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HPI warns buyers about ‘Virtual Car Seller’ ScamBack

081013 Dodgy car salesmanHPI reports that a growing number of buyers are being stung by what is known as the ‘virtual car seller’ scam.

Many used car buyers are under the illusion that online payment systems such as Google Wallet will protect them if they get scammed but HPI is warning consumers that this is not the case. The firm goes on to explain that any money transferred through to a dodgy seller using an online payment system will not be protected, even if the car being paid for is non-existent.

HPI is advising all used car buyers to avoid purchasing a vehicle online without seeing it first and meeting with the seller, no matter what the payment method is.

The virtual car scam has been around for a number of years and is a way of conning unsuspecting buyers out of their hard-earned cash. Buyers are tempted by adverts on motoring websites which are from UK sellers and which offer top of the range cars at knock down prices.

The seller will scam the buyer by claiming that they live too far away for them to view the car before the sale and usually the vendor will claim the vehicle is already being shipped to a location near them and that a low price is offered to enable a quick sale. However, there is no car actually in existence and once the buyer has paid, the money will be long gone before they even realise they have been conned.

More recently, buyers have mistakenly believed that online protection systems such as Google Wallet have the means to protect them against such scams but this is simply not the case.

Phil Peace, operations director for HPI said, “Online payments systems offer many protections, but these are designed to prevent fraudulent transactions. This is leading some consumers to believe that if they use a system like Google Wallet, they will be protected if they fall victim to a scam, such as the virtual car scam. These systems offer similar security measures offered by banks, designed to prevent your money being taken without your knowledge or consent.

“The problem is, if a buyer transfers money over to someone willingly, there is little that can be done about it. Online transactions are so fast and easy now, that by the time people realise they have been duped, the sellers are long gone, leaving the buyers with a fictitious car for their money.”

Any buyer that purchases a vehicle with a hidden history stands to lose out on a substantial amount of cash which is why Trusted Dealers encourages all of our used car buyers to make sure that the car they are purchasing as been thoroughly checked before it is sold. Every car from a Trusted Dealer will either be HPI or Experian checked providing all of our customers with added peace of mind before they even leave the forecourt.

The HPI Check includes a mileage check against the National Mileage Register as well as confirming whether a vehicle is currently recorded as stolen with the police, has outstanding finance against it or has been written-off, making it the best way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudsters looking to make a fast profit.


Posted by Leana Kell on 08/10/2015