We have been on the look out for a decent mini digger to help us with our self build project. Just to let everybody know, there seems to be a high level of scammers out there “selling” such machines and I am embarassed to say, we fell for one. Short story – a seemingly very genuine advert on ebay which led to a lot of e-mail communication, sharing stories about self build and agreement for a private sale (because of ebay and paypal fees) has resulted in us making a bank transfer to what we now know was somebody commiting fraud. He has now disappeared with our money and, needless to say, the digger has not turned up.

I know how stupid we’ve been – don’t need anybody telling us that. I just wanted to make people aware that if you are looking to buy plant machinery when doing a self build or restoration, go and see it, do your homework as to who the owner says they are and seek advice from your bank as to how to pay for it if it seems genuine. I have to say, my bank and the receivig bank are both being very helpful but this has led to a huge amount of stress on top of what is already a very demanding experience. I have now left it in the hands of the Police and Action Fraud but my own internet research has thrown this up as being a relatively common scam. One I am embarassed to admit I have fallen for.

  • Louise Fisher

    thanks for sharing this, not embarrassing, its good to be warned about any scams.

  • Geoff

    It may be worth noting that construction plant is one area were stolen plant is frequently sold on. So even if you got a digger you may lose it when it is found to be stolen!

    There are places where you may be able to check serial numbers e.g. http://www.ter-europe.org/

    For smaller plant it will be difficult

  • Lindsey Davis

    Thanks for the heads up Rebecca, and good advice Geoff.

  • Stephen Margerison

    seek out a registered "plant dealer " he may charge a bit more, but at least he has a base you can visit chow

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