The car does not exist
The mentioned sellers never advertised this car.
Fraud on the Internet
On Internet car platforms, fraudsters offer non-existend cars. But the names of the alleged sellers are real.
"I was totally surprised" wrote consumer Friedrich M. to us. He got a call from a stranger who addressed him by his name and asked if the BMW was still for sale. But Mr. Friedrich never possessed a BMW, let alone wanted to sell one. "What lets you think that?" he asked. The caller told him about a German Internet car platform and indeed, there was an advertisment for a BMW 320 - with Mr. Friedrich's name and phone number, but with another mail address.
Our shocked reader immediately contacted the operator of the Internet platform. They already knew about this kind of fraud. The fraudsters comb through publicly accessible telephone directories for names and numbers and then use them to create advertisments on car online platforms. But they use another mail address. If someone then contacts them via this mail address, the "seller" requests a deposit to be transferred per Western Union or another cash transport service. This money is gone.
The operator of the car selling platform removed Mr. M's advertisment. But then he began to think: What if someone transferred money to the "seller" and now makes him, as the operator, responsible for his loss? As this kind of fraud is already well-known, it shouldn't be to hard to correct things. If you are confronted with an advertisment you didn't place, you should report it to the police.
Information about fraud
Who reacts to such a fraudulent advertisment and is prompted to transfer money per cash transport service, should refrain from the sale and report it to the police as well. Unfortunately, cash transport services are very popular among fraudsters. Western Union strongly advises against transferring cash to strangers. Many Internet car platforms inform about frauds and give tips about how to protect against it. In case of doubt, consumers can also turn to the website operator.