Scam Alerts

The IEDA organization is comprised of vetted qualified dealers you can trust. When a member receives correspondence via email from someone inaccurately representing equipment (price, hours, etc) they send us this information so that we can share it with our IEDA member base in an effort to protect our dealers from this false advertising. These alerts are sent out in the form of “Incident Reports” to IEDA members as frequently as they are reported to our administration.

Listed below are precautions you can take as a buyer in the used equipment market to protect yourself and your business.


When you’re in the market for used heavy construction equipment, it’s tempting to make a quick purchase. To avoid potential scams you need to be extremely careful. If the seller refuses to let you see the equipment, attempts to route all transactions through a third party payer, asks for your bank account information, or does not communicate through normal channels, this may be a sign that something isn’t quite right. At the IEDA we vet our members yearly to ensure they meet the association’s high ethical standards and fair business practices.


One method of avoiding construction equipment scams is to ask for references from other satisfied customers. At the very least, be sure that you have the seller’s contact information, so that if you have a problem you can attempt to work it out. Clearly document the purchase, the condition of the equipment and get a receipt for the amount you paid. These documents will be important if you have a problem with the sale further down the road.


As you search for construction equipment, there may be signs that something is “off”. Even if you can’t exactly put your finger on what’s wrong with a situation, it may be a sign that you need to slow down and think a bit more carefully about the transaction. If you’re dealing with an online transaction, a stranger, or someone who doesn’t seem to be reputable, it may be wise to trust your instincts and walk away.


While there are isolated cases where equipment dealers have defrauded buyers, most independent dealers engage in honest sales practices.

Reputable dealers usually are established in the local community, are well-known and have remained in business due to their trustworthiness over the years. They often are members of equipment-dealer trade associations like the IEDA, who can verify and vouch for their dealers.


If you don’t know a seller or the seller’s reputation, obtain as much information about the seller as possible before purchase. Ask the seller for a list of individuals who have purchased from the dealer and contact these individuals to find out if they were satisfied with their dealings with the seller. Ask the seller for the name of a lender or other reputable business person who can give a reference for the seller or contact the IEDA.


Good business practice requires that you get a written bill of sale from the seller when you purchase a piece of equipment.


There are dozens of scams and thousands of scammers out there. For more info about Internet scams in general, visit {}.

PHISHING EMAILS: An email is sent to you as a “lure” to get you to click on a dangerous link, perhaps one that unloads malware or that takes you to a site that will attempt to steal (password or other) info. Always be cautious about the links you click on in emails; if you hover your mouse pointer over the link, you can often see the actual URL it links to—if the link is different than where it says it’s linking, that’s a danger signal. If you receive what appears to be a phishing email contact the IEDA.
SCAM PHONE CALLS: Someone calls you and says (for instance) that he has a buyer for an item listed on, and for a fee can arrange a sale, or the caller may offer to sell equipment at a greatly reduced rate. Often, you’re pressured to send money upfront—a sure sign of a scam.
The Overpayment Scheme: The buying company will send the seller a certain amount over the agreed selling price, requesting that the seller then send the overage amount to a shipping agent. Victims of this scam have paid the ‘shipping agent’ before the check from the buyer clears. They then find that the buyer’s check does not clear, and they are out whatever amount they have sent to the phony shipping agent.


  1. In all cases, make a phone call and speak to the seller yourself.
  2. Use caution when an email begins “Dear” or Dear Friend”.
  3. Be aware of poor-quality photos, as they were likely copied from another source.
  4. Typically email scams occur in webmail programs like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.
  5. The fonts are consistent in many of these emails.
  6. ALWAYS look at the email signature and the area codes on the phone numbers – Is the area code for the office in Idaho while the cell area code is in Florida?
  7. Is the machine priced ridiculously low?
  8. Update all of your passwords – Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers.
  9. Never open emails that come with attachments such as “Docusign” unless you verify with the sender of the email first.
  10. Every chance you get, choose to work with dealers you know and trust.


For the IEDA to succeed, it must earn the respect and confidence of those it aspires to serve. The most significant factor in earning this respect and confidence is to act and conduct business in an ethical manner. Unethical business practices foster ill-will between us and the customers the IEDA serves. This ill-will is directed not only towards a particular business but towards the industry as a whole. Every IEDA member has made a commitment to display leadership by making ethical decisions, by making accurate claims to customers and to always consider utilizing the products/services offered to us by our Associate Members. In addition, we honor all commitments and guarantees, as we seek to resolve any disputes in a fair and expedient manner.

Please contact Executive Director David Gordon at to report any fraudulent or suspicious activity.