Tips for Safe Buying
When negotiating with a seller we strongly recommend you take the following precautions:
- Speak to the seller directly. Most online scams are conducted via email or SMS only.
- Always ask for their phone number and call them back if necessary.
- If you cannot contact a seller on the phone, or suspect it may be a scam ad, please report it to us. Our contact details are listed here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cheki does not operate account facilities for vehicle sales and has no involvement in the financial or banking transactions. Please report requests or claims of this immediately to us via our contact form or email@example.com
- Be wary if the vehicle's advertised price is significantly under market value for its age, odometer reading and condition. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be wary if buying from an overseas seller, and remember that there are restrictions and requirements for importing vehicles.
- Check the identity of the car's owner. In some cases, the scammer may have replicated a genuine seller's advertisement and altered the contact details, then lowered the car's price to entice victims.
- Ensure that the registration plate, car identification and engine numbers match the information in any paperwork or insurance documentation.
- Check if there are advertisements for the same car at a different price.
- Never send money through a wire transfer or mobile banking service to people you do not know or trust.
- Never send your personal or financial details to a seller or anyone.
- Cheki will NEVER contact you to ask you for account or personal details.
- When taking a test drive, make sure you meet in a safe well lit location. Preferably where CCTV is available - and agree the route of a test drive beforehand.
Tips for Safe Selling
Buyers will contact you and ask questions about the vehicle and you. Never communicate:
- Your specific personal details.
- Your account details or any banking information.
- Any details about your M-Pesa Account or phone account.
- Any details about your Cheki transaction.
- The normal overnight precise street location of the vehicle.
- Real buyers will never make you an offer before inspecting the vehicle.
- Real buyers will never offer you much more than the asking price for a quick sale or any other reason.
- Do not deal with any buyer who tells you they are an agent purchasing a vehicle for someone else or for export.
- Real buyers will never ask you to pay for services such as shipping, agent fees, or customs charges.
- Cheki will NEVER email you or contact you to ask for your account information or login details.
Inspections & Test Drives
Buyers will ask to inspect the vehicle prior to purchase so they can make sure they're happy with it. You can minimise risks in a number of ways that won't put off genuine buyers but will be very unattractive to bogus buyers:
- Where possible, arrange to meet at a neutral location like a police station or shopping centre car park. Tell them you will only meet them in a location where you know there is CCTV coverage for their safety and yours.
- Take someone with you, introduce them to the buyer and have them remain at the meeting location while you accompany the buyer on a test drive and tell them both the expected re-arrival time.
- NEVER let a potential buyer drive your vehicle without you.
- Do not take key information / paperwork like registration details, vehicle log books and roadworthy certificates to a first inspection.
- Is the buyer who they say they are? Ask for a form of ID if they have one and SMS the details to a friend.
- Ask them to send you an SMS with their phone number.
- If in doubt, walk away.
- Carry your keys with you at all times, particularly when changing seats before / after a test drive or when entering / leaving the car.
- Agree a safe test drive route for the buyer and you before you leave.
Closing a Deal
- Know how much you're willing to accept and prepare to negotiate to a minimum price.
- Don't take your ad down until you are certain you have received payment from the buyer - it won't cost you anything to have it up longer.
- Don't rely on "proof" of payment from the buyer. Check with your bank or other provider that the money has been cleared and you can see the funds in your account before parting with your item.
- Only accept cash inside the premises of your bank where potential fakes can be checked or so you do not carry large amounts of cash in public after a sale.
- Beware of forged bank cheques. Electronic transfers which can be confirmed by your bank are the safest option. A genuine buyer will never object.
- Give the buyer a receipt to confirm you've received their payment.
- Insist on a receipt from the buyer confirming delivery of your vehicle.