ALERT:Off-shore Internet scam preying on potential RV buyers
The old saying “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” is unfortunately ringing true in the case of a scam website, http://www.rv-wheels.com.
Scam artists thought to be operating out of Nigeria are relieving would-be RV buyers of thousands of dollars in deposit money on nonexistent RVs, and there’s little that can be done because the perpetrators are outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement agencies, according to investigators with the Newton County, MO, police department.
Officers from the southwest Missouri county became involved because http://www.rv-wheels.com have been directing buyers to the site of a former RV park south of Joplin, MO, according to detective Fred Engberg. The campground went of business years ago, although some “old FEMA trailers” there are rented to occupants on the property, Engberg told RVDA.
Wheelen RV Center in Joplin, a longtime RVDA member, has been fielding questions from consumers and notified RVDA about the scam. Marty Wheelen said people from as far away as Georgia have traveled to Joplin to pick up motor-homes they intended to buy from the website’s operators, only to find there was no motor home.
Similar off-shore scams have directed prospective RV buyers to other locations around the country to pick up nonexistent RVs, Engberg says.
RVDA called the phone number listed on the http://www.rv-wheels.com website, posing as a potential buyer, but there was no answer. However, the call was returned a few minutes later, and the caller said that the motor home RVDA inquired about could be viewed either in Joplin or at a location selected by the potential buyer.
“Please call [before traveling to Joplin] because other people are interested in that unit and it might be sold before you come out,” the caller added.
Although there’s virtually no chance that the people who lost deposit money will be able to recover it, Engberg hopes that putting the word out about this scam will prevent others from being victimized.
Safe Travels and Happy RVing!