Caravan Buyers be Warned
It seems it is all too easy to drop your guard for a moment and give the fraudsters a way in. Here's what happened: an owner had agreed the private sale of their motorhome. They emailed the buyer to say that they were accepting their offer and attached a PDF of their bank details for payment. They then sat and waited for the money to land.
However, the money never landed. The buyer had a compromised email inbox. The fraudster had intercepted the sellers email, amended the PDF to include their own bank details and then resent the email to the buyer. The buyer suspected nothing - and why would they? The payment was made to the fraudsters bank account.
The seller finally realised something was amiss and contacted the buyer. But it was too late. The banks and police were immediately alerted, but it is unknown at this early stage whether the money will be recovered.
How to Prevent This From Happening to You
This is an awful story, but there are a few simple things you can do to help prevent this from happening to you.
- Firstly, just assume that email is not a safe means of communicating sensitive information like bank details. Sellers, provide buyers with your bank details by phone, a written note or other means that cannot be intercepted electronically.
- Test Payment: whether you are the seller or buyer, agree with the other party to make a test payment. A £1 transfer from a buyer's account to a seller's account will test that all is as it should be.
- If you are buying or selling through a reputable caravan broker, they should know the ropes. Ask their advice about making all aspects of buying or selling a caravan secure.
It is heartbreaking when you hear of good, decent people having their hard earned savings targeted by fraudsters. But by taking a common sense approach you can avoid falling prey to them. At Caravan Depot we have secure systems in place and are aware of how fraudsters target caravan buyers and sellers. We are happy to share this information with you and help all motorhome buyers and sellers push back against this menace.