Selling My Car - Is This a Scam Offer?

Hi All,

I am selling my car and have listed it on car sales websites. I got an offer today which sounds genuine, but still not so genuine.

  • The buyer is ready to pay the asked money.
  • The buyer suggests he is somewhere in remote region of Western Australia and hence there is no phone and email is the only channel to talk ( i smell fraud there)
  • The buyer is ready to transfer the money in my account and happy for me to see it all settled before someone from his team will come and pick the car
  • The buyer also suggests not to give the rego plate and he will get his own once it is registered in his name

I have never sold anything like this before and while all i care is getting my money, still concerned if there is something i should care. fraud ? illegal gangs ? money laundering ? terrorists ? :-)

Please help what do you smell here.



  • +4 votes

    It does sound familiar as a scam, unless your car is a collectors or similarly rare?

  • All the traits of common scam.

  • Absolutely a common scam. Eventually you'll get told the money has been transferred when it clearly hasn't and they'll concoct a story to get you to drop it off somewhere and you lose both car and money.


    Stick it on like everyone else and encourage a viewing inspection and cash in hand/bank before handing over keys. Alternatively, you can sell it to those companies that you can drive up to and walk out with cash but expect to get far less than market value. Depends if you want to offset convenience and peace of mind versus lower cash value.

  • Textbook scam.

  • Scam.

  • Thanks Guys, the car is not a collectable and the rate at which the deal panned out in agreement i agree to you all above. i think i will stand back on this. Thanks all for comments.

  • don't respond. Wait for an offer from someone who seem genuinely interested in buying your car.

  • Apologies for typo in OP, i have updated it now. I am the seller (corrected above)

  • rolls eyes

  • Did he mention working in a mine/offshore rig? Did they suggest western union? Welcome to the world of gumtree scams.

    • Yes he did :-)

      "I work for Fly In Fly Out (FIFO)Mining Oil and Gas and we are presently in remote area"

      Looks like a standard use case.

    • I've had a few Marine Biologists want to buy cars i've sold on carsales want to pay me via PayPal and drop it off at a shipping agency for them.

      I'm really not sure how people fall for these scams!

  • Was it on gumtree? Did you also get the $200 lowball offers?

  • Scam. It might be worthwhile to set up a poll.

  • Any offers saying they are off-shore, on a boat or similar is a complete Scam…avoid at all costs!

  • String them along. Tell them you are meeting them somewhere very far away to hand over the car. Waste a few hours of their time for change

    • Not worth it, you can get some pretty disgruntled scammers. Best to just avoid.

    • No point, it's not like they'll show up waiting. They get arrangements for courier to transport the car out of the country straight away without ever handling it.

  • +12 votes

    Mate, I just read this post and I thought I'd save you the trouble of going through the private sale channel.

    I'll take it off your hands for whatever price you're asking.

    I'm currently working for the government on a project. Due to strict privacy protocols, I am only allowed to go to one nominated domain - OzBargain.

    I have arranged for additional clearance for PayPal and can pay your asking price, and as a bonus, I'll throw in $500 for your troubles. Money is no object when you work for the government.

    I'll have my associates arrange pickup after you receive cash through a privacy proxy (so the sender's name may be different for government privacy). Just sign for the dispatch when the couriers arrive.

  • I got an offer today which sounds genuine,

    Why does it sound genuine??? to me it screams scam!…

  • Scam.

    P/s: needs poll to really hammer it in.

  • Serious buyers will inspect the car first. And won't mind paying by cash or bank cheque.
    Unless you are sure about another payment method and that it's impossible to reverse, sticking with cash is safe, and could be handed over inside a bank branch for security.

    • I wouldn't even take a bank cheque. I've seen many people claim even that can be cancelled. (Don't know if it's true - and I bought a car paying that way - but I've heard it enough times that it doesn't fill me with confidence.)

  • definitely terrorists

  • The buyer suggests he is somewhere in remote region of Western Australia and hence there is no phone and email is the only channel to talk ( i smell fraud there)

    Lol. Yep, so remote that there's no way to talk via phone, but email works just fine. I guess email is sent via camel?

    110% scam. I suggest you play along for a while just to waste their time. Ask for photograph evidence of them via email, ask them to place 3 bananas on their head in the photo as a verification method. Tell them the car is ready to be picked up and give them the address of a police station.

  • Agree to the sale.
    Get the guy to send the money to his "team", so the guy picking up the car can bring it to you in cash.

    You won't hear back.

  • I'm surprised there has been no mention of bikies yet ….

  • I feel sorry for anyone on an oil rig who genuinely needs to buy a car …!

  • As the old saying goes… Did you come down in the last shower? Is your hair still wet too?! 🤔

  • How much are you selling it for?
    If they're having problems with communications (most likely to cover an accent but anyway play the game) Let them know it would be safer for all to settle with cash on pickup.
    You'll soon know in seconds

    I'm dying to hear the reason why they can't manage that.

  • I received the exact same thing when selling my previous car. It's 100% a scam. Just ignore them.

  • Tell them they can pick it up from the police impound yard and that you're selling it as you couldn't pay all the fines owing on it. That will show if they're keen or not.

    Having travelled in extreme remote wa… Phone and internet coverage was very good. You should also be able to figure out where these people are based from the IP addresses you can find in their email headers.

  • say yes and keep advertising. when they say theyve transferred the money laugh a bit and tell them when you actually have the money you'll talk to them some more. next time they call, tell them you want their daughter thrown in as well.

    • I was about to say this too. I want to see how they "pretend" that they have sent you the money. Just out of curiosity.

  • For this scam, they are normally in Darwin or on an oil rig.

  • Reply saying you've got a lot of interest in the car, someone has offered $xxxxx amount, will they match it and I bet you'll get a reply of yes ;)

  • Definitely a SCAM

    Same "I work for Fly In Fly Out (FIFO)Mining Oil and Gas and we are presently in remote area" SCAM on whirlpool…

    Warning over online scammers targeting car buyers and sellers


    Manager of operations and security at the website, Dimitri Kulshitsky, said if the seller agreed and provided payment or banking details, the scammer would then send a fake transaction report.

    The scam then works one of three ways.

    • A courier comes and picks up the car and it is effectively stolen
    • The buyer suddenly demands a refund on the fake transaction
    • They "accidentally" pay extra on the fake transaction and demand to be reimbursed
  • Completely legit. It's normal to by a car sight unseen when you're working somewhere remote with no phone.

  • When I was selling my first car I got 2 different email accounts send me the exact same scam email, word for word. The first one I wasn't sure… I mean someone who goes on business trips to Milan could conceivably want a modified 1990 Celica for their wife…the second identical email? Well…


    I want to buy it for my wife's birthday to make her a surprise.
    As I am in Milano, Italy in a business trip I want to manage this fast so we won't waste our time.
    I would like to know your final asking price.

    My Response

    Hi Nick

    It is good to be hearing from you.

    Unfortunately there was a problem in the making of the ad of the car. The car is actually up for the sale for $500,000. I make the most profuse apologise for any misunderstanding my errors have caused and hope sincerely for a most productive future for us both. I hope to hear from you soon as I am a most eager seller of the car for you.

    I looked into it later and from what I can gather they do something along the lines of pay you more than the asking price for the car with stolen or fake details, money arrives in your account, they tell you to send the extra money to another account to pay for shipping or some other excuse and then when the bank figures out the money you recieved isn't any good they take the whole amount back from you leaving you short.

  • Scam.

    Cash only and make sure it is not counterfeit.

  • LOL. I was just reading this thread when an SMS arrived:

    "You have an unclaimed inheritance on your surname, kindly Contact this email [email protected] for more details. F. Chu From: +61414287235"


  • Careful scammers everywhere best is to accept cash or bank cheque then accompany them to vic roads to complete the transfer.

    I once sold a $100k car and the buyer organised finance over the phone with a stolen licence. I was contacted by the finance company after receiving the funds in my bank and was told to hand the car over to the buyer. Long story short, finance company lost their $100k and I received over $2k in speeding fines and tolls (which I eventually sorted out). Also had the police almost break my door down 2 in the morning as the car was involved in a robbery and high speed police chase as the plates were still under my name.