2017-07-14 We found a caravan

Well, almost!!

It started well. Saw a great deal for a caravan that had everything we were looking for and then some. Great price too – and a bit of a bargain you might say. Checked out the photos and looked like there was some damage to 2 of the corners but other views did not show this. See the top right corner in picture on the first photo and compare to the next one:




Emailed the  vendor. Given another email address to enable more photos and info but noting about the apparent damage on the photos. He sent some more photos as well as a PPSR certificate. All seemed good apart from the unanswered question about the damage.

Thank you for your interest in my caravan. It got left to me in my uncle’s will 2 months ago. I am selling it because to be honest I have no use for it as I live in Germany for the past few years now, and only came back to bury my uncle and found out he left me this caravan.

The caravan is there in Australia, stored with a transport company with all the original documents and I have empowered them to take care of the registration transfer for me if you decide to buy it. The price I am asking is $19,500 AU and it includes shipping anywhere in Australia. Because of this situation, me being in Germany, I have made special arrangements that allow me to sell the caravan there without me being present and will allow you to inspect it, so if you are still interested in it please email me back so I can explain to you how can this be done safely for both of us.
I have attached some more pics and the PPSR Certificate.”


The PPSR looks legitimate!!

So I emailed again asking whether I could inspect the van which was in Brisbane and got this interesting email back:

 The caravan is at Autobytel Australia (http://www.autobytelonline.com), with all the original documents. They have the power of attorney to make the transaction on my behalf, they will transfer the ownership to your name as well.

 Your funds will go directly to Autobytel Online, they will secure your payment and ship the caravan to your address. You will receive it, inspect it for 3 days and if you accept it, they will pay me and transfer the title to your name, if not, they will pick it up from you and refund your full payment.
 To go ahead you will need to Set Up a Transaction with Autobytel on their website ( http://www.autobytelonline.com ) using my reference number (193E3BE513). After that they will send you the instruction on how to have the caravan delivered to you and how to safely make the payment to them.
Autobytel Australia
9 Cleaver St, West Perth WA 6005, Australia
Phone: (08) 6102 8153 
Office Hours: Mon to Fri 08.00 am – 05.00 pm (GMT+8)”

Alarm bells!!! A probable scam!!!

Check the evidence:

  • Ebay seller with zero feedback
  • Nice sob story
  • Lured away from the Ebay communications system  PPSR to a private email
  • Ebay advertisement removed – long before expiry date
  • Question about discrepancy in photos avoided
  • Viewing of van pre-purchase avoided
  • Website autobytelonline.com looks legitimate but only 28 days old and all domain contact details hidden.

Finally, no answer to my email that arrangements were unacceptable.


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