Published on May 31st, 2019 | by Subhash Nair


How Do Such Obvious Scams Get Listed?

Popular listing site is a great place to find your used car. In fact, I found my latest car listed on the site just a couple of weeks ago. But the site is notorious for scams. One would assume that the site has enough experience with scammers to have some sort of filter up, but they still get many pretty obvious scams running. This one truly caught my eye for just how unbelievable it was. Check out this description:

Ford Fiesta Style + 2009, new MoT, Alloys, Stereo, manual,
Please contact me directly via my email: [email protected]
Year 2009
Body Type Hatchback
Mileage 132,000 miles
Transmission Manual
Brochure Engine Size 1.25 L
Fuel Type Petrol
Please contact me directly via my email: [email protected]


Here are all the red flags I could find.

Title is Odd

It was listed as a “2009 Ford Fiesta 254cc (M) 1.5”. I was willing to overlook the typo in the displacement, but the fact that two different engine displacements were quoted in the ad title were alarming.


Spec Mismatch

Then there was the (M) indicating it had a manual gearbox. As far as I can remember, Malaysians only got a taste of a 1.4L manual Fiesta. The 1.6L, 1.0L and 1.5L versions were all paired to dual-clutch automatics.

MOT is Irrelevant

In the description, a new MoT was mentioned. This is something required on UK cars but not Malaysian cars. It’s almost the equivalent of ‘Roadtax masih hidup’.

Location Doesn’t Match Photos

But that was just the beginning of how poorly covered up this scam was. They mentioned that the car was in Melor, Kelantan. But the photos used looked more like a British suburb.

A Model We Never Got

I already pointed out the mismatching of the manual gearbox and engine above, but there were a few other issues with the exact Fiesta listed. We never got the ‘Style+’ trim on the Fiesta, it was not sold as a 3-door here (except the ST model), we never got the 1.25-litre Duratec engine.

Wrong Model Year

This 6th generation Fiesta was launched in 2009 globally, but we only got it in Malaysia in 2010.


Mileage in Miles

Of course this could be some minor error, but most Malaysian sellers ought to quote their mileage in KM.

Asking to contact via email

This is a pretty common overseas scammer tactic. Only chat with those who list their phone numbers.


About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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