There is a whole range of scams in connection with sales, which mainly take place online and through social media. Generally, goods, pets or services are offered at a very low price. However, during the sales process, the presumed costs become more and more expensive, whether due to delivery problems, increased transport costs, unforeseen customs costs, necessary medical treatment of the pet, etc. Until the victim realises that he or she is being defrauded, the money "invested" is already gone.
Specific scams include:
- Pet scam:
In this scam, a pet is offered for free in an advertisement. However, in the course of the transaction, potential buyers are tricked into transferring money in advance by pretending unforeseeable transport costs, medical interventions (e.g. vaccination), customs fees, delivery problems, etc. However, the supposed pet never arrives and there is subsequently no trace of the money transferred or the scammers.
- Car Scam:
In this scam, a vehicle is offered, mainly in online advertisements, which is said to be located abroad. The potential buyer is offered to have the vehicle brought to Luxembourg by a delivery company so that they can inspect the vehicle. In return, however, a very costly deposit is requested, which is to be transferred to a foreign account. The victim is then stalled using various methods until the scammers and the money have disappeared.
- Rental scam:
In this scam, prospective tenants are offered non-existent flats for rent at an attractive price. The tenants are convinced to pay a fee to reserve the flat. When the victims, most of whom are abroad and therefore unable to visit the offered flat in advance, realise that they have become victims of a scam, it is usually already too late.
Here are some preventive tips:
- Be wary of adverts that seem too good to be true.
- If you think an advert is fake, cease all contact immediately.
- Do not make a down payment under any circumstances, especially if you have to go through a money transfer service such as Western Union.
- Do not send the seller copies of personal documents such as your passport, identity card, driving licence or vehicle registration certificate.
- Report the offer to the platform administrator so the advert can be removed.