BBB warns of potential RV scams during pandemic

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — The coronavirus pandemic has caused many families to look for new ways to spend their summer vacation and for some that means purchasing a new RV or camper. As many Americans look for big ticket items, the Better Business Bureau warns shoppers to do their research.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, local RV dealers say their inventory has been rolling off the lot faster than usual.

“It’s been very busy for us.I think people with social distancing are realizing the Hawaii trips and cruises might not be in their future, they’ve decided that camping would be. So for us we’ve been blessed. It’s been very busy with people wanting to RV,” said Adam Overall with Owensboro RV.

Overall says they’ve managed to continue receiving new inventory despite manufacturer shutdowns slowing production. With more Americans looking to hunt down a good deal, experts warn scammers may be trying to hunt them.

“We came across quite a few complaints within the BBB system about people that purchased campers or RVs online and then they never got what they paid for,” said Oana Schneider with the Tri-State Better Business Bureau.

According to the BBB, one scam cost three people in New York several thousands of dollars. Experts say the scam is likely to appear on social media disguised as a link on a Facebook post or Craigslist ad that will redirect you to an insecure website to make your purchase.

One way the BBB says you are more likely to avoid a potential scam is to see the item in-person before you buy.

“Unfortunately in times like this people pray on people that are trusting. We’re local, you can come in and see us face-to-face. We can walk the coach with you, if you have a problem with it you can bring it right back to us, you’re not getting it from 6 states away and they don’t know who you are when you buy it,” said Overall.

“If you are set on buying online, the BBB says you should research the seller and use a website tracker (like this one) that will tell you the date the website was created and other important information so you know you’re making a purchase on a secure and verified site.

“Scammers know that you are afraid, they know exactly what you may be looking into like an RV for example or buying a new car because you may think this is the right time with prices being down and everything. Everything that goes through your mind, probably a scammer out there has probably already figured out,” said Schneider.

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(This story was originally published on July 21, 2020)

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