Home Break in Scams - Beware

Views 15 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful

Recently, I sold an old car for £100.  The Buyer paid through paypal quickly and seemed almost "charming" on the phone.  We arranged for him to pick up the car a week or so after the sale ended.

The day of the pickup, the buyer came to collect the car.  He claimed he had taken the train approximately 100miles (for a £100 car?).  I know I had described the car accurately and it was worth more than £100 even in parts.  It was actually in excellent condition considering its age but I needed to get it off the street before the tax ran out.

My expectation was that the buyer would kick the tires a little, make sure he got what he paid for, sign the transfer document and leave.  After all, it was already paid for.  But instead he insisted we go into my home (which I refused to do).  My dog didn't like him and I always trust my dog.

When I refused to allow the buyer into my home (there was no need, after all), he starting wobbling about whether he wanted to take the car away that day.  It took me a second to realise he wasn't actually interested in the car, he was interested in what's in my home.  Once I did realise the car wasn't his primary interest, my attitude towards him changed.  I became quite blunt and told him he had already paid for the car so he can either take it away, or I'll send off the transfer documents without his signature and tell them he seemed a bit dodgey.  As soon as the buyer realised I wasn't going to let him in and was getting annoyed, he left in a HUGE hurry.

It turns out I lived in a small town and the buyer had taken a local taxi company from the station.  I tracked down the taxi driver who told me that the buyer had spoken to him during the drive, and said he was VISITING HIS GIRLFRIEND. 

When I heard this I became very concerned and contacted the police.  The buyer had been wearing a name tag that he said was from his work.  I now believe this was part of the scam.  Probably to support a fake identity?

The event was very strange and the buyer never ended up collecting the car.  He left no feedback.  He did not demand his money back.  He just disappeared.  A while later I mentioned my experiences to a friend who also uses Ebay.  My friend said there are con artists who pretend to be interested in "pick up" items (items that require personal pickup due to their size).  The con artists are prepared to invest a little cash in the potential of being able to enter your home (to sign transfer documents, etc.).  Their real interest is in getting into your house, to rob it.

Please be very careful when you invite a strange buyer (or seller) into your home.  I now make sure I am not alone.  I have my dog with me at every moment (he's got excellent judgement) and if possible I even try to arrange for the item to be outside of my home if possible (ie on the driveway, front lawn), so that (a) my neighbours can see the transaction taking place, and (b) nobody enters my home except bonafide visitors and guests.

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) everything I own comes from either a carboot sale or Ebay.  And I don't buy antiques (unless by accident).  A burglar would be somewhat disappointed if they broke into my home.  It's not worth the physical exertion... LOL.  Nevertheless.... beware, be safe!  I hope this info proves helpful to someone. 

Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides