Vehicle Shippers Springing Up on Internet May Be Scams, BBB Warns
Better Business Bureau
St. Louis, Mo., June 7, 2018 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers shopping for a vehicle on the internet to be on alert if the seller suggests using a third party to handle the transaction.
Hundreds of consumers from across the country began contacting BBB at the end of March about Springfield Shippers, which claimed to handle escrow and shipping for vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. Within a few weeks, at least 17 additional vehicle shipping websites popped up, all claiming to be located in Springfield, Missouri.
Six consumers have reported losing $2,800 to $9,500 each by wiring money to purchase vehicles through these fraudulent companies.
The company websites look similar and sometimes share the same address or phone number. BBB site visits and inquiries confirm the business addresses listed on the websites are for other unrelated businesses or for locations that do not exist.
Consumers recount almost identical stories to BBB in which they find cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, jet skis, semi-trucks or farm equipment at too-good-to-be-true prices ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 primarily on local Craigslists, Autotrader and local free print publications.
Excited by the vehicle’s condition and below-market prices, the potential buyer contacts the seller, who is usually a woman. She says she is using a shipper to handle escrow and transportation of the vehicle to the potential buyer. BBB believes the sellers and shippers are bogus.