According to the Australian Competition And Consumer Commission, Australians have lost over $288,000 due to vehicle scams in the first quarter of 2021.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said, “as second hand car sales increased during the pandemic, unfortunately so did vehicle scams. If current trends continue, Australians could lose much more to vehicle scams this year than the $1 million lost in 2020.”
“We want to raise awareness of these scams to reduce the number of people who may be vulnerable to them.”
Scammers will post online listings where in-demand cars are offered well below market value but, once bought, never deliver the vehicle.
One of the more frequent new scams involves people posing as defence personnel. 97 per cent of reports recieved in 2021 so far listed the scammer as pretending to be part of the military seeking to sell their vehicle before deployment.
Rickard added that, “fortunately, over 80 per cent of people who reported vehicle scams to us managed to avoid losing money by identifying the scam early.”