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It has been revealed that some sellers are currently offering vehicles to buyers for sale online which don’t actually exist. The scams involve sellers online using suspect documentation to trick potential buyers into thinking they have purchased a used car online. The latest scam has been recorded in Thurso in the north of Scotland.
The way the scam works is that a car is put up for sale online, but because of its distance from the buyer, the seller will offer to transport the car to them free of charge. Usually the car is offered for more than half the normal asking price, which would simply not happen if the seller was legitimate as they would clearly make a loss on the car.
The seller, who may be based overseas of within the UK, will always be hundreds of miles away from the buyer, meaning they are persuaded to pay for the car using elaborate methods such as a Western Union Transfer. The fraudsters will tell the buyer they need to sell the car quickly (accounting for its lower price), and they will explain that it is impossible to view the car or its documents because they are already in transit. The buyer will then be persuaded to transfer their cash to the seller so that they can ship the car to them, but as soon as the money has been transferred, no car will arrive and the seller will be unable to be traced having run off with the money.
“These scams lure unsuspecting buyers by offering cars at bargain prices,” says Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI. “The buyer never sees the vehicle or the documents before they part with their cash. If a seller is asking for payment before the buyer has had a chance to view the vehicle, it should be the first sign for people to back out of the deal. Otherwise they could end up paying thousands for a car that doesn’t exist.”
To avoid this type of scam from ever happening to you, HPI is urging buyers to make sure the car they wish to buy has been HPI checked. Trusted Dealers is pleased to reveal that all of their used cars have been HPI or Experian checked which ensures buyers that if they visit our website, they will only find cars for sale that are legitimate. The HPI check will confirm that the car has not been lost or stolen, written off or is on outstanding finance.
As well as HPI checks, Trusted Dealers offer all of their customers their very own exclusive 10-Points of Difference, a thorough service which includes theft and write off checks, finance settlement checks, mechanical checks and mileage checks, providing our buyers with added peace of mind they are getting a good deal on a quality used car.