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We've just been sat talking to Mr & Mrs Blick from Redditch for the last few hours, who have recently had the misfortune of being victims of a scam online for buying a caravan.

 

It started with an advertisement on Friday Ad online which was for a Swift Conqueror 630 SAL. Mrs Blick contacted the seller through the website who was registered under the name 'Alexandra Giles', apparently from Scotland.

 

They only ever talked via email and text message but the communication seemed normal - they talked about that she had just come back off holiday and their son was going to school and that she couldn't talk during working hours.

 

The next stage was that the seller had created a private listing on eBay for Mr & Mrs Blick to purchase the caravan through a 'Buy it now' to confirm their purchase.

 

'Alexandra Giles' then supplied information about eBay's private listing terms and conditions, payments terms etc all from the website which looked completely legitimate. Her eBay account also had 73 positive feedbacks left with a 100% rating - the account was deleted immediately after the money was transfered.

 

She stated that the account details were for a PayPal account and that the money would sit in there until Mr & Mrs Blick authorised that they were happy to transfer the funds upon receiving and inspecting the caravan, of which they had 7 days to do upon it being delivered to them from Scotland, that the seller was arranging.

 

Mrs Blick took all the paper work to Barclays bank to check it was all legitimate and the bank agreed it all looked fine and they paid the funds into the supposed PayPal account.

 

It turned out that the account was in fact the sellers own account and the funds were transfered into the account directly and no caravan was either delivered and all communication was stopped and online accounts deleted.

 

Mr & Mrs Blink have now approached the bank who will do nothing even though it is fraudulent, as she authorised the payment and they will not look into who is registered to the bank details - all they know is that the account is registered in London.

 

They have also contacted the police who do not seem to be doing a great deal about it. And the police can neither obtain details of who owns the account the funds were transfered to.

 

Mr & Mrs Blink were scammed out of £3,300 - they did all the usual research when buying online to try and prevent being scammed but unfortunately on this occasion the scammer was one step ahead.

 

They come to us today and have now successfully purchased a caravan from us feeling much more assured from buying from a caravan dealer who is local to them.

 

Please make people aware that there are scams currently happening on websites like Friday Ad, eBay and they also found someone that was scammed on Gumtree for a trailer caravan.

 

If anyone has experienced something similar to the situation above or knows someone that has, please do let us know as we would love to try and help them get their money back.

 

The scammer can be operating under any name and can say they are from any location, so be cautious and aware - if it seems too good to be true it probably is and the benefits of buying a caravan directly from a caravan dealer greatly outweigh finding a 'bargain/cheap' deal online.

 

Thank you for your time!

Broad Lane Leisure

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Sorry but they didn't do their homework at all. It is a tragedy that they got conned and I hope the scum that did it get their just come uppance but they didn't really help themselves.

 

Buying a van unseen from the internet is a big no no, under any circumstances. As they have found out to their cost, what banks tell you isn't worth much, you must satisfy yourself the item exists and the seller is genuine, usually by seeing it, at their home address.

 

In my search for a new van recently I've reported loads of scams on ebay, they generally follow the same pattern, late model van, fixed price which is way too cheap, no feedback, only an email contact option and if you cut the ad text and paste it into goggle you'll usually find it is a copy of another genuine ad.

 

Rule number one, if you can't go see it don't bother with it.

 

If they paid via paypal they should have some recourse there I'd have thought. Non delivery of item if nothing else.

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Hi TbirdX, the payment didn't actually go into a Paypal account - they were told it was and was shown the terms for it, but it ended up going straight into the scammers own account.

 

Unfortunately not everyone is not savvy when it comes to buying items online and some scammers can make it seem incredibly genuine. The scammers eBay account had a 100% positive feedback rating with 73 feedbacks left.

 

It is a huge shame and we really hope they manage to get their money back!

Broad Lane Leisure

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Surely going through Paypal resolution centre should help. ...

 

Never Ever buy a caravan unseen. ... or anything of great value. ...

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I'm afraid something doesn't quite tie up here IMHO . . if you pay via paypal it is to a named email account at paypal . .. NOT to any "bank account" . . so if they paid the money via bank transfer to a numbered account it was NOT paid through paypal, Unfortunately paypal will, quite rightly, have little to do with such a payment

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No, I did reread it after and realised they paid straight into another account. It's a terrible shame that scum like this operate, seemingly, without much fear of being caught.

 

It's very sad for them and I hope that the police do indeed get thier fingers out and track them down because after having got away with it, they'll obviously try it again.

 

It is a timely warning though folks. ..be careful out there.

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The same guy (I assume) tried it with me too.

 

A quick search online shows he has done it numerous times usually with leisure items such as caravans, small boats etc. In our case a motorhome. I didn't bother with the Police.

 

I still have the emails somewhere. I will put them up if anyone is interested.

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The same guy (I assume) tried it with me too.

 

A quick search online shows he has done it numerous times usually with leisure items such as caravans, small boats etc. In our case a motorhome. I didn't bother with the Police.

 

I still have the emails somewhere. I will put them up if anyone is interested.

 

Yes please do share if you think it could be the same scammer.

 

If you want to email me anything directly please do so at marketing@broadlane. co. uk - be great if we can catch them out or help get their money back!

 

Sorry but I have no sympathy. Just to save a few quid buying a caravan unseen??? Must be mad!

 

There was apparently a wealth of pictures and information on the caravan, and unfortunately to some this is enough for them to feel it is a genuine listing - as well as reassurance of positive feedback on eBay, terms and condition documents from the seller on the eBay/Paypal private listings and reassurance from the bank that it was legitimate - all contributing factors to a very unfortunate scam.

 

Some people unfortunately aren't as experienced when it comes to the online world and websites like eBay, Gumtree and Friday ad should perhaps be putting stricter procedures and measures in place to prevent scammers adding listings and help the people who aren't as savvy online as others understand what to look out for.

 

I wonder how these people sleep at night!? Shocking!

Broad Lane Leisure

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I agree that this is a terrible thing and hope that the scammer gets their puishment. However, I would no more spend £100 on something I had not seen, never mind £3300.

 

There is plenty of info out there about people getting scammed, so why risk that kind of money?

 

Please don't think I am unsympathetic to the people concerned.

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If they had done their homework, they would of come on a forum like Caravan Talk and asked a few questions. ...

Alarm bells should of been sounding when all the excuses came out that " I cannot talk ".....

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I agree that this is a terrible thing and hope that the scammer gets their puishment. However, I would no more spend £100 on something I had not seen, never mind £3300.

 

There is plenty of info out there about people getting scammed, so why risk that kind of money?

 

Please don't think I am unsympathetic to the people concerned.

 

Completely agree with you! I think the thing that made them feel that is was genuine was that the money was supposed to be sitting in an 'In between' account - the paypal account and that their money was still safe as the funds would only be transfered once they had received the van and authorised it to go ahead. The van was apparentely being delivered from scotland - yes very fishy, but they were told they had 7 days to check it and they could send it back and the seller would arrange for it to be picked up.

 

This is way they asked the bank to check everything through for the account and papers, so that the money would be sat safely in the paypal account before they authorised it.

 

If they had done their homework, they would of come on a forum like Caravan Talk and asked a few questions. ...

Alarm bells should of been sounding when all the excuses came out that " I cannot talk ".....

 

Unfortunately they are not massively computer savvy so are missing out on the delights of Caravan Talk :)

 

Yes, the seller said they were unable to talk during the day as they were at work, a single mom who had to pay for her sons school fees. ..

Broad Lane Leisure

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ilovemycaravan,

 

I will send them over in the next couple of days as I will be busy with work tonight. Hope they help.

 

Looked like a genuine advert to me. His reluctance to let me view it rang alarm bells then the dodgy emails were the final confirmation that it was a crook.

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Anyone who parts with money on an unseen caravan, and only had communication by email deserves what they get.

 

There is so much information about regarding scams like this one that no one should be unfamiliar with it.

If you can use a computer there is no excuse for falling for such a scam.

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I really feel sorry for the victims in this situation. It's such a shame that they placed trust in the situation and subsequently lost so much money.

 

We were recently in the market for another caravan (after selling our last van in April) and came across a few scams that were very well hidden.

 

As an example found a van advertised locally on Gumtree. The price was about right (maybe a little more than it should have been) and the listing seemed very genuine, i. e. selling the van due to ill health, cancer etc. There was a mobile number to call for more information. So SWMBO called off her mobile and put 141 in front of the number to remain anonymous at this stage. The lady she spoke to seemed very friendly and said they had owned the van for a while (but wouldn't say exactly how long?!). Anyway, she said the van was dry and came with a full service history. We went to view the van and something just wasn't sitting right with the situation. They didn't have a clue about the caravan in reality. I asked if there was a spare wheel and the guy said he wasnt sure as it would be in the front locker and he had lost the key for the locker. On examination the van was very damp (less than 10 years old), when I lifted every window seal the wood was black and soft underneath and the whole rear end on both sides around the awning rail was soft and wet. Oddly there were sleeping bags (still with wrapping on) in the cupboards hiding this area and when I asked if I could remove them from the cupboard to check the wall the guy was very hesitant. If he had nothing to hide he would not have minded a potential purchaser to remove some stuff from the cupboards to check.

 

They were not able to present the CRiS document so we were suspicious and left, politely saying we would have a think and get in touch.

 

As soon as I got home my son suggested searching for the make/model/year on Ebay under completed listings. I did this and literally 3 or 4 vans down the page was this one! I noticed it straight away as there was an odd sticker on the door and one of the windows was a different tint. It turns out it had been sold on Ebay a week before as spares/repair due to water ingress and had sold for £3,000 less than the "new owners" were now asking.

 

We were disgusted and sick to think of someone getting caught in such a scam. The damp was fairly well hidden and had I not lifted the rubber window seals or moved things around I would never have found it.

 

SWMBO wanted to take it further but it was evident that there was nothing we could actually do about the situation. A couple of weeks later I rang back (out of curiosity) and was told the van had sold. I really hope that the purchasers fully examined the van before purchase.

 

Ian

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Unfortunatally there are a lot of these adverts, I have seen between 5 to 10 over the past week, mostly on Gumtree. I've also had the same woman from Scotland e mail me! I was very cautious at the start as the caravans were all offered at approx 50% of the book price with no contact telephone number or address. bonfire anyone asks. ..No I didn't part with any cash.

 

Unfortunatally there are a lot of these adverts, I have seen between 5 to 10 over the past week, mostly on Gumtree. I've also had the same woman from Scotland email me! I was very cautious at the start as the caravans were all offered at approx 50% of the book price with no contact telephone number or address. before anyone asks. ..No I didn't part with any cash.

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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Anyone who parts with money on an unseen caravan, and only had communication by email deserves what they get.

 

There is so much information about regarding scams like this one that no one should be unfamiliar with it.

If you can use a computer there is no excuse for falling for such a scam.

REALLY. ..... bit harsh for gods sake, they may have been foolish, nieve etc, " but they get what they deserve "

hang your head in shame

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Unfortunatally there are a lot of these adverts, I have seen between 5 to 10 over the past week, mostly on Gumtree. I've also had the same woman from Scotland email me! I was very cautious at the start as the caravans were all offered at approx 50% of the book price with no contact telephone number or address. before anyone asks. ..No I didn't part with any cash.

 

Hi!- Do you by any chance have anymore details on the woman in Scotland? A name, email address, telephone number?

 

ilovemycaravan,

 

I will send them over in the next couple of days as I will be busy with work tonight. Hope they help.

 

Looked like a genuine advert to me. His reluctance to let me view it rang alarm bells then the dodgy emails were the final confirmation that it was a crook.

 

Many thanks, yes any information could really help!

Broad Lane Leisure

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Hi!- Do you by any chance have anymore details on the woman in Scotland? A name, email address, telephone number?

 

 

 

Many thanks, yes any information could really help!

 

If you do please PM. Do not publish them on CT ;)

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Yeah, the emails are so bad it's hard to understand how anyone would actually go through with it.

 

In my case, I put a bid on an item and received a private message a couple of days later from the seller saying that he needed to get rid of the item quickly and would I be happy to pay X amount as I was the closest bidder and it would be easier as he worked abroad. .. blah blah. Anyone who has been around the net long enough and seen the comedy Nigerian emails would have sussed it out fairly sharpish but if you were naive you could easily be led along. You only have to watch Watchdog to see people being scammed for thousands by salesmen all the time. Does it make you a bad person to be trusting?

Edited by ben and fiona
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. I've also had the same woman claiming that she was from Scotland but more likely from London email me! I was very cautious at the start as the caravans were all offered at approx 50% of the book price with no contact telephone number or address. before anyone asks. ..No I didn't part with any cash.

 

Thats just me being overly sensitive and mildly patriotic, :D

 

I sympathise with these people, and I must admit I had a wee bit of sympathy for the guy who "bought" a van from Spain which never materialsed, even though plenty on here warned him not to. These scammers are despicable, but they basically prey on peoples greed or their burning desire for a bargain, that is why they will always have success.

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If you do please PM. Do not publish them on CT ;)

 

Yes sorry, that was what I was intending, otherwise you can email them to me at marketing@broadlane. co. uk.

Broad Lane Leisure

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Hi!- Do you by any chance have anymore details on the woman in Scotland? A name, email address, telephone number?

 

 

 

Many thanks, yes any information could really help!

 

I will have a look to see if I still have the e mails. ..

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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here is a copy of one of the adverts (the forecourt price should be £8400)...

http://www. gumtree. c. ..hroom/110536909

 

 

Email address removed

Edited by Grandpa Steve

For any additional information or advice please have a look on my website. .....

www. thecaravanmedic-swindon. co. uk

 

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