RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If your old car is a mechanical nightmare or you're just looking to upgrade, the Better Business Bureau warns use caution. It says crooks are preying on local consumers searching for a new set of wheels online. An F rating and an Alert from the BBB is not a good sign.
The organization is warning anyone looking to buy a car or motorcycle to steer clear of a company called Motor Traders. Richmond BBB President and CEO,Tom Gallagher says there are reports of people losing thousands of dollars. "Saw an ad to get a motorcycle for a $20,000 motorcycle for 10 grand. For the down money, you're told to send the money via PayPal or by Green card or something like that. Maybe a couple of thousand dollars for the down payment, and then poof, they are gone," he said.
The BBB warns don't get hung up on the company's name. The organization believes the questionable company uses several different names and creates fake local addresses. The BBB says the website domain is registered overseas. "I don't know if they are in Russia, Sweden or South Boston. It doesn't make much difference. Everything is through the internet and your money isn't coming back," Gallagher said.
The BBB also says the company created a fake BBB report claiming it had an A rating. The page has been taken down. The organization advises when shopping online, always use caution. It says don't be fooled by extremely low prices and as always, if it seems to good to be true, you should be suspicious. "On a deal that is a little sketchy, you think boy, maybe this will be my lucky day, it wont' be your lucky day," he explained
Before you give up your cash, always do your research on the seller. When it comes to a car or motorcycle, if you haven't seen it in person and taken it for a test drive, keep searching. As for those deceptive companies and fraudulent posts on websites, catching the criminals is never an easy job. "If it's somebody located in the United States, you can get prosecutions, the Postal Inspectors will go after them, the FBI will go after them and we are able to see some money come back but that is rare," Gallagher said.
Gallagher also says to never trust a website's claims about its BBB report. Always go to the BBB's site directly or call them to verify the information.