Looking for a car online? Beware of con artists who want to take you for a ride. Bogus vehicle sales have been going around for a while, using online classified ads to bait people with “too good to be true” prices only to steal their money. Another twist on that scam uses a false affiliation with Google.
These scammers mislead people into believing their transaction is being conducted through Google Wallet–while payment is actually made by wire transfer, untraceable and gone forever.
The seller may post an unrealistically low price and claim he needs to sell the car quickly because of an upcoming move, a divorce, a call to serve in the military, etc.
The seller will send an invoice that appears to be from Google Wallet, but will instruct you to make some kind of wire payment, through Western Union, Moneygram or bank transfer. They may also have a phone number for a fake Google employee that you can call to “verify” that the transaction is legitimate.
A real Google Wallet transaction will require you to sign into your Google account and use the Google Wallet interface to make the payment. Google Wallet doesn’t accept wire transfers/bank transfers or payments via Western Union/Money Gram.
Some scammers may also use Google Wallet’s previous name Google Checkout.
BBB offers the following tips for online car shopping: