RV With peak camping season upon us, everyone is craving the fresh air freedom that an RV can provide.  Unfortunately, the demand for outdoor recreational vehicles outpaces the supply which leaves local RV dealerships selling both used and new at record pace but with limited inventory to replenish their lots.

Due to the inventory shortage, some people are turning to purchase their RV via the internet.  As potential buyers are busy trying to find a bargain, online scammers are busy baiting their next victim.

 Here are a few helpful tips from our friends at the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid falling for an online RV scam:

  • Research the seller.  You can use a website tracker to learn about when their website was created along with contact information to help you determine the seller’s authenticity and security.
  • Pay using a traceable method, like a Sentinel FCU credit card. You can dispute the payment later if the sale is fraudulent.  Avoid wire transfers.
  • Cross-check information on the seller’s website, including contact information and location.  Give the company a quick call to make sure it is their actual number and look up the address using Google Maps.
  • If you are dealing with a transporter or broker, make sure they include their Motor Carrier (MC) Docket Number on their website.  This can be verified with the Department of Transportation’s SAFER website.
  • Photos of an RV can be deceiving.  Usually, an ad with one photo is a red flag.  Instead of viewing photos, request Facetime interviews or live walk-through videos.  During those interviews, ask lots of questions about the unit and its history, including the manufacture’s VIN.
  • Cross-check the RV’s value.  When a deal looks like it’s too good to be true, it usually isn’t the real deal.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau to see if the seller has a business profile and also scan BBB’s Scam Tracker.

Be safe out there and protect yourself from these RV scams.  If you’re in the market for an RV, you can increase your buying power by getting preapproved with Sentinel FCU.

-Article tips courtesy of the Better Business Bureau.