The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission offers the following tips to avoid being stung:
- Use your common sense: the offer may be a scam.
- ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
- Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision.
- You can contact your local office of fair trading, ASIC or the ACCC for assistance.
- NEVER send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust
Some other things to look out for when buying or selling a car online:
- Know the market value of the car.
- Do as many checks as you can to ensure the offer is legitimate, in particular view the car in person and check registration papers and service logs.
- Read all the terms and conditions of any offer very carefully: claims of free or very cheap offers often have hidden costs.
- Speak to the seller by telephone rather than just email and if the phone number is provided is not contented treat this with suspicion.
- Don't make any payments until you are satisfied that the offer is genuine.
- When accepting an offer, insist on the buyer paying the correct amount.