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How to avoid scams when buying an RV online

For some people, an RV scam may seem obvious, but with the thriving market and influx of newbies, potential starry-eyed RV buyers can talk themselves into anything… and scammers know that.

Recently, RVTrader.com had a listing for a 2014 Winnebago Minnie Winnie 31K priced at $23,000. The deal of the century! Knowing it could not be true, but curious enough to investigate, hubby pressed on questioning the seller and attempting to arrange to see the RV.

It was not until we received the reply from “Linda” that we truly realized that it was a scam. First, we noticed that the additional photos appeared to be a different RV, with darker fabric on the dinette benches. Suddenly, the RV was in Connecticut and not Florida, the seller had throat cancer and could not talk on the phone and a third party would collect our money and hold it until we came to retrieve the RV. Of course, this is all for our protection and she would not collect a dime until we test drove and approved the RV.

Shortly after telling Linda what we thought about her and her scamming ways, RVtrader.com sent out an email confirming that it was, indeed, a fraudulent listing and had been removed from the website. “While we are able to prevent many scammers from using our website to find potential victims, occasionally an ad like this will slip through when the seller uses a stolen identity,” the email stated.

Keep your eyes open and use common sense. This is just one of many types of scams out there targeted at both buyers and sellers. If the price is too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Here are some tips to help prevent you from becoming the victim of these online scammers.

Tips to recognize and avoid RV scams

  • The price is way below the RV’s value. Check other similar RVs or check NADA guides.com.
  • The seller introduces a third-party “escrow company” to handle the transaction.
  • You are unable to see the RV because it moved from the advertised location or otherwise.
  • Inspect photos to make sure they all match up to the advertised RV.
  • The seller brings in another company to handle the funds’ distribution ”for your protection.”
  • The seller is overseas and needs your information for a wire transfer.
  • The seller attempts to illicit sympathy about an illness to explain the low price.
  • Do not give out too much personal information.

More information also can be found here.

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Debby
4 months ago

A bit unrelated but it reminded me of when I joined a women’s Facebook RV group and first post is supposed to introduce yourself and tell what rig you own. I have a 2016 Winnebago Cambria 27K. The women kept INSISTING that I told them I paid $27,000 for it despite my telling them that 27K is the model number and that furthermore, not only did I NOT post what I paid for it, but also that what I paid for it (exponentially more than $27,000!!!) was none of their business. Because I wouldn’t “admit” that I paid $27,000 for my motorhome since I wrote the model number “27K”, I got a nastygram from the admin and was blocked from the group. I dodged that bullet…I surely didn’t need to go camping with a bunch of dummies who don’t pay attention and furthermore are so hostile to new members. Bottom line: if you see a 2016 Winnebago Cambria for $27,000 it’s a total scam.

Bob p
4 months ago

I had the same type of scam going for a pickup truck located in a eBay warehouse in Montana. I called eBay to confirm the location and was informed they have no warehouses but only act as a central selling location for retailers, SCAM! I reported the scam 20 minutes later ad was gone.

Greg Sorenson
4 months ago

When searching for a new unit last year, I noticed the scams were many times a lady that claimed she had a sick or deceased husband. I learned to immediately ask for an address where I could look at the unit. If they were unwilling to provide one, my communication was over.

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