“Sell your stuff” apps have been on the rise lately. No exception for the newest entry in the category: LetGo. Given its fast growing popularity and ease of use, it seems like the perfect place to post that car you’ve been meaning to sell. Right? Not so fast. Just like any classified app or website, you run the risk of losing it all to online criminals when you go there to buy and sell cars. While you can list your car on LetGo and make relatively good money, it’s important to be able to spot the dangers and have a plan. Below are some of our top tips to avoid a LetGo scam.
Notepads ready? Here we go…
Fake Invoices from PayPal
Unfortunately, some scammers have been creating fake invoices from PayPal in order to con sellers. If you read my recent article about eBay vehicle scams (here), you’ll remember that I covered a variety of tips and techniques for users looking to buy and sell cars. One of them was about scammers who convince you to ship your vehicle prior to you receiving payment confirmation so that they can receive your shipment without ever actually processing a payment.
Sadly, some LetGo users have reported receiving fake PayPal confirmation e-mails, stating that a payment has been processed. The fake invoices look legitimate and come from an eBay-type e-mail account. This one is typically only caught if people call PayPal to verify the confirmation.
Tip: Do NOT call the number listed on the invoice (more on this later). Do a Google search and use the phone number on PayPal’s actual website to verify that the confirmation e-mails are legitimate. Do this prior to shipping your vehicle.
Using Military Names
This is an odd one that isn’t as popular on other platforms. Some LetGo scammers have been using the names of military service members in order to appear trustworthy if/when the user does a Google search on the person they’re talking to. The scammer tugs at the heartstrings of a seller and attempts to get a transaction to take place in a rushed manner, stating that they’re leaving for a long deployment soon and need the vehicle immediately.
Remember that online identities can easily be faked, and be wary if someone is pushing for a fast transaction due to emotionally charged circumstances. It’s always okay to help someone out, but make sure you don’t do something detrimental at your own expense (example: Britney Spears, circa 2007).
Fake Customer Support Call Centers
This one is similar to the PayPal invoice scam I covered earlier, but it takes it one step further. Scammers have been reportedly creating fake “Customer Service” phone numbers and putting them on some of the fraudulent invoices. When the seller calls the number on the invoice, they’ll be greeted with a real-live person who falsely claims that the payment has been made. It’s extremely convincing and extremely efficient.
Users who are looking to buy and sell cars on LetGo need to be aware of how far scammers are willing to go in order to con them. It’s surprisingly easy to set up a phone number through Google Voice, which is why I highly recommend cross-checking all contact information with the business’ website.
Bad Checks, Counterfeit Money Orders, and Western Union
This is the oldest trick in the book and it pops up on every single buyer-and-seller platform. Western Union is notorious for scams because it allows people to securely and privately use accounts for fraud purposes. A general rule of thumb is to avoid doing business with someone who only wants to pay with Western Union.
Bad checks and counterfeit money orders are also rampant and can be really detrimental to sellers, because they may take longer to catch. Meaning: the money may appear to be deposited in your account, but several days or weeks later, the system may catch the fraudulent transaction and reverse the deposit, leaving you with no money AND no car.
If you don’t want to be car-less and penniless like my ex-boyfriend from 2005 (#blessed), take your time and make sure to cover all of your bases.
1) Dealerships: There are variable (and sometimes unpredictable) consignment fees depending on how you want your vehicle displayed and marketed. Your vehicle takes up physical space on a Dealer’s lot and they’ll try to move your car as quickly as they can, to make room for another vehicle (more sales = more profit for them). The upside is that your car can often be sold quickly. The downside is that a dealer is looking out for THEIR bottom line, not yours. They may push you to sell your car for a lower price than you intended.
2) The Safeway/Albertson’s Monopoly Game is currently going on, where you get stamps for purchasing groceries. The “Win a Luxury Car” odds are a tender 1 in 6.5 million, so if you like to gamble, go stock up on Top Ramen and start collecting pieces for your game board.
Shameless Plug: I make a great road-trip buddy and would enjoy the passenger seat of your Top-Ramen sponsored Ferrari.
3) If you’re looking for a solid option with better odds, check out TRED.com. They run background checks on the buyer AND the seller in order to avoid fraud. They verify payments for legitimacy before cars are released and they facilitate shipping for out-of-state purchases. Oh, and they offer warranties and gap insurance if desired.
If you’re looking to buy and sell cars, I highly recommend them. They have great customer service and a user-friendly platform that significantly reduces your risks.
Sell Your Car for Thousands More!GET AN ESTIMATE!