotiated a lower price with the seller. When the deal is done, the bogus buyer asks the seller to open a PayPal account to receive a transfer of funds.
The bogus buyer then increases the urgency of the sale, and provides seemingly reasonable reasons for not inspecting the vehicle or completing a test drive.
- Purchasing the vehicle/motorbike/boat as a surprise gift
- A family member was in a vehicle/motorbike/boat accident and needs a replacement urgently
- They are currently working interstate or overseas and will be returning soon, or
- They work off-shore
Sellers will then receive a fabricated PayPal email confirming the funds have been deposited but cannot be released until they send money by wire transfer to a fictitious freight company.
Here’s an example of the type of email you might get: