Anyone thinking of buying a new motorhome for when lockdown is over should be extremely wary of any offers made online via auction sites, an anti-fraud campaigner is warning.

The campaigner, who goes by the name of Jack Buster, says that during the Covid-19 lockdown there has been a huge surge in fraudsters posting fake ads for motorhomes for sale on sites like eBay and Gumtree, and asking for money up front.

He says that if at all possible motorcaravanners should wait until the lockdown is over so that they can see the vehicle that is being offered for themselves.

He said, “Unfortunately organised criminal gangs have really capitalised on the situation. The adverts look very professional and they always ask for money by bank transfer, but generally you should never part with any money for a vehicle until you have seen it.”

He says that while there are some genuine sellers out there, one key way fraudsters convince people is through the price. “These vehicles are often half or even a third of the price they should be,” he says.

The introduction last May of the continent reimbursement model – a system which most high street banks have signed up to and which commits them theoretically to reimburse customers who have been defrauded – does mean victims are better protected, Buster says. But he also warns that very few ordinary customers have won compensation through this process without seeking professional help. That is why he has also seen a surge in people contacting him.

You can find out more on Jack Buster’s Facebook page.