Scammers duped nearly $40k from victim
POLICE have asked those in the market for a caravan or motorhome to beware of internet scammers after a Redlands man was ripped off.
They say unsuspecting buyers across the country have paid substantial sums for their mobile holiday homes but they haven't shown up.
The warning comes after a bayside local visited Capalaba police station last Wednesday to report he had been duped.
Senior Sargeant David Candale said the man had inquired about a motor home for sale online and was then contacted by a fraudulent seller.
"The suspect provided a background story of residing overseas and had allegedly signed over his motor home for sale on consignment by a Sydney based company," Senior Sgt Candale said.
"An elaborate web page for this company was set up and appears to be very much a trustworthy and legitimate company."
He said the victim paid almost $39,000 for the vehicle, which he expected would be delivered the following week.
"After waiting several days beyond the delivery date, the victim attended the Capalaba police station and after some very quick searches, it was revealed this was a scam occurring over several states in Australia."
The sergeant said fraudsters appeared to be targeting people who may not be as "savvy" on the internet and therefore may not readily recognise a scams when they come about.
"There are a number of ways to check the validity of company and seller names through simple internet search engine checks and also ABN checks," he said.
"All Australian states have a VIN search service and for a small fee a perspective buyer can save themselves a lot of money and heartache.
"At the end of the day, if a deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is."
For more information about how to protect yourself from a scam, or report one, visit scamwatch.gov.au.