Three top tips to spot online used car scams

There has been a marked increase in online used vehicle scams and with that in mind, the following editorial details information of which to take note when seeking to purchase a used vehicle.

Is the vehicle being offered for substantially less than other similar models?

Does the number ring out or go to voicemail, prompting you to ‘email the seller’?

Are you then offered a vehicle that is abroad but can be ‘shipped to you’?

Mark Bailey, Head of CDL Vehicle Information Systems, which owns mycarcheck.com, encourages online buyers to be diligent.

“The sheer volume of online scams is off the chart this summer, with seasonal favourites like convertibles, camper vans and motor homes being targeted.

“The staff at our call centre speak to used car buyers every day, often when they’re about to transfer money, so we have our finger very much on the pulse when it comes to the latest scams. From early this year we saw a significant rise in fraudulent online adverts, but from the start of the summer onwards it really ramped up, not only for the usual cars, vans and bikes, but for plant and agricultural vehicles.

“Sophisticated con artists, often operating in organized criminal gangs, can create scam adverts very quickly and on an industrial scale, even setting up whole fake dealer websites. At first glance, they look realistic. They cut and paste wording from genuine adverts and add features like make and model searches to appear more convincing.

“If you encounter any of the above, and certainly all three in order, it should serve as a red flag that you are being lined up. The best advice remains, if in doubt, just walk away,” Mr. Bailey warned.

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