I spotted this Porsche 997 for sale on Pistonheads and thought it was dodgy, as the asking price was just £8511, so I emailed the seller to check. The reply was this:
Yes is still for sale but the car is located in Berlin, Germany where I recently moved back, to my native land and brought it with me.We’ve taken very good care of the car (always garaged)and we’re only selling it because we’ve moved house to Berlin, Germany and it’s pretty difficult to drive a RHD in this terrible traffic.
It’s never had any accidents, no scratches, no dents, it’s got the original paintwork.
No pets, non-smokers.
Note that they didn’t reply to my question regarding price. The way the email is written immediately made me suspicious, so I googled “Car selling scam, moved to Germany” and found various references to similar scams. Apparently, the seller will ask you to transfer the money in return for free shipping of the car to the UK. Too good to be true? Of course it is!
I then got another reply from the vendor:
The price I’m after is 8500 pounds sterling including delivery to your home address and full insurance during shipping.
IT COMES WITH FULL IMPECCABLE PORSCHE SERVICE HISTORY,FIVE STAMPS IN THE BOOK ALONG WITH THE ALL IMPORTANT SUPPORTING INVOICES
LAST SERVICED INCLUDING BRAKE FLUID CHANGE AT 72273 MILES ON 26/07/2011 BY THE LEADING PORSCHE SPECIALISTS STRASSE
AT 72780 MILES [05/08/2011] A NEW CLUTCH WAS FITTED ALONG WITH MAIN OIL SEAL.
IT TRULY DRIVES LIKE A NEW CAR!
I have a written contract with the shipping company they will handle this sale for me and they will act as a third party between us. I can give you the website of the Germany shipping company where my car is held and you can get in touch with them. They will explain the entire procedure regarding payment and shipping. I also hope that the car being in Germany is not a major inconvenience for you. I know that at this price I will find a buyer in no time, so this isn’t a major inconvenience for me.
I reported it to Pistonheads and they soon removed the advert, sending me (and I assume others) the following email:
Our records show that you recently replied to the advert ‘LOOK!!!PORSCHE 911 997 CARRERA 2005’ (3558633) on PistonHeads.
This advert has since been removed as we have reason to believe that it may not be genuine.
We strongly recommend that you ignore any contact from the ‘seller’ and under no circumstances transfer any money.
Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.
Thank you for using our site and best of luck finding your new car.
The PistonHeads Team
Great service from Pistonheads!