Online buyers are being warned to view the vehicle they want in person before sending the seller money. Photo: File
Online buyers are being warned to view the vehicle they want in person before sending the seller money. Photo: File

Why you shouldn’t pay for a car without seeing it first

Sunshine Coast buyers are being urged to be smarter with online car sales after one investigation revealed a buyer was an alleged mule for a person overseas they met through a dating site.

Sunshine Coast Criminal Investigation Branch officer-in-charge Daren Edwards said police were starting to receive complaints from buyers who were purchasing vehicles without seeing them first.

Detective Senior Sergeant Edwards said buyers were just going by the online advertisements, interacting with a purported seller and paying money to the sellers' accounts.

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Have you been ripped off in an online car sale before?

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The hopeful buyers later realise they have been part of a scam, with all communication ceasing once the money is paid.

Sen-Sgt Edwards said one investigation identified money was deposited into an account in Victoria, and further inquiries revealed the holder of the account was an alleged mule for a person overseas the victim met through a dating site.

He said situations like this have happened many times on the Coast.

"If you're buying a car, go and physically see it, deal directly with that person at an address, see their drivers licence, complete REVs checks and consider RACQ inspections," he said.

"These things will work towards you not being subject of a fraud."



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