Currently, e-mails are sent using the originator AutoScout24, in which AutoScout24 allegedly presents results from their own checks carried out. The e-mail does not come from AutoScout24 - this is a scam! AutoScout24 is a platform for the purchase and sale of vehicles on the Internet and cannot confirm the accuracy of an advertisement, as solely the advertiser is responsible for the accuracy of the content of his/her advertisement. Furthermore, AutoScout24 does not carry out any checks on the vehicles advertised and does not make any recommendations. Should you have any questions, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
Vehicle searches on the Internet are fast and easy, and you can receive suitable offers for your cheapest dream vehicle in the shortest possible time. But a few black sheep capitalize on this desire for a bargain. So unfortunately scam loopholes have developed into which unsuspecting and trusting buyers and sellers can easily fall.
However, it is easy to be protected from scams if you follow a couple of rules. Many of the scams are as ols as those you come across when using the used car market in your daily paper, such as concealing accident damage, tacho manipulation, incorrect number of previous owners, forged papers and so on.
The new traps on the Internet can be summarized in a few words:
In this, counterfeit e-mails are sent in the name of a known company, in which you are requested to click on a link that then sends you to a counterfeit website. There you are asked to enter personal and confidential data such as your user name and password.
You can recognise phishing e-mails by the following:
Protect yourself from phishing e-mails as follows:
AutoScout24 will never send you unsolicited e-mails where you have to open an attachment or enter data.
If you are unsure whether an e-mail has actually come from AutoScout24 or if you have definitely received a counterfeit e-mail in the name of AutoScout24, please contact our customer service team.
1. "Too good to be true"
If you should come across a bargain that is far below the standard market price, you should check the offer critically and if necessary take a close friend along. A sports car offered at 20, 30 or even 50 percent below the market value should be left well alone. Even on the Internet, people know the value of their vehicle. So compare the price online with other, similar offers. Use our Schwacke vehicle valuation to determine the actual market price of any car.
"To good to be true?" - It generally is!
2. Never buy unseen
Buying a car is not a confidential matter. As a private potential buyer, you should never make a payment without having seen what you are buying (see below). You should thoroughly check the vehicle and take a test drive, because you do not know the seller at all. You are about to give him/her hundreds or even thousands of Euros for his/her vehicle. So convince yourself that the car is also worth this amount. In addition, you only come into legal ownership of the vehicle when you have the vehicle papers (the originals!) and all the ignition keys.
3. Do not make any down payments
Any serious vehicle dealer will confirm to you that no down payment is necessary to reserve a vehicle. You do not know the recipient of the down payment, find that he's done a runner and the vehicle maybe doesn't even exist.
4. Cash in the hand
Avoid any cash-free means of payment. Money transfers by Western Union or MoneyGram are not made for standard payment transactions. As the depositor, you have no direct means of checking the recipient and the bank will not provide any security. The same applies to cheque payments in the case of refunds by bank transfer: in Europe, it may take several weeks for a cheque to bounce. Neither do banks offer any security against this. Only trust cash.
5. Never without the documents
When buying a vehicle, you should insist on the following documents:
6. The best trustee is YOURSELF
Dubious sellers may suggest that you use an escrow service or even propose that you use one from AutoScout24 - but AutoScout24 and MotoScout24 do not offer an escrow service!
There are also no AutoScout24 or MotoScout24 "warehouses" as asserted in some scam e-mails.
At AutoScout24, many employees work on checking advertisements for integrity. However, we cannot be one hundred percent sure that no dubious advertisements go online.
This is why we ask you to please take the opportunity to report such advertisements to us. You can do this easily and securely using the online form on each page of advertisements.
So that the purchase of your dream car or motorbike does not become a nightmare, here are a couple of basic rules:
Take the time to make a price comparison. You can do this quickly and easily online using our Schwacke vehicle valuation.
Take a knowedgeable companion with you for viewing and test driving the vehicle. A critical friend will help to dampen your enthusiasm, because you should buy a car or motorbike with the head, not the heart.
Only pay once you have all the papers and keys and a written purchase agreement has been signed.
7. Do not take up any agency offers
After placing a vehicle advertisement, you may receive an SMS or e-mail asking you to contact a marketing company - generally based abroad. They pretend to have interested buyers and demand an agency fee. On average, this is between € 59 and € 119, without a buyer being guaranteed in writing. Often the name of a vehicle market known to you is used as the sender, or the service is ostensibly recommended by ADAC.
This is a shady business practice, and is sometimes even a scam by a bogus company, whose websites and e-mail addresses, on examination, often lead nowhere. In particular, there are three variations of this "agency scam“:
Contract / Invoice follows the telephone call
Important: Online marketplaces already work as efficient agencies between buyers and sellers. No additional agency is required – even if a potential buyer is verbally promised!