Online fraud targeting used car buyers in Canada

The OMVIC, the Ontario organization that oversees the auto industry for its province, is warning Canadian used car buyers to use caution when researching their next car on the Internet.

More specifically, the OMVIC states that a dealer named Double Eagle Motors which promotes its inventory on used car sites in Canada is a mere cover up for a sophisticated scam.

The ads show a Canadian phone number, but when a buyer calls the number, he or she is redirected to the dealer who is apparently based in Arizona. However, Double Eagle Motors does not exist, any more than the exotic cars that are offered at ridiculous prices on its website.

The scammers then require a large deposit to begin the sale. The money then disappears and consumers are left without a car. Daniel Nahon from Ottawa was almost a victim of the hoax when he thought he had discovered a Ferrari F430 as he wanted, but sold almost $ 25,000 below its market value.

According to Mr. Nahon, the listing showed a phone number in Montreal, but when he called, he was told that the car was in Arizona. He had doubts about the dealership when the latter sent him a contract by e-mail requiring a deposit of $ 42 500 and he decided to contact the OMVIC.

"I was fortunate, but this operation is very convincing and I don't want to see others victimized," said Daniel Nahon.

The OMVIC offers the following advice to buyers in order to avoid scams. First, if the selling price of a vehicle is too low compared to other similar cars, it is possible that this is a fraud. Second, do not buy a car that you have not been able to see for yourself. If it is too far away, hire a company to conduct an on-site inspection. Also, do not hesitate to check with local authorities if a given dealership is registered.

Finally, OMVIC recommends that you do not buy a car abroad. The various government agencies in Canada will not be able to help you and it is almost impossible to recover your money once it leaves the country.