A friend of mine was nearly caught by a scammer when considering this car purchase from Drive.com.au. He sent a warning email which I have posted below.
We've been looking at selling the Liberty and upgrading to a newer Outback. One car I found on Drive.com.au (run by Fairfax media i.e. Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, etc.) looked to be what we were looking for within our budget. I contacted the seller via email who told me that he was currently in England on business but if I could pay the deposit he would secure the car for me to have a look at when I returned. He also told me that the deposit would be held by Drive.com.au and would be 100% refundable if I didn't like the car.
I was then sent the following email from email@example.com (they obviously spoofed or phished the email address), looking to be pretty legitimate. I clicked on the live support icon and left a message and was replied to. However, the whole thing didn't gel right so I went and had a look on their website. On the support page for Drive.com.au it says:
"Drive.com.au and Fairfax Digital do not issue invoices or other paperwork for motor vehicles advertised on our website and we will NEVER request or hold money on behalf of any seller or dealer. All monetary transactions should be conducted directly with the seller or the dealer. Please be wary of suspicious claims by sellers to obtain money (in any form) from potential buyers.
Do not send money to a seller prior to the exchanging of the vehicle – all monetary transactions should be carried out directly with the seller or the dealer once the sale is finalised. Drive.com.au and Fairfax Digital do not take any responsibility for money deposited or transferred by buyers or any financial transactions between buyers and sellers."
Anyway, I rang Drive.com.au this afternoon and they told me the whole thing was a scam and are now in the process of removing the ad. At one point I was getting very close to actually paying the deposit because it seemed like such a good buy. (I even made an account at Western Union to do so).
Live and learn.