AFTER trying to sell his 2012 Subaru WRX online for the past couple of months Nick Asproloupos (also known as Aspros) says he was pleased to have finally found a buyer willing to pay full price for his car, but his joy was short lived.
Claiming to live in Darwin, and work in New Zealand, the buyer said he was happy to pay for the $34,500 car to be delivered to his Northern Territory address.
However alarm bells started to ring for Mr Asproloupos when the buyer said he was “cool with the price likewise condition” despite having never seen the vehicle and knowing little about its history.
Despite initial misgivings, Mr Asproloupos provided the buyer with his bank account details as well as several details about the vehicle including its number plates and year of manufacture.
It wasn’t until the buyer, who said his name was James Markane, came up with a complicated explanation for how he was going to pay for the vehicle and it’s delivery, that Mr Asproloupos started to suspect he was being scammed.
Mr Asproloupos said he’s now worried Mr Markane will use the information he already has to scam money from his account and he’s contacted his bank and the police to inform them of the incident.
“I’m also worried he might send someone to steal the car,” he said.
Mr Asproloupos said he’s heard of similar scenarios where buyers offer to pay for goods via PayPal or use Western Union to transfer money, but the payments are never forthcoming.
“I think it’s not good that we live in the age of the internet where it’s not policed and people can steal from you and rip you off,” he said.
Mr Asproloupos has given up any hope of selling his car to Mr Markane and is angry he’s been caught up in the scam.
“I think people that do this don’t have a heart, they’re low,” he said.
“I know this is not regarded as being a big crime but it should be, this is my hard-earned money.”
Canobolas Local Area Command duty officer Brenden Turner said it was important for people to be cautious unless they’re buying and selling through a reputable company.
He said it was best to conduct any sales negotiations via a reputable site and not via text or telephone calls.
“We’d also like to remind people not to give out their bank details,” he said.
Inspector Turner said these kind of scams were reported to Orange police about once a month.
“This is just like going on a fishing expedition for these grubs,” he said.