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Car buyers hit by bogus online deals

Car buyers hit by bogus online deals Image

British car buyers scouring the web for great deals on a motor are in danger of becoming victims of criminals hijacking online ads, it is warned.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers in the US that bogus car sellers are using adverts on the web to offer vehicles they do not have and have no intention of delivering and the scam has now spread to the UK.

The FBI's Crime Complaint Centre recorded some 14,000 complaints regarding the scams between 2008 and 2011, with losses totalling around $44.5 million.

A typical example of the crime is a consumer spotting a great deal on a vehicle on a legitimate website and being given a 'hard-luck' story of why the price is so low.

The seller then asks the buyer to move the transaction to a separate site and offers a protection plan through a large online firm. An invoice then prompts buyers to wire money into a bank account and the scammers have even posed as company workers to make it more believable.

On receipt of a fax confirming the transaction, an agreement is made on the time and location of the handover of the vehicle, but when the money goes into the account, no vehicle arrives and the money is lost.


published: 29/06/2012 17:00:00

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