Mascus Security Advise

Mascus Security advice

In every business and industry there are criminals and individuals that will attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting innocent people to steal and commit fraud. Mascus is doing everything it can to prevent these criminal elements from preying on our users and customers

Please read this document to learn common sense precautions that you can take to protect yourself when buying and selling heavy machinery online. It provides examples of the common tricks, techniques and methods that criminals preying on our industry use to steal and commit fraud.

Mascus connects buyers and sellers. Mascus is not involved in any transactions or sales between the buyer and seller. Mascus does not get notified who buys a machine and from whom. All conditions and the agreement concluding a purchase deal are made only between the seller and the buyer. Mascus has no information or resources to check or even guarantee the credit worthiness or authenticity of a seller.

If ever you should receive any information or documents that Mascus guarantees the credit worthiness or authenticity of a particular seller, then this information is forged. In that case, please contact us immediately.

This document covers following issues:

General Security Advice For Equipment Sales and Purchase

General Security Advice for Equipment Delivery

Other types of frauds

Notes about the involvement of Mascus in seller/buyer deals
Note About Fraud
Mascus Direct Help


General Security Advice For Equipment Sales and Purchase

Cash or Bank Transfer Fraud

Even with cash transfers, you can become a victim of fraud, please see the examples below:

Clues to this type of fraud:

• Sellers request a small advance payment to secure your “right to buy” the machine.
• Equipment is priced well below the expected market price.
• Seller requests transfer of the down payment into a “trusted” person’s account.
• Seller requests confirmation of funds transfer by requesting precise amount of sum, and the name of the account holder on the originating account.

The "seller" then withdraws the money with a fake ID and papers.
This type of fraud is possible for cash transfer payments (ie. Money Gram, Western Union, Escrow) and for bank transfers.
The information and the documents about that machine or vehicle and the ID of the fraudulent seller are false.

That's why Mascus recommends:

  • Never give away important bank details to strangers
  • Cash transfer to relatives or friends can't protect you from fraud.
  • Electronically transferred documents (such as scanned and emailed or faxed vehicle registration certificates, passports, etc.) are never a complete proof for the authenticity of the identity of the seller or deed of ownership of the vehicle or machine.

Therefore never pay in advance.

Your private data:

Criminals may request personal documents and information as part of a deal.

Bank or credit card specific data are only requested by Mascus, if you have an account or want to pay an advertisement. It will be not requested afterwards, not via email, phone, fax or any other way.

Never give your username or password to strangers!

Never copy your Passport or documents of your vehicle or machinery to strangers. This information can be used for forgery purposes.

Unsecured Check Payments

Sellers can be defrauded in deals with unsecured checks.

Clues to this type of fraud:

  • A buyer sends you, the seller, a check (mostly from abroad) and the amount on that check is higher than the agreed sales price.
The buyer requests that because of the error you re-pay the difference back into the buyer’s bank account. Generally later you find out that check was stolen or was forged
Often these checks will go unnoticed through the first verification stage and only later discovered that it is a NSF or stolen check. The seller runs the risk in this fraud attempt of losing both the mistaken difference as well as the equipment they sold and delivered.

Always confirm that a check’s funds are secured before you deliver the equipment or refund a mistaken difference

Fraud / fake "suspicious" emails ("Phishing")

Unfortunately it is technically possible to forge or fake email addresses and forge and fake websites. Criminals attempt to do this to coerce you into handing over your confidential information.

Clues to this type of fraud:

  • Any email request from “Mascus” asking about your private information, customer login, bank information, credit card or other confidential information

When a user searches on Mascus for machines or vehicles, Mascus doesn't ask any private or confidential data. The same applies for e-mails, phone, faxes from Mascus: Mascus personnel will not ask you at any time any confidential data.

Do not respond to any email communications from Mascus by providing any confidential information. Never log in using your Mascus username in password via a link you received via email. Always verify when you log in to Mascus that you are logging in to a valid Mascus domain by entering the domain directly into your browser (

Please contact us on official telephone numbers or contact information on and report any attempt to phish your information via email.

Escrow Accounts and Services (Treuhandservice) Fraud

Please verify any Escrow Service that you will be using.

Clues to this type of fraud:

  • Seller claims escrow or treuhandservice is “Certified”, “Approved”, or “Verified” by Mascus
  • Seller claims to be a Mascus “Seal Member” or other similar certification
Mascus does not provide escrow services or accounts for payment methods for the buyer or the seller to use. There are also no dealers or sellers that are declared or certified by Mascus as approved or verified by Mascus. Mascus is does not give any certificates or recommendations about sellers or dealers for cash transfers.

Mascus gives no guarantee or insurance against the risk of fraud when buying or selling.


General Security Advice for Equipment Delivery

Meeting the seller:

If you are meeting a seller/dealer that you don't know, use caution:

  • Meet in well populated areas. Avoid remote areas that seem dangerous to you, arrange a different more secure location if necessary.
  • Avoid carrying cash or checks (of the agreed selling price) with you to the place where you are going to meet the seller.

If the identity of the seller of the machine or vehicle does not match with the identity of the owner

If the seller is not the same person as stated in the vehicle registration ownership certificates, request a certificate of authority from the owner to avoid purchasing stolen equipment

Verify the serial number or ID of the vehicle, machine or equipment you are buying

Always verify that the equipment ID has matches the ID stated in the contract. Most machine serial numbers are marked on plates or stamped on chassis components. Ensure this numbers match with each other and with the serial number on the documents. Check with the machine manufacturer if you have any concerns.

Digital speedometers:

Digital speedometers can be altered to increase the price of the vehicle. If you doubt the readout amount shown on the meter, bring the vehicle to an independent inspector, to check if the meter was tempered with.

Test drives:

To prevent drive off theft, a seller should always be 'on-board' if possible for a test drive even if the "buyer" leaves his Passport or ID as security deposit. Passport and ID documents could be stolen and forged.

Documents at test drives:

As a seller, you should have the necessary documents about the vehicle or machinery as proof for your customer, however never take these documents (especially vehicle registration certificates) with you on a test drive with the "buyer". Keep them in a secure location.


Contract Related Fraud

  • Always make sure that all expensive extra equipment (such as Radio, CD-Player, speakers or rims, buckets) are listed in the purchase contract. This especially important if there is a significant delay in delivery.
  • Always carefully read small printed text in the purchase contract.
  • Avoid pricing language in the contract that relies on an external inspection estimating the value amount

Forged Delivery or Transfer Certificates

Clues to this type of fraud:

  • The "seller" might contact the buyer after a verbally agreed upon deal to confirm that he shipped the item. He confirms it with a faxed, scanned, emailed or posted shipment order confirmation / warranty was by Transport Company (like i.e. DHL). He asks the buyer to transfer the whole sum or a part of the sum.
  • The item never arrives, because the machine, its documents as well as the shipping warranty does not really exist. They are forged.
Always inspect the machine yourself if possible to verify that it exists. The buyer should arrange the shipment with a Transportation company that they trust and purchase a transportation warranty with that transport company. Check that the item you ordered is the item that is shipped and be present if possible when the shipment takes place.


Other types of frauds:


Clues to this type of fraud:

  • A potential "buyer" is enquiring about your ad and requests that you call him/her back on a 'premium rate' phone number. You will be put on hold and therefore without knowing pay them for nothing.
Never call back any phone numbers that use premium rate dial codes. A list of these dial codes by country can be found here.

Export list fraud:

Clues to this type of fraud:

  • A potential "buyer" doesn't want to buy your vehicle, but wants to put that machine into a circulated export list publication.
Criminal never provides additional informational materials, but sends a bill stating that you consented to enter your machine in that publication. Often sellers with finance departments will pay these invoices without proper verification.

Notes about the involvement of Mascus in seller/buyer deals

  • Mascus is not involved in the deals, meetings or arrangements made between seller and buyer.
  • Mascus does not take any responsibility for anything that happens between the user and the dealer/seller.
  • Mascus does not sell, buy or purchase used equipment.
  • Mascus does not recommend companies, dealers, seller or used equipment.
  • Mascus cannot guarantee the authenticity of the customers, user or used equipment presented on Mascus.

For more information read the General Terms of Use.

 Note About Fraud

There are a large number of tricks, methods and techniques that criminals try to use to defraud innocent buyers and sellers. Every day new methods and frauds are devised. Unfortunately Mascus can't cover all of them, but we will continue to update this document when we see new fraud methods emerge in our industry.

This security advice is available to warn the users of Mascus about precautions of buying and selling used equipment.

You should always use common sense and to be mindful of possible fraudulent activities in the deals that you make via the buyers and sellers found on the Mascus marketplace.

 Mascus direct help:

If you have a suspicion that one of our users, advertisements, or advertisers might be fraudulent or participating in a fraudulent scheme, please contact us with the Mascus ID number or username/email address for Mascus to investigate and remove from our site.

Tim Scholte

+31 (0) 651823389

Mascus International BV
Vijzelstraat 68-78
1017 HL Amsterdam
Registration Number: 57776806

You can also contact us by using the Feedback form.