How to avoid scams
Our team are continuously working hard to develop ways in which we can make it safer for you to buy and sell on Caravans For Sale.
We are proud to announce that we have recently put two systems in place that will make browsing our site safer for you. The first is an intelligent moderation system that is going to crack down on scam ads and related dealers by removing them before they even appear live on our site. The second is monitoring system that checks messages to sellers so you don't have to worry about spam and scams.
Here at CaravansforSale.co.uk we work hard to ensure that all of our users leave having had a positive experience whether they are buying, selling or simply browsing the site. However, as with all online classifieds websites, there is a slim chance that you may come across a scammer. We would urge you to remain aware and avoid any deal that looks in any way suspicious.
Whilst we are taking action to prevent scammers from being able to operate, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or legitimacy of an ad, or the validity of a buyer. We do not tolerate scammers and we have a number of automated tools in place that identify and remove scam ads. If you believe that you have been contacted by a scammer, please email:
As well as working hard to prevent scammers from being able to operate, we also thought it wise to inform our users about the types of scam that they should be looking for. Below is a list of such scams that you should avoid:
Scam 1 - "The Overseas Buyers Scam"
This scam will see the scammer expressing an interest in your caravan or motorhome (or whatever you are selling). However, they will then tell you that they live abroad. This should already set your alarm bells off. Then, the scammer will then say that they would like to send you a cheque to cover the cost of the item, plus an additional amount to cover the cost of shipping your item overseas.
If you agree to this, the scammer will then send a cheque or a banker's draft for the total amount. You’ll then pay the cheque or draft into your bank account, and the bank will clear it immediately, making the funds available.
The scammer will then ask you to get in touch with the shipping agent immediately in order to arrange the shipment overseas. You then do this, and the shipping agent (another scammer) asks for their fee up front. They usually ask for the fee to be sent via Western Union to enable them to collect it immediately. As the scammer's cheque or bank draft has been cleared by the bank as soon as it was paid in, the vendor (you) agrees to this, and sends the shipping agent their money.
The vendor is usually then contacted by the scammer, who asks the vendor to send the rest of the money back as they no longer want to purchase the item. There’s usually a hard-luck story attached: one common story is that the scammer's son or daughter has been involved in an accident or is seriously ill, and the scammer needs the money to pay for their hospital treatment. If the vendor agrees, they transfer the rest of the money back to the scammer, again probably via Western Union.
At this point, the vendor is unaware that they have been scammed. They remain unaware of this until the scammer's cheque or bank draft completes the bank clearing process - which can take days or even weeks - and the bank finally finds out that it is a forgery.
Scam 2 - " The I've Sent You Too Much Money Scam"
This scam sees the scammer agree to buy your goods. They send you the cheque, however, they will then say that a mistake has been made and the cheque made out for much more money than it was meant to have been. Let’s say, for example, that it was supposed to cost £100 and the cheque has been made out for £1,000.
Next, they will ask you to cash the cheque and send back the difference. The cheque will clear into your bank, only to be stopped/refused weeks later. At this point, the Banks/Building Societies will take the full cheque amount back out of your account. Not only will you have lost the goods, you will be out of pocket for the amount of their original cheque (£1,000) and the amount you passed on as the difference (£900).
Scam 3 - "The Someone Owes Me Money Scam"
In this scam, someone will contact you offering to pay for your item in full. They will say that they are living in a different country but that someone in England owes them money. Then, they’ll offer to send you a cheque for far more money than the actual price and then ask you to send the difference with the goods.
Again, the cheque will clear into your bank, only to be stopped/refused weeks later. At this point, the Banks/Building Societies will take the full cheque amount back out of your account leaving you out of pocket amount of their original cheque, the amount you passed on as the difference and any goods you have shipped.
Scam 4 - Fake Email Sales/Payment Invoices
Sometimes scammers will send fraudulent emails posing as the sales department here at Caravans for Sale. We are obviously trying very hard to eradicate these scammers, but occasionally they will make it through. You should be very vigilant if you receive emails from us as scammers can reproduce convincing emails that will appear to have been sent by the team here at Caravans for Sale.
You need to be aware that as we are a classifieds website, you will not receive any invoices for caravans or motorhomes from us. If you receive any emails from Caravans for Sale asking for money, then make sure you contact us right away.
These scams almost always take place with the victim being completely unaware that they have been scammed. They remain unaware of this until the scammer’s cheque or bank draft completes the checking process - which can take days or weeks. Then, the bank discovers that it is a forgery and the money is removed from your account.
So, here are some things to be extremely suspicious of:
- Always be wary if someone responds to your advert asking you to ship your item abroad without ever having seen the item themselves. Remember that Caravans for Sale is based in the UK and always be vigilant if someone is based abroad as they may be trying to scam you.
- Always be very wary if someone offers to pay you the amount of the item, plus the shipping costs, asking you to arrange the shipping and pay the shipping agent yourself.
- DO NOT be reassured if you receive a cheque or a banker's draft and your bank clears it as soon as you pay it into your account; it may still be a forgery, and if so, you will lose out.
- Be cautious if someone sends you a cheque or banker’s draft for your goods, then asks you to return the money to them for whatever reason, via an instant cash transfer service such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Cash transfers made using these services are instant, meaning that the scammer can get his hands on your money well before you find out that the cheque you received is forged.
What to do if you have fallen victim
Unfortunately, our team here at Caravans for Sale cannot intercede on your behalf as the transaction is between the buyer and the seller. However, if you do fall victim to a scam you should contact your local police and Trading Standards Officer who may be able to assist.
Finally, if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is!