Avoid being scammed when buying used plant machinery?

Avoid being scammed when buying used plant machinery?

Its a question with no straight forward answer.

The best thing that any of us can do is look out for the warning signs


So how do they do it?

The answer to this question, many ways. Its increasing at an alarming rate and with the ever growing world of technology providing these fraudsters with endless opportunities. We need to be extra vigilant in order to avoid falling into their scams.


Business email compromise scam

Fraudsters are targeting businesses, run a different type of game. They aim to gain big financial rewards that could put hundreds of thousands of pounds in their pockets everyday.

Cyber criminals involved in this type of scam are well organised and do their homework on the target before hitting them. Sometimes they will compromise an email account within a company and use it to get information about who is responsible payments.

Another approach, these fraudsters register a domain that is similar to the one used by the victim company and the rest of the scam remains the same.

More elaborate schemes consist in the fraudsters fooling the victim into delivering heavy construction plant machinery worth a large sums of money to a specific location or even to a different country.

The fraudsters then make it clear to their victim that the used machinery needs to be sent urgently and provide them with fake financial documents to attest with the payment.

Alternatively, a company receives a message from a supplier transfer money for any invoice payments to a different account, which is actually controlled by the fraudsters. In this scheme, the fraudsters pick people that have been in a business relationship with for a long time and the communication may arrive via email or even telephone but in more recent years fraudsters are actively using social media.



Dummy Websites

These are easily created almost overnight by a good website developer and made to look and seem professional. They will even advertise with some of the UK’s the most well known advertising platforms to promote and market their virtual used machinery stock.

With the threat of online fraud being an issue in our everyday life it also seems to be a growing problem within the plant and construction industry where there are huge gains for the scammers in offering used plant machinery and equipment to the unsuspecting buyers who are keen to buy a bargain.

This isn’t to say every bargain on offer is fraudulent, there are some genuine machinery dealers who will offer an occasional bargain to a lucky buyer.

There are thinks to lookout for when you are buying used plant machinery, here is few tips of what to look for to avoid being scammed.



  • Ask yourself who am I buying from?

  • Is this seller a genuine dealer ?

  • Are they registered in the United Kingdom ?


Get a free online check through WebCheck Companies House (outside the UK? You will be able to conduct similar checks for companies registered in your country a simple web search should give you the details if available) Its NOT 100% foolproof though as company details are available to download from as little as £1.

Sometimes fraudsters will use another companies details, again, you should be able to locate this company if they are still operating and double check that you are dealing with them and not the fraudster using their details.

If the company has recently changed their name and the scammer is using their old name, information will also be available for free at Companies House or you can use www.companycheck.co.uk  this will give you a little more information about directorships which might be useful.




Don’t part with any money until you are 100% sure your dealing with a genuine dealer.