This morning we were honored to put on a Cybersecurity workshop on behalf of the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce and CharterBusiness.
We discussed 20 ways online thieves can steal from you, one of which involved our friends at Classic Used Cars here in Anderson.
What’s happened is this: Thieves have setup a fake website at andersonclassiccars.com. The site includes a fake phone number, but calls from local 864 numbers are ignored. The crooks advertise collectible cars on online sites such as Ebay Motors at prices that are well below market rate for those cars.
Out of state buyers, lured by the ads, check out the website & call the number to verify the deal is real – which of course the crooks say it is, often producing convincing photos of the car as well as application paperwork for the purchase. One buyer even called around to other car lots in Anderson to verify that Classic Used Cars was trustworthy – which of course others said they were, not knowing that the buyer wasn’t dealing with the real Classic Used Cars guys but with online impersonators.
The upshot is this: People from out of state show up periodically at Classic Used Cars to pick up the vehicles they purchased, only to find out that there is no such vehicle and the people they were dealing with were not the real Classic Used Cars.
It’s a terrible thing, with many people losing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on these deals, and the great reputation of our friends at Classic Used Cars is being unfairly tarnished as a result.
One takeaway from this for any business – protect your online identity! Make sure you have a website, and update it periodically. This sort of scam would be much more difficult if not impossible to pull off if the business they’re trying to impersonate already has an online identity.
Some complaints about the scam: