QatarLiving a playground for net fraudsters
Visitors to the qatarliving.com website have seen the cars-for-sale ads as a scam where the items are listed at very low prices.
The vehicles, in most cases, are quoted at prices like QR20,000 and are described as “scarcely used” with mileage ranging from 20,000km-30,000km. Pictures of vehicles posted by the fraudsters bear no local number plates as opposed to other listings.
Interested parties who contact the listed addresses, usually e-mail ids ([email protected]
, [email protected]
), are told the same story over and over again.
“The car is in excellent condition, no damage, never involved in any accidents, no scratches, garage kept. It is working properly. I am the first owner of the car. I am from London. I have a company here in UK and I’ve businesses in Qatar and this car was used only for driving in Qatar where I’ve had some stores. Here in London I have a car with the steering weel (wheel) on the right side so I do not use the car here. The car is registered in Qatar, I didn’t register in UK and all the papers are ok. Now I have closed the stores in Qatar and I do not need anymore the car so for the sale it goes. The car will be shipped by a company from UK to your country. I will pay for shipping and insurance so you don’t have to worry for more expenses.
The car will arrive to you in about two-three days and you will have three days to inspect it before taking a decision to buy it or not,” the fraudster, using the name ‘John Michael’ writes, in a generic response to all queries.
On further interest, Michael generally responds that he is busy but has found a company that will help him ship the car “easily” and will handle shipping, payment and other charges. The potential customer, however, would have to transfer 40% of the car’s listed value to the shipping company who will notify the buyer “on how to make the payment.”
A spokesman for Qatarliving.com yesterday told Gulf Times that so far “no one has contacted us saying that they have been duped by these scamsters and actually lost money.”
The website, which is also a popular classified platform for a variety of small and large items, has a permanent warning for all prospective buyers: “Deal locally with people you can meet in person – follow this one simple rule and you will avoid 99% of the scam attempts.”
It also has a separate advisory in a section entitled “avoiding scams and fraud” for the not-so-discerning visitors.
But those with a keen eye insist that for any online transaction one must always be vigilant and choose wisely.
Sadly moderation is the key not just a simple disclaimer.
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