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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: campers, , ,   

    Don’t ignore the red flags of an online scam 

    Don't ignore the red flags of an online scam

    A story recently came out from the Allentown, Pennsylvania area about a man who was scammed out of $2,500. The man was looking to buy a camper and found one on an online listing. The number of red flags that we noticed while reading this story could have been its own semaphore corps. While you may be aware of the signs to look out for when purchasing something online, unfortunately, not everybody is. So every once in a while we like to go over some of the more common scams in order to educate those who may not be aware of them.

    As we’ve said, this scam is an example of a typical scam that you’ll find online. When the man responded to the local ad for the camper he was told by the person who placed the ad that he would have to deal with the ad placer’s mother since it was her camper. The ‘mother’ said that she was stationed with the Air Force and was getting rid of the camper because she was retiring. However, the camper was currently located in Minot, North Dakota. That’s roughly 1,700 mikes from the Allentown area. The man was then told that the transaction would be handled through eBay and all he would need to do to have the camper shipped to him was send the asking price in eBay gift cards. After the man paid the initial $2,000 the woman said she needed $1,000 more for shipping and insurance. The man was able to talk her down to $500 but still paid in eBay gift cards.

    By now you’ve probably guessed there was no camper and sadly, the victim was out $2,500. For many of us that can be a life saving’s worth of money. The first red flag that should have been noticed is that the ad placer handed off the transaction to someone else. The second red flag was the seller claiming to be in the military. That’s often used as a reason as to why the item is either miles away or why the item can’t be inspected. Many scammers will try to pressure the victim into buying the item sight unseen because the scammer claims they’re shipping out immediately. The next red flag was the transaction supposedly being shifted from the classifieds ad to eBay. While eBay does sell vehicles, they only do so through listings on their site and not as a third-party between people who list their vehicles on other marketplaces. The gift cards should have been the biggest red flag as once the serial numbers are given to the phony seller they can make off with your money largely untraced. Lastly, scammers will always try to get even more money from a victim if they were able to before.

    The more people who are forewarned of such a scam will be better able to spot a scam like this in the future. So please, if you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of scam please share this story and our blog with then for more consumer protection advice.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bees, campers, ,   

    Camper full of bees 

    Camper full of bees

    This past Friday, we posted about scams involving campers that usually involve trying to steal your money. However, a family in Texas fell prey to an entirely unheard of scam that also involved a camper. The family was desperate to find a housing solution and purchased a pair of campers to live in at an RV park. They found the campers on a less than reputable classifieds site; I’m sure you could guess which one. The seller told them all the electrical work was new and the plumbing was new, but the family couldn’t check that out since the campers weren’t hooked up to anything. They took the seller at his word. When they got the trailers back to the RV park it turned out the water didn’t work at all. That was after they discovered the beehive that filled the trailer with bees overnight.

    Here is a dramatic reenactment of the discovery.

    All joking aside, after the campers were sold to them, the family found themselves with little recourse. The website they used said they wouldn’t intervene since the ad had been deleted. The seller is said to have stopped taking phone calls from the family.

    When inspecting a vehicle or camper from classifieds sites, don’t take the seller’s word at face value. If they say to trust them, you shouldn’t. It sounds very pessimistic, but unfortunately that’s the world we live in today. On unmoderated classifieds sites, there are tons of con artists looking to prey on desperate people who need something that lives may depend on. Also, if you find yourself on the raw end of a deal like this, you should not only contact local law enforcement to see what can be done (use the non-emergency number), but you can also file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on July 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: campers, ,   

    Beware the camper scam this summer 

    Beware the camper scam this summer

    During the summer months, a lot families like to go camping and to do that, a number of families will look online to buy a camper they can tow behind their car or truck. Online fraudsters are acutely aware of this fact and will use their usual tricks of the trade to try to scam you out of thousands of dollars.

    For example a man in Colorado was planning just such a trip and went to the classifieds site most often connected with these scams. He kept making inquiries into various campers that were supposedly for sale and he kept running into similar stories over and over again. The sellers were either claiming they were deployed military personnel, or were getting ready to deploy, or they were getting rid of the camper cheap after the death of a loved one. In every case the seller was looking to get rid of the camper quickly and at a cheaper than normal price. Some sellers even asked him to wire money in order to put a deposit on a camper. This scam is not just limited to the Colorado area and has been going on for some time as this video from two years ago will attest.

    Thankfully, this man was able to recognize the signs of an online scam. In this case the signs were the claims of military deployment, convoluted stories in order to evoke an emotional response, and the wiring of funds. These are scams that have been used since almost the dawn of online retail that you should always look out for. As we and many others always say, trust your instincts. Always walk away from a deal if it doesn’t feel right to you. If you do that, the worst thing that will happen is you get to keep your money. Conversely, if you do fall for these scams, you could find yourself out of money with nothing to show for it.

     
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