To say the internet is a massive place is definitely an understatement. Because of this, it’s easy for anyone to try and trick someone into thinking they’re offering a good deal when they’re really not. This is especially true when it comes to buying and shopping for good, dependable RVs and dealers online. And we know that a lot of RVers’ first stop when searching for a new one is their favorite dealers’ website. Being aware of fraud is the first step in not being taken advantage of. Most sellers and dealers are not out to scam anyone, but it always helps to be aware of fraud red flags. Below are a few tips on how to avoid scams from other websites that claim untrue or outrageous statements.
Here at RVUSA, all of our dealers are vetted so we know that you are getting only the best of the best.
First things first: If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you’re shopping for an RV online, chances are you know estimates on how much each make or model may cost. Go with your gut feeling. So, when you see a model on sale for tens of thousands more or less than what it should be going for, your instinct is probably correct. Move on to the next dealer.
Do not wire any amount of money to a dealer or private seller. Even if you are a private dealer yourself.
Technology makes it so easy for scammers to get your bank info. They will request you to wire money because they don’t need an ID to get the funds. They can receive it anywhere in the world in a short amount of time. If this is unavoidable, simply make sure the services you’re using are legit. Also walk away if they ask for a large deposit.
Never make a purchase solely based on photos from the dealer’s website.
Though the photos are what may have sold you on the RV you’re looking at, it’s still a really good idea to see the rig in person before purchasing it. Just because the dealer or seller has posted photos doesn’t necessarily mean the RV actually exists. They could have easily gotten photos from another website. Photos also don’t show you everything you’ll see in person. The RV may have a massive scratch or dent on the exterior that’s hard to miss, but if all their photos are clear of that mark, to the viewer, it doesn’t exist.
Learn about the RV’s history.
Think about the research you do before buying a car. You attain its VIN number, get a maintenance history on it, you know its market value and you may even have a complete inspection done before you decide. The exact same should go for purchasing an RV. Review the title of the rig and see if you can find the maintenance history on it. This will tell you more than any dealer could!
Verify the dealer or seller’s legitimacy.
Do some research on the seller or dealer to ensure they are real. You can always call and speak with them beforehand, as well. It’s always a good idea to meet them in person before you make any decisions. If they aren’t more than happy to accommodate this simple request, it should raise a red flag.
If you’re buying from a private seller, do so in public.
You can never know someone’s true intentions, so it’s always a good idea to meet and conduct business in a public place. The seller shouldn’t have issues with this and will probably happily comply if you ask to meet in public. You can suggest a restaurant, coffee shop, or anywhere with other people just in case you start to feel like something isn’t right.
Requesting personal information.
NEVER give anyone any information that will lead them to you. Requests for bank info, credit score or any financial or personal information too early in the game should offset you. A lot of scammers will also create some outrageous story in order to attain your bank routing number. Once they have this number, they also have access to your checking account. They can start drawing money from that account until you catch on. Avoid working with this seller or dealer if they ask for any of this information.
Always ask for a detailed receipt.
Any legit dealer or seller should give you this without you having to ask. Be sure the receipt states whether it is under warranty or if you’re burying it as is. Attaining all of the hard copies of records. receipts, etc. that you can come in handy one day should you decide to sell your RV. You should also be sure to ask for the title to the RV and any sort of history.
Not all people are out to steal, but you have to stay aware of the tactics of those who do. RVs involve so much money, and scammers are beginning to notice! As advanced as technology is these days, four rules will never change:
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Never buy an RV until you see it in person.
Never give out personal or banking information.
Know about the person before you do any business with them.
We understand it can be tricky! So, just use your best judgment. If something seems strange or off, move on to another seller. You’ll find the right RV for you!