Wednesday 16th January 2008


Latest scam details - please take the time to read.

Don't be parted from your hard earned
Don't be parted from your hard earned
As part of our ongoing investigation into scam advertisers using PistonHeads classifieds to part honest buyers from their hard earned cash, we have been working on ways to block the usual scams that appear on the site.

However, thanks to our readers we are now aware of a new scam that uses the PistonHeads name to lure you into parting with your money, it may be obvious to some that this is a scam, but we wanted to advise you of the latest threat.

One reader responded to an advert for a Renault Clio and received the following reply:

I am selling this car for £2,500 including delivery anywhere in UK.I set at a "very, very low" price to guarantee a sale. The only reason is that I  need cash for a family emergency. I have to tell you that I'm currently out of town with some major problems so pick up/view  isn't an option. If you want to buy this vehicle email me back with your full name and address to start the official procedure trough PistonHeads. They will send you a notification with ALL the info regarding delivery, purchase protection and refund policy so please provide your details before more questions. You will find 90% of answers in that notification from Pistonheads!

Reply to this and you will receive another reply:

Thank you very much. Your details have been noted. Please let me know as soon as you receive the notification from PistonHeads to move forward. The shipping costs are included in the price.Please follow PistonHeads instructions and send me the payment confirmation so I will start shipping asap.

Following this correspondence you will be asked to make payment- the web page you are directed to contains the following paragraphs:

PistonHeads insured this transaction at seller's request.With the new Classified Ad format, a vehicle may be insured at the full price.Buy a vehicle confidently with PistonHeads Motors protection programs.

The payment has to be sent using Money-Gram money transfer. We would like to confirm to you again that our seller, Patrick Mcmanamon is a verified PistonHeads Seller. Your transaction with Patrick Mcmanamon  is covered by Vehicle Purchase Protection and PistonHeads's Fraud Protection Plan  (PistonHeads Safe Harbor) .

The Vehicle Purchase Protection program helps protect your vehicle purchase against fraud and material misrepresentation. After you will send the payment via Money-Gram please contact the Seller at this e-mail address with the payment details:

It goes on to suggest your payment is protected by note they do not use the address.

Finally you will be sent a page entitled 'PistonHeads Purchase Protection Program, with the following words of advice at the end.

PistonHeads Customer Support
Please do not respond to this email with information regarding your case, as it can only be processed through the PistonHeads Customer Consultant website. If you have other questions, please contact us

In addition to this you can verify that the seller is safe, if you do you will receive an e mail suggesting that they are a PistonHeads verified user and all is well. They are not approved, in fact all they are verifying is the fact that they are a scammer.

PistonHeads has notified the relevant authorities and has requested that the website the scammers use be closed down.

In the meantime please be on your guard and be aware that Pistonheads do not offer an approved seller scheme, nor do we offer payment or transaction protection. If in any doubt note that PistonHeads correspondance will only be sent from an e mail address ending


    Author: Garlick
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