After advertising your vehicle online you receive an SMS or e-mail request to contact a marketing company. The company pretends to be able to serve as an intermediary between you and interested buyers for a fee. Fees are typically between €59 and €119 and no written guarantee of service is given. More often than not, the sender is an online marketplace you know or who was supposedly recommended by a reliable source.
These are illegal business practices or even scams by bogus companies. Research often reveals that their websites and e-mail addresses are false. There are three variations of the „intermediary scam”:
Contract/invoice after phone call
- When calling the indicated number you are promised a potentially interested buyer. A few days later, sellers agreeing to have the contact arranged will receive an invoice for this service. They will receive collection letters, if they do not pay the invoice. No contact takes place between the seller and the potential buyer.
- After the phone call you receive an unsolicited invoice (instead of the requested information materials), although no customer has been procured.
- After the phone call you receive a contract covering – contrary to what agreed over the phone – not the successful procurement of customers but inclusion in a database (verify Terms & Conditions!).
Important: Online marketplaces are efficient platforms for establishing contact between sellers and buyers. There is no need for an additional intermediary – even if you are promised a potential buyer!
You are in contact with a potentially untrustworthy or fraudulent intermediary or have already received an invoice? Find help here…