How to be secure from Internet fraud and scams while purchasing cars from Japan

The number of the Internet scams has been increasing all over the world, and Japan isn’t an exception.  Fact is, fraud is commonly practiced while making purchases from different sources of long-distance Internet sales.

Car businesses have also been suffering from fake, “one day” so-called Japanese Car Dealers. We have analyzed Internet fraud cases, and also learned from our current customers and clients being scammed by other dealers. Japan Partner, as an export company who has been in this business for nearly two decades, would like to provide security to people who are planning to purchase used cars from Japan.

Here are some signs of potential fraud that are divided into six large groups:

  1. Website contents and company information
  • Make sure that you are contacting with a JAPANESE COMPANY! Avoid contacts with newly established and non-Japanese Car Dealers;
  • Avoid contacting Japanese Dealers whose website requires immediate registration while trying to get access to their website;
  • Make sure that you get comprehensive information on the Japanese Dealer, address, contacts, business history, company profile, information on management and operational structure;
  • A real Japanese Dealer’s website must contain all information on procedures including car search, car purchasing procedures, shipping information and costs and Car Search Engine/ Japanese Car Auction System.
  1. Office, address, personnel
  • Make sure that your dealer owns and operates out of an actual office with a clear address, and not just a small room and few people in their staff;
  • Some large companies may have several offices. For example, Japan-Partner Inc. has three offices: a main office in Nagoya city and two field offices in Kanie town and Aichi prefecture;
  • Try to google and check whether Japanese dealer’s address is correct and is not the address of another company or person;
  • Check whether the staff or personnel of the Japanese Dealer are multilingual. Usually, managers working for the Japanese Car Dealer must speak at least two to three languages; Japanese, English and the language of the country the manager in charge of (Russian, German, Kyrgyz etc.);
  • Surprisingly, some managers working for so-called Japanese Car Dealers can’t read Japanese. While choosing a car from the auction, make a phone call and ask to translate auction sheet. If you don’t get a proper translation, you are possibly at the edge of being scammed.
  1. Communication
  • Use all possible communication mediums including e-mail, SMS exchanges, phone calls, video conversations, Skype, LINE, WhatsApp, Viber and other applications. Avoid those Dealers who prefer only phone conversations and short mail applications;
  • Do not send your money unless you are convinced that you have chosen the right Japanese Dealer for your purchase;
  • Be careful when you receive too many phone calls and messages with hot/cheap offers and fast shipments;
  • Google search and find the time difference between Japan and your country. If you receive phone calls or messages very early morning or late night, you are possibly dealing with a non-Japanese Car Dealer and potential scammer;
  • Ask the staff/personnel from the Japanese Dealer to show their face, office, infrastructure (land, parking, repair, paint, dismantle and diagnostics shops) by having live video conference by Skype or any other live video application;
  • Be very careful with those Japanese Dealers that avoid video contact and not picking up phone or not responding to your e-mails;
  • Make sure that there are Japanese personnel at the office. Most of scam is coming from companies founded by foreigners.
  1. Stock cars and car prices
  • Avoid those Japanese Dealers that offer very cheap prices. In majority of cases, scammers make car prices at the lowest possible prices to attract potential victims;
  • Also avoid those Dealers that give very big discounts and fast shipment;
  • Japanese Car Dealers take as many photos of their cars/stocks as possible, and from different perspectives. If you see stock cars with few photos only, you are possibly looking at a fake and nonexistent car;
  • While choosing cars from the stock ask the dealer to provide additional photos and a copy of Export Certificate;
  • Each car purchased from the Japanese Car Auctions must have an auction sheet, therefore ask your dealer to provide a copy of the auction sheet.
  1. Remittances
  • Before you send a deposit either for your car or for an Auction Service make sure that you are wiring your money to the Japanese Bank. If your Car Dealer says to wire money to the bank which is in another country, don’t do it! This is 100% a scam;
  • If your Dealer ask you to send money in other currencies such as Russian Rubles, Pakistani Rupee or other unfamiliar currencies and send to non-Japanese bank, you must not do it.
  1. Others
  • Ask your potential Dealer to provide contacts of the Dealer’s current/recent customers from your country for references and personal experience;
  • Check with your potential Dealer whether you can come to Japan and visit the Dealer’s office. If you get a negative answer, the company is a potential scammer.

For more information on how Japan Partner tackles fraud and scams please follow this link: http://www.japan-partner.com/internet-fraud-watch.php

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