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Car Scam 5 May 2004

Another new scam has found its way to the Island the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Crime Unit of the Police are warning.

A member of the public has reported that having put his car up for sale at 1000 on a locally hosted website he has been contacted by 2 separate people wanting to buy it. Both offered to pay by cheque and asked that the car be shipped to Nigeria. They offered 2500 for the car which would include 1500 shipping costs.

The seller did not accept the offer and instead reported it to the Police. It is understood that the scam works as follows:-

The sale is agreed and buyer sends a forged cheque for the full amount to the seller.

The buyer then asks the seller to pay the shipping fees to the shipping company directly - either a bogus shipping company set up by the fraudster or else the buyer supplies false banking information for a legitimate shipping company. The buyer then asks that shipping fees be paid as a matter of urgency (before the cheque has cleared). The seller eventually finds out that cheque is a forgery after having paid out shipping costs.

A spokesperson for the agencies said:

"These scams in different forms are coming thick and fast at the moment. We advise members of the public to be wary of any unusual contacts they may have and if they are suspicious not to go along with them. They can speak either to members of the Financial Crime Unit of the Police or the Office of Fair Trading if they have any concerns."

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