ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Social distancing guidelines coupled with low inventory on local car lots has primed the online vehicle market. According to the St. Louis Better Business Bureau scammers are jumping on the opportunity and using the coronavirus as an excuse to not let you see the vehicle.
Steve Baker is a fraud investigator and says a lot of these scams are being run by computer savvy criminals.
“Turns out a lot of people behind a lot of these crimes are Romanian organized crime gangs. They’re hitting people in the US and Eurpope.”
Baker said the scammers will give interested buyers excuses like military duty or death of a loved one for reasons why the vehicle is priced cheap. Then they’ll offer to make third-party delivery arrangements if the buyer pays via escrow. In reality, neither the automobile nor the escrow company exists -- leaving you without your money and without the car. He said if your buying private seller you really need to get eyes on the vehicle before you buy.