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Watch Out For Fake Used Car Websites


Drivers looking into scrap car valuation right now might perhaps want to exercise a little bit of extra vigilance when it comes to finding their replacement vehicle, as it seems fake used car websites are starting to pop up here, there and everywhere… and the last thing you want is to be taken for a ride.


These scams see nefarious people posting fake adverts online for serious bargains on vehicles with the aim being to defraud motorists out of thousands. According to a BBC investigation, one fake dealership site used the name of a genuine company to help trick people out of their cash.


Victim Pietro Pagliuca, for example, sent over nearly £4,000 to the Auto-Promotions “business” in return for a second-hand Nissan Qashqai but the car never turned up.


And figures from Action Fraud suggest that there were almost 3,000 reports of online vehicle fraud last year, a rise of 21 per cent compared to 2019.


The Auto-Promotions site was shut down by police after the news source published its findings, but the perpetrators behind the scam are still at large… so they could simply set up another site and start targeting other motorists.


It seems that the scam itself was relatively sophisticated, with National Trading Standards citing just how much detail was involved. For example, the address on the site led people to a real garage in Fife, Scotland. 


The legitimate dealership whose name was used had also once been based at the garage, which meant that its details matched those at Companies House, making it seem even more genuine.


Signs that might indicate you’re dealing with fraudsters include being asked to make payment externally from the selling platform or website, incredible asking prices that seem too good to be true and being asked to purchase a car with gift cards.