Watch out for caravan and motorhome scams, holidaymakers warned

PUBLISHED: 06:26 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:53 30 June 2020

Norfolk Trading Standards warned about caravan and motorhome scams in the wake of increased sales. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Norfolk Trading Standards warned about caravan and motorhome scams in the wake of increased sales. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Andrey Armyagov

Holidaymakers wanting to buy caravans or motorhomes to head out on a break this summer are being warned not to fall victim to scams.

Norfolk County Council trading standards has issued advice to watch out for fake listings and not to pay unless the deal is genuine.

The watchdog said payments will usually request via a bank transfer instead of a secure payment method.

Recent scams have included asking for payment using PayPal.

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A spokesman said; “Due to travel restrictions and the loss of holidays overseas during the pandemic, there has been a shift in planning for a staycation.

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“This has led to people purchasing caravans and motor homes for use when government guidelines permit. The increase in demand has been exploited by criminals advertising fake listings for caravans and motor homes on auction sites citing lockdown restrictions as the reason vehicles can’t be viewed in person.

“Vehicles are advertised at attractive prices to tempt people into believing they’re getting a good deal, when in reality they simply don’t exist or don’t arrive once paid for.

“The criminal then fails to send a PayPal invoice, at which point the buyer is contacted by someone pretending to be a representative from PayPal and receives a reference and bank account number for payment to be made into. Ultimately, the buyer doesn’t receive their goods as payment has been made into an account controlled by a criminal so customers should be on the lookout for scams.

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“If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

“Do your research, and don’t part with your cash until you are sure the deal is genuine.”

If you suspect a scam report it to trading standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

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