Online ad scam - new twist
I had previously noticed a Class B for sale advertised on Kijiji (like Craigslist). The van looked ok in the photos but was priced too high for me but not out of line for a Class B. Today, I saw the van with a new ad claiming "REDUCED!!!" Same photos as the original ad, much of the original text but at a very good price. It was nearby so I phoned the number that was barely visible on a for sale sign in the van window, talked to the owner and went to see the van.
I liked the inside of the van very much but there was too much exterior wear and tear and some surface rust underneath so I did not want it. I asked him what was the price and he quoted what the original ad said. I told him about the ad with "REDUCED!!!" in the title and he did not know anything about it. His son put the ad online for him so he said he'd call his son and get the ad corrected. We all figured it was just a mistake.
Later on I looked online again and saw that the ad had not been removed. Then I saw the same van on Autotrader and realized that someone had taken the owners photos and was using them in a scam. I called the seller's son directly and he confirmed that he knew nothing about the ad with "REDUCED!!!" in the title. He had reported it to Kijiji as a fraud and was shocked that the add was also on Autotrader.
In addition to the photos, the scammer also copied much of the text from the original ad. The original price ad had the phone number but the scam ads do not have a phone number listed. Contact on the scam ads is email only. If the ad doesn't have a phone number then be very careful.
The "twist" is taking a current legitimate but older ad and listing it as "Reduced" in a new ad. It makes it seem more real.
The real owner already had 4 calls about the van when I looked at it in the morning and someone was traveling from "up North" to come and see it. The fraudulent Autrader ad was placed "up North". The reason the real owner is getting phone calls is #1. the real ad is still current and has the phone number and #2. the phone number is visible on a for sale sign in the van window in a photo in the scam ad.
Be careful out there. Do not send a deposit on a van that you haven't seen.
If it looks too good to be true then it probably is. DW and I thought the price was low compared to other vans and thought it might be mistake. I should have confirmed the price before going but it was fun to see the van anyway. The people traveling from a greater distance might be upset if they didn't discuss the price when they phoned.