Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been told by a couple of people that they’ve been scammed out of £500.00 or £600.00 by ‘sellers’ on such classified sites as Exchange and Mart, and Schpock (whatever the hell that is) using photos of at least one of our vehicles, and asking us to ‘do something’.

Such as what? Our own website stops the unscrupulous from copying our photos and text, but the same cannot be said for 3rd party websites that we have to use, who a) won’t let us put watermarks on our pictures, b) don’t really seem to care about seller fraud. It’s sensible to tell the two aggrieved parties that we’ll pay for a course of common sense pills for them, but that might be taken the wrong way…

This is the Land Rover that’s (at the time of writing) being advertised on Exchange and Mart.

The ‘vendor’s’ description is as follows:

Selling my dads old Land rover been stored in the barn for a few years. i know nothing about these at all so i am selling it as spares or repairs. i have uploaded recent photos of it. looking 500 for it Does not start. V5 Here will need trailer to tow away. My phone signal isnt great so please sms or email me

‘selling my dads old Land Rover’ – stops potential buyers asking difficult questions and introduces third-part deniability

‘been stored in the barn’ – an attempt to justify the ridiculously low price asked, and this is trading off it’s charmingly disreputable looks. Fortunately it drives really well…

‘I know nothing about these at all’ – again, stops buyers asking difficult questions

‘V5 here’ – err, no, don’t think so unless DVLA have made a major screw up. This one is actually personally registered to us.

‘Phone signal isn’t great so please text’ -classic scammer’s tactic – stops people recognising voices or indeed taping conversations.

Sadly people can’t seem to avoid looking a gift horse in the mouth. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is. So here’s a tip: in the modern age, everyone has access to WhatsApp video calling, Facetime or similar. A genuine seller should have no problem whatsoever doing a live video call with you and the vehicle you’re interested in.