Each month we receive calls or emails from consumers who have fallen prey to an online motorcycle shipping scam. Scammers are more sophisticated than ever, and they frequently use trusted names like ours as a part of the bait to lure in unsuspecting victims. One recent scammer came to our attention by using “haul bikes” as the first part of the email address. (Any official emails from us will be @haubikes.com!)
Since HAULBIKES/Daily Direct cannot provide help for a victim of fraud once money has exchanged hands, we have the following tips to help motorcycle buyers shop smarter and safer:
1. Consider the payment method – Do not trust a seller who insists on using MoneyGram or Western Union to receive funds. These sources are top choices for scammers.
2. Validate the seller – Call the seller to get some information on their background and history. Anyone can build a website or put a listing on Craigslist, but if the seller makes excuses for not being able to speak with you personally, that is a good indicator of a possible scam.
3. Look at more than the CycleVIN – While a buyer should always ask for a CycleVIN report, some scammers will actually pull real reports for their fake motorcycle. To best protect yourself, do your own background check on the vehicle to ensure everything matches up correctly with the CycleVIN report. Also, check that the registration or license plate matches the seller’s name.
4. Validate the details – If the seller says the bike is being held by a relocation company and will be shipped once payment is made, then verify this statement. Do an online search of the relocation company – never trust the website or the number you are given – and call to validate the arrangement.
5. Get pictures – If the seller is sharing only a stock image of the motorcycle rather than an actual photo of the bike with the license plate visible, this is a good indication the real bike does not exist. Ask for a digital photo from a different angle, or ask the seller to photograph the bike in a specific location.
Providing shipping services for online motorcycle sales is a large portion of HAULBIKES’s business, and as industry leaders, we want to raise awareness to protect buyers and sellers. By releasing these tips and educating the public, we not only hope that consumers will have peace-of-mind when buying motorcycles online, but more importantly, we hope to see an end to online shipping fraud.