While The Wheel Sanctuary is here to help make dreams come true, please remember it is still simply a third party site that puts buyers and sellers in touch with one another. What happens after that is up to you! Sadly, it cannot vet or verify everybody using the site or guarantee any sale. However, if you follow the steps below then you will be in a better position to spot online scammers and keep yourself safe.
We always recommend you collect a car or part in person, so you can inspect it first and if the car/product is located further afield, then always use somebody you know well and trust to inspect and make the transaction on your behalf. If a deal looks or sounds too good to be true, then more often than not it will be probably be a scam, so please walk away!
1.Stay local where possible and always collect in person. The Wheel Sanctuary is designed to be local, which is why a car or part’s location is clearly listed. We strongly advise you never do business with anyone in another county/state or country unless you already know and trust them, or you know and trust somebody in that area who can view the car or part on your behalf and make the transaction for you. Avoid anyone who makes a lot of excuses about why they can’t meet you in person. Scammers frequently lie about being missionaries, being in the military, taking care of a sick elderly relative or working for a multinational corporation to “explain” why they’re abroad. Don’t believe their stories. If you are buying abroad or out of state, then we suggest using somebody you do know and trust in that area to collect and pay for the product in person.
2.Avoid gift cards, wire transfers, cashiers’ check, money orders as payment methods. Also avoid P2P payments (such as Zelle, Venmo), and others unless you know the seller and can trust them. It’s a huge red flag if someone wants to send or receive payment through the mail or via mobile apps. Anyone who suggests a wire transfer (like Western Union or MoneyGram), a cashier’s check or a money order is most likely trying to scam you.Never conduct business with someone who wants to use P2P payments, gift cards, cashier’s checks, money orders or wire transfer services such as Western Union. This is a sign that they’re most likely trying to scam you. When you conduct a transaction using one of these methods, you’re not protected if things go south. If you’re buying an item that proves to be defective (or even nonexistent), you won’t be able to get your money back after it’s sent.Also, if you accept a cashier’s check or money order as payment for a sale and it doesn’t clear, you will be held liable to pay your bank or credit union the full amount — plus any fees. Even worse, you may even face legal problems.Cash is the only secure currency for online marketplace transactions. If you’re dealing with a large amount of money and the buyer or seller isn’t comfortable handling so much cash in a public place, meet at a bank or credit union and make the transaction inside the building. The money can be withdrawn and then deposited right there in the bank or credit union.
3.Be cautious when using online escrow. Be cautious when the buyer or seller wants to use an online escrow service. Many scammers use fake escrow sites that may look like the real thing. Watch out for red flags such as poor spelling and domain spoofing. Never send financial information online unless the website displays a secure “https://” URL.
4.Don’t commit without seeing goods in person. You might end up with an item that’s broken, not as described, or doesn’t exist at all. If you’re selling, be very cautious of a buyer who is eager to purchase your items sight-unseen. This is a big flag, especially if you’re selling something really valuable. One common online scam involves a “buyer” who sends you a money order or cashier’s check, which is much higher than the agreed-upon price because they “made a mistake.” The scammer asks you to deposit it and send them the price difference via Western Union. After you’ve wired the money, the bank or credit union discovers it’s a counterfeit check and you’re responsible for paying it. By then, your own money is long gone.
5.Use a counterfeit pen detection pen. A counterfeit detection pen will allow you to find out if someone is trying to pay you in fake notes. These pens use a special iodine ink that changes colour when applied to wood-based paper (real money is printed on fibre-based paper used exclusively by the government). You can find counterfeit detection pens at most office supply stores, or online.
6.The Wheel Sanctuary does not certify listings. We have no verification or screening process for transactions. If anyone claims to be “certified” or “guaranteed”, they’re almost certainly trying to scam you. Scammers frequently lie to get you to trust them. There is no such thing as buyer protection,” “The Wheel Sanctuary seller certification” or “The Wheel Sanctuary payment services.” Avoid anyone who uses these phrases or similar language on any online site.
7.Research the buyer or seller. Search for their name, email address, business or any other personal information they’ve provided. If this person has ever scammed anyone (or attempted to scam anyone) using the same information, it’s probably been reported online. Just remember that scammers often use many different aliases.
8.Don’t give out personal information. No one needs to know anything about you unless they’re buying whatever you’re selling. Then, after you’ve agreed to the transaction, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to share more than your phone number. For extra protection, create a free disposable phone number using Google Voice: https://voice.google.com. When conducting business online, there are some circumstances where you may need to give out your phone number. Sign up for Gmail and get a free Google Voice number, which you can use to forward calls to your cell phone or land line. You’ll be able to give this secondary number to someone you meet online without revealing your primary contact info. Then, if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to block them or just drop the Google number. It’s an easy way to protect your privacy and your existing phone lines. Never invite the buyer to your home unless it’s absolutely necessary. If they need to come to your home to pick up a large piece of furniture, for example, move the furniture to your front lawn or open garage and don’t let them inside. Make sure you’re not home alone and tell your neighbours you’re expecting a buyer.
9.Trust your instincts and do your homework. Always follow your instincts. If something seems like it’s not right, or someone makes you uncomfortable for any reason, just walk away.