Buyer contact

18.11.2012 16:34

After you post your ad, you receive the SMS, “contact us” form or e-mail of an intermediary, typically based outside Germany, asking you to contact them.

Phone offer to procure a potential customer

  • They offer to procure interested buyers – you are to pay a fee (flat or depending on the purchase price) to the intermediary. The fee is invoiced before you actually sold the vehicle.

What to do:
Do not accept the offer and do not contact the company. If in doubt, use the “contact us” form or phone the online marketplace or your automobile club and ask whether they know the company and can confirm its trustworthiness. Do not pay any invoices or payment reminders, unless you actually sold the vehicle to the procured buyer.

You have received a contract for intermediary services

  • You have received a contract covering not the successful procurement of customers but inclusion in a database

What to do:
Do not sign a contract which requires payment of the fee regardless of the successful procurement of a customer. Carefully check the provider’s Terms & Conditions. If in doubt, do not accept the offer and do not contact company or return the contract. Use the “contact us” form or phone the online marketplace or your automobile club and ask whether they know the company and can confirm its trustworthiness. Do not pay any invoices or payment reminders, unless you have signed the contract and actually sold the vehicle to the procured buyer.

Disclosure of account details and test deposits or code is requested

  • Having placed your ad, an interested buyer, generally from abroad, notifies you of his/her intention to buy your vehicle. However, his or her bank’s verification procedure requires that two different amounts of less than 1 Euro each are paid to your account prior to making the full payment. You are required to confirm the total of the deposits, or the payment code, to the buyer.

What to do:
Never comply with the request and neither disclose your account details nor the amount of any small deposits nor a code!

  • You have disclosed the account details / test deposits / code?

What do do:
Open a PayPal account without delay (if you have disclosed the test deposits) or a click-and-buy account (if you have disclosed the code) and link it to your bank account. A bank account cannot be used for more than one payment services account. If you are unable to create a link because your account is already connected to another payment services account, immediately report to the payment service provider and block your bank account for the debit transaction.

  • Money has left your account?

Find help here 

Notary’s fees are required up front before vehicle delivery and payment

  • A prospective buyer, often from abroad, is interested in buying your car and wants to send a motor vehicle expert to see and take delivery of the vehicle. Upon inspection, the expert is to pay for the vehicle in cash. The bill of sale (sales contract) needs to be notarised. The seller is asked to remit the notary fee before the sale, which the prospective buyer promises to reimburse with the sales price.

What to do:
Never comply with any requests of payment of notary fees before you deliver and receive payment for your vehicle, even if the buyer promises to reimburse you. If unsure, contact your Internet car sales portal or your automobile club either by using the on-line form or over the phone and ask whether they know the prospective buyer and whether the offer can be deemed to be serious.

  • You have made a payment?

Find help here 

Buyer threatens to sue for damages

  • You are in contact with a buyer who insists on buying the vehicle and threatens to claim for compensation.

What to do:

  1. Do not let them intimidate you!
  2. Do not sell your vehicle if you do not believe in the deal.
  3. Keep the entire correspondence with the buyer in your e-mail programme and also as a printed copy.
  4. Automobile club members are usually entitled to get legal advice free of charge. Use link to obtain helpful tips on what to do next.

You suspect the “prospective buyer” of planning an insurance scam.

  • You have already given the suspicious prospect your insurance data and he/she has already obtained your licence plate number, either directly from you or from the photos of the vehicle posted on the Internet.

What to do:
If you have suspicions, inform your insurer. They will monitor all incoming claims more closely to prevent the insurance fraud.

Repair cost fraud scheme

Several days after a car sale, somebody calls the seller on the phone, pretending to be a friend of the buyer’s. The caller claims that the vehicle turned out to have a defect shortly after the sale and the seller should bear the repair cost partly or fully.

What to do:

  1. Ask for the caller’s name, personal details and phone number.
  2. State clearly that you do not think the caller is acting on behalf of the buyer. If in doubt, ask for details of the transaction which only the buyer and you know about and demand to be shown evidence of the caller’s authorisation. An aggressive reaction to your questions should make you even more suspicious.
  3. Try to contact the buyer immediately to verify the caller’s story! Do not transfer any money, unless you have spoken with the buyer or an absolutely trustworthy person representing the buyer. You should never transfer money to an unknown recipient.
  4. Think twice about transferring money to a foreign bank account. Such transfers are usually irreversible.

You have already transferred the money? Find help here…

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