What's the catch?

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by 23GN00, Jul 1, 2011.

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  1. My eldest daughter rang me this morning asking my opinion on the following deal advertised via the Pistonheads website.


    76,432 miles


    (The MINI is a convertable, although this is only apparant from the photos, not the description)
    According to Parkers website, a poor condition private sale car would be worth over £5000, nearer £7000 from a MINI/BMW dealer.

    Then, just to add to the intrigue, the seller is also advertising a 2007 BMW 325 Convertable (Auto) for £4700. This is a car worth over £17000 if bought from a BMW dealer.

    Although the sellers details are the same on both ads, there are two different mobile numbers.

    As per the old phrase "If something seems too good to be true, it usually is", and probably "A fool and their money are easily parted", this whole set up stinks to high heaven, however, I'm at a loss at to what the catch is.

    Any ideas?

    Is this a scam along the lines of the 'Nigerian Bank' jobs, or something more sinister?

    Why would someone be selling two cars worth between £20,000-£25,000 for barely £6000?


    BMW : BMW 325 CONVERTIBLE 2007
  2. Phone them and ask them?
  3. could be a scam, sell the cars and then return at night with a set of spare keys, take back the cars and you still got the 6k in cash
  4. Answered your own question there.
  5. cut and shuts...or what ever it is called. Highly hot cars.....there are a whole host of reasons for such cheapness, all of them not legal.
  6. Unless it's a case of the mythical vengeful wife syndrome.
  7. @28Bravo- I knew there was something fishy, it was more a case of working out was the scam was, ie whether it was a known con that I hadn't come across before. Also, as it was my numpty offspring that found the car, I was after something more substantial than telling her to get a grip and stop being a mug.

    @Smudge- I told her that if she really wanted to look further into the car that she should ask a few questions that an honest seller wouldn't have any problems with. She requested the Reg number so as to be able to get an accurate insurance quote, the seller got pissy with her, she put the phone down and binned the idea, lesson learnt.
  8. Good move.
    Probably an eager young buyer shows up with the money and a gang takes it.
  9. I noticed the same MINI on Autotrader, no phone number though only and email address, seller requested that people ONLY email him. Seen a couple of these and even once emailled one out of curiosity. Sellers tend to be in Spain or somewhere similar, they always talk about shipping it over for you and all that bollocks. Defo a Nigerian type scam! The cars are normally an innocent blokes that a photo has been taken of over in the UK and the actual owner has no idea his car is on the web. Personally I can't believe Autotrader let's them get away with it!
  10. Seems Pistonheads have removed the ads and put up a fraud link!
  11. If you can see the registration in the phots, try one of those registration text-check things.

    EDIT- Better off heeding caution nine times out of ten.
  12. Just as an aside - be careful with the text checks; some are not as useful as a full HPI check.

    My other half's brother got caught out; did the text check, paid his £12k, got the car and was surprised when a bloke knocked on his door telling him there was outstanding finance owing and could he hand over the car please!

    Kept the car but lot of hassle in between.
  13. It will most likely be a 'false escrow company' scam. The seller tells you to pay an escrow company, the idea being that the cash is held by a third party until you confirm receipt of the car, you having either paid the shipping fees or the seller supplying a dodgy scanned shipping receipt. Of course, the escrow company is fake and the seller does one with your money.

    Bogus escrow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Fake escrow site scam widens - Technology & science - Tech and gadgets - Online Auctions - msnbc.com
  14. I was made aware of this last night by a mate that was also following the story.

    Having spoken to my daughter in greater detail, it seems that the seller was claiming relocation to Hamburg which is listed as a known con on the Pistonheads fraudwarnings page. See below for a linky.

    (Also, just to note that when I spoke to her, she also confirmed that she only made contact via email, not by phone as had I previously stated.)

    Thanks for all the responses.

    Fraud Warnings
  15. On a lighter note have you not considered an earlier MINI? about a 52 plate? I'm looking for a MINI Cooper and have seen quite a few around the £3k mark with around 80k on the clock, good looking cars and quite fuel efficient aswell as nippy!