Tesla customers scammed by spoof fraud - report

A report from the ABC has put Tesla's invoicing practices in the spotlight, with some customers saying they were scammed trying to buy a car.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
News Editor

Two customers scammed when trying to buy a Tesla are calling for the company to change its ordering process.

An ABC report reveals at least two Tesla buyers have been scammed into paying the balance of their new car price into the wrong bank accounts.

Tesla buyers pay a deposit through the brand’s website, before being emailed an invoice to be paid using a regular bank transfer.

“Please ensure payment is processed at least 72 hours before delivery to allow ample time for funds to clear,” the Tesla order email says.

“Please note that we do not accept cheques of any kind; we only accept bank transfer.”

An example of the invoice sent to customers by Tesla is below.

Andrea Hammond, who was interviewed by the ABC, says the email containing her invoice was hacked.

The bank details on the invoice were edited, and Ms Hammond paid the money to the wrong bank account.

“I absolutely cannot understand why Tesla don’t do the invoicing in the payment system through a secure website,” Ms Hammond told the ABC.

An unnamed Sydney businessman is also quoted in the story, after transferring the balance of his purchase price to the wrong bank account because of a hacked invoice.

Both customers have chased up the money with their banks, with varying degrees of success.

CarExpert founder Paul Maric says it’s “not hard to see how Tesla’s payments process could be compromised” having himself ordered a Tesla Model 3.

“When we received our invoice [pictured above], we just paid it. Upon reflection, it’s easy to spoof an email address and email signature, and fill an invoice with information that’s likely to be common to most cars sold,” he said.

CarExpert has contacted Tesla for comment on the problem. The ABC also reached out to Tesla, and received no reply.

MORE: Why I bought Tesla Model 3

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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