Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Am I being targeted by an overpayment scam?

I have provisionally sold my MG Magnette online. After several days, I received a check paid in Euros for more than the asking price of the car. When I questioned the buyer, he said the overpayment was for transport. I have no address for the buyer (only email). Should I be concerned?

Asked on 3 September 2022 by John Little

Answered by Dan Powell
The overpayment will make sense if you are incurring extra costs to transport the car (and agreed on these expenses with the buyer). But the lack of details about the buyer is a big red flag - you should have their name, address and telephone number.

Overpayments can be innocent or part of a scam. Usually, when it comes to fraud, the buyer will overpay for a car and then ask for you to repay the extra money. This will be requested via a 'wired' transfer by a third-party company.

In the event of a scam, the buyer will cancel the cheque after you've made the transfer and keep the 'overpayment' money and vanish (there is little recourse with wire payments).

If the overpayment is valid (and covers agreed additional expenses) then pay the cheque into your account and keep the car until the funds have been cleared.

If the overpayment is not valid, get the buyer's details and return the cheque. You can then ask the buyer to send you another cheque for the correct amount. If they refuse or try to pressure you into accepting more money than agreed, cancel the deal.
Similar questions
Please be aware of a scam, it is linked to the search engine so if you are looking for a specific model as I was - a Fiat 500, red, leather, glass roof etc. you will be directed to the car of your dreams....
Last week my wife had a minor bump in Bolton town centre. She was reversing round a corner when she clipped a car that was turning out of the corner. The damage was minimal, with just a scrape, no dent...
My immaculate, low mileage 2007 Golf GTi is currently advertised for sale on the Autotrader website for £9350. Several days ago I received a text message stating the following: "Is your Volkswagen still...
Related models
Handsome styling, known B-Series engine and running gear

Compare classic car insurance quotes and buy online. A friendly service offering access to a range of policies and benefits.

Get a quote