Editor’s Note: This warning comes from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) and appears in its latest RV Executive Today Online edition.

An RV dealer recently contacted RVDA about a scam involving a late model RV listed well below market price on both an online auction site popular with consumers and a general interest classified ad site. The dealer said an individual operating out of Fort Wayne or Lowell, Ind., placed both the auction listing and online classified ad. The price offered on the unit was more than $20,000 less than book value.

The dealer agreed to purchase the vehicle through what he believed to be the consumer auction site, received a phony confirmation verifying the details, and received a forged invoice detailing how to pay. As part of the process, the dealer sent $2,900 via MoneyGram to a “regional manager” of the online auction site. The dealer lost the money on this “too good to be true” deal.

Internet scammers are more savvy than ever before. They create sites, and paperwork that look legitimate, and can fool even the most experienced dealers and salespeople. This type of fraud costs dealers thousands of dollars each year.

RVDA recommends that dealers using online auction sites that are popular with consumers, go directly to the site and read about their policies and procedures. If there are any questions about how the site works, call the auction site for clarification. Be especially careful when individuals contact your dealership to arrange “private deals” outside of the auction site rules and procedures.

For questions or comments, call the dealer services hotline or e-mail [email protected]