If you think you have been the victim of a scam please contact the police immediately on 101 (calls cost 15p per call from any UK number).
If you wish to report a scam you can do on-line to ActionFraud who will issue you with a police reference number.
For further advice on scams please visit the Police.uk website.
Mortons Media Group Ltd. is not responsible for any private advert listings on Scootering.com
How scams generally work
Scams often involve poorly written English by foreign ‘buyers’. They offer more than you are asking – and always try to send you a cheque for thousands more than the cost – and then ask you to deduct your payment and post the remainder on. They also try to get you to ship the goods out to them. Needless to say, the original cheque will bounce (and this can take up to two weeks or more) and you will lose your money and possibly your scooter/bike. Use caution when replying to any email from overseas (don’t be fooled by a UK email address – anyone can apply for them!) – any offer that is too good to be true normally is.
If an offer doesn’t make sense, or seems ‘strange’ – ignore it. The same applies with any buyer who doesn’t know what he’s buying or what the price is. Scammers often say they are from Holland or even the UK, however the scam is the same. Try asking them a technical question, or something you’d expect a scooter/bike rider to know! Ask them where they live, then in another email ask them for an address for the V5 and see what happens. They ignore the questions and continue to babble about sending you thousands by cheque and you posting on the remainder to them, while their non-existent agent will come pick up your scooter/bike.
If in doubt, request cash – any decent scooterist/biker is going to want to see and ride your scooter/bike after all! Remember to hold on to the full cash amount and paperwork if you let someone come and test ride your scooter/bike (don’t settle for holding on to a ‘deposit’ while the person takes a test-ride – into the sunset). Never accept overpayment of any kind.
Many scam emails do not contain any details about your item for sale – it will only appear in the subject. This is because the scammers use automated email. They only respond when you do! (So, don’t!)
Bankers’ Drafts or Western Union Cheques can take up to two weeks to be of any value, and if you ask the bank two-four days after banking it “Has it cleared?” – you will get a yes! – It may also appear in your account! However, ‘Has it cleared’ does not mean it ‘has value’ (i.e. it’s worth anything) – you must ask if the cheque ‘has value’ to be sure. It’s an annoying quirk in bank-speak that many fall for, and the bank never makes it clear to customers. Ask your bank for express clearance – for just a few pounds more – to confirm the cheque ‘has value’. Cheques deposited may show in your balance even though they are not cleared – and when a fake cheque bounces you will be liable for overdraft fees and a possible bounced cheque fee. ‘Certified’ cheques – there’s no such thing! Also watch out for fake foreign cheques.
Scammers may also use the above method, but pay using PayPal, they will then open a dispute in the resolution centre which may go in their favour.
Scammers offering to pay you to remove an advert
It seems scammers are rolling in fake money – they’ll even offer extra money if you take your advert down, in addition to an extra 100 quid or so to ‘get the bike ready’ for them. They’re just so generous! The scammer says they’ll wait for the cheque they gave to you to clear – but they won’t – they’ll pressure you to pass on the cheque before the two week clearing time – knowing full well the first cheque will bounce. The key to the scam is to persuade you to pass on the money before it bounces.
Using 070 telephone numbers
Where the scammer has listed a phone number for you to call when giving out a false UK postal address. Watch out for 070 numbers. Phone numbers starting 070 can easily be mistaken for mobile phone numbers, which also start 07. However, in reality phone numbers that start 070 are charged at a premium rate. Calls to 070 numbers may cost up to 50p per minute from a BT landline and more from a mobile. The price will not necessarily be explained during the call itself.
NOTICE: Mortons Media Group Ltd accepts no liability for emails misconstrued as scams, nor can we guarantee every email sent to us can be determined to be a scam or not. If you are ever in real doubt over the authenticity of an email when buying or selling, please exercise extra caution and seek professional advice.