Woman tells of close call with scam

A BENDIGO resident is reminding people to remain alert after she almost fell victim to a scam recently. 

Tracey, who does not want her full name published, responded to a classified in the Bendigo Advertiser advertising the sale of a recreational vehicle for $30,000.

She contacted the number advertised in the newspaper, which she believed was in the Shepparton region, but said she could not get through. 

About a week later a man who claimed to be selling the RV contacted her. 

"By the time he got in touch with us, he said he had gone to the UK and that the RV was now in Cairns," she said. 

"After a few emails back and forward, he said, because he was in the UK the RV was in storage in Cairns.

"(He said) he had paid for insurance and freight costs for it to be freighted to us for no expense to us, so we could have it for five days and decide if we wanted it.

"He said all we needed to do was send the freight company a deposit and they would hold the deposit securely. 

"If we decided we didn't want it we could send it back, at his expense, and we would get our money back."

Tracey said it was at this stage of the communication that alarm bells started ringing.  

She said she contacted him again and told him she was going to be in Cairns the following Monday.

She said she asked if she could look at the RV but never heard anything back. 

Tracey said she never intended to go to Cairns.

She said the man contacted her a few days later and said the only way to look at the RV was to place a deposit with the freight company and have it shipped. 

She said she had one piece of advice for people - be cautious. 

"Don't hand over any money whatsoever," she said. 

"I could of said to him, 'we are happy to do whatever you want us to do, send it down here, if we don't want it we will send it back. 

"But just don't hand over money.

Tracey said her fiance contacted the Bendigo Police, who informed him the RV had been sold three times already. 

Bendigo Police Crime Prevention Officer Leading Senior Constable Glenn Malliard said people should visit SCAMwatch at www.scamwatch.gov.au for information on scans. 

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