OPP warn of fake doctor selling vehicles online

OPP cruiser. (Photo courtesy of @OPP_WR via Twitter)

Provincial police are warning residents to be vigilant when making big purchases online after someone lost approximately $14,000 on a vehicle they never received.

Oxford OPP was called on Wednesday to investigate an incident of fraud in Zorra Township.

The victim reportedly found an ad for a vehicle on a website and started talking online with the seller.

Police said the seller claimed to be a doctor who was assisting with COVID-19 vaccinations and had to leave their vehicle at an airport in Halifax in order to fly to the United Kingdom. The seller also claimed to have hired a company to manage the sale and shipment of said vehicle.

The seller and victim negotiated a deal and a transaction of about $14,000 was made. However, the vehicle never arrived.

Investigators said the vehicle was previously sold from a dealership in the Toronto area and that the vehicle’s identification number advertised on the website was fraudulent.

Norfolk County OPP was also called this week about a “fake doctor” who tried to sell a vehicle to someone in Charlotteville. The same story about leaving the vehicle at an airport in Halifax was used but the potential buyer realized it was a scam and reported it to police.

The OPP is using this as an opportunity to remind residents to be vigilant when using websites to purchase items.

“The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Oxford County detachment continues to receive reports from residents stating they have been or attempted to be defrauded. Don’t be a victim,” said Constable Ed Sanchuk. “Fraud is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that will only stop when the scammers stop getting money, banking information or personal information.”

In order to avoid these types of scams, OPP suggest residents know who they’re dealing with, never wire money, and never buy a vehicle that hasn’t been seen in-person and inspected by a professional.