Bike Buyer Guru: Facebook fake buyers
Craig Langton has quite the CV. Here at The Bike Show we refer to him as King Midas because, as you might’ve guessed, everything he touches turns to gold. Apart from previous businesses that were massively successful under his watch, he is the owner of Fire It Up in Fourways and within a year of opening its doors it has become the biggest selling motorcycle dealer in the country by a long way. Much of this is down to good honest hard work by him and his team, but much of it also has to do with decades of dealing in motorcycles, spotting trends and noticing nuances. Craig will be passing on much of this knowledge to our esteemed readers in his Bike Buyer Guru column that will be posted every Tuesday. Herewith this week’s column:
With more than 14 million South Africans using Facebook monthly to keep in touch with friends and loved ones it has also become the leading platform to share information, express opinions and very importantly for companies and individuals to advertise their products and services. As a company we use it very effectively to communicate with our customers daily.
I am pretty sure that most of you have come across posts on Facebook that you know are fake which is one of the leading concerns on Facebook, the ability to share fake information, news or worse, adverts. I recently read an article that people have less trust than ever in social medial due to fake news or posts.
As Facebook grows, criminals are turning to this platform as an opportunity to defraud innocent individuals. Have you seen one of these posts recently? “Have you seen this person” with a picture of a person that has sold a bike on behalf of someone and now disappeared with the money?
Typically, fraudsters/criminals will hack or create a fake profile and approach you when you are advertising a motorcycle on a popular group. When you check their profile and recognise mutual friends you tend to trust the person and invite them into your home and possibly let your guard down as you are expecting a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend’. You can imagine what happens from there.
A customer of ours told us of a horror story of when he advertised his motorcycle for sale on a popular group on social media and was approached by a young lady who wanted to purchase the motorcycle for her boyfriend. She had the cash and just wanted to view the motorcycle and collect, the customer admits he should have been more cautious but then who feels threatened by a young lady who is a friend of a friend? At the last minute when the lady was due to arrive she mentioned that she had a family matter to attend to and that her boyfriend would arrive and pay for the motorcycle. A well spoken and dressed young man arrived to inspect the motorcycle who pointed a firearm at our customer demanded the keys and left, never to be seen again.
Remember that with the cost of new bikes becoming out of reach for most, used bikes are highly sought after and therefore there is a thriving market for repairing broken or accident damaged motorcycles. Lately more motorcycles are being stolen and hijacked for their parts or they are being sent across our border.
Make sure that you are not an easy target, as always, I suggest meeting at a friendly dealer near you who can assist with the transaction and not at any of the following places:
- Your home
- Fuel station
- Police station
- Public location