BBC News reports that Criminal gangs are duping car buyers out of millions of pounds each year by using adverts on reputable trade websites.
The “virtual vehicle” scam also involves fake shipping websites that promise to safeguard the buyer’s money.
The Metropolitan Police say 21,000 fraudulent sites were shut down in the UK last year.
The Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group said leading used car advertisers were working hard to combat such crime.
Criminals were discovered placing adverts on reputable websites, such as Auto Trader or E-Bay, for vehicles that did not belong to them. The adverts looked legitimate, but once customers confirmed their interest they were directed to a fake website that was supposed to look after their cash until the car was shipped.
However, buyers never received a car and the money went straight into the bank accounts of the fraudsters.
The Met Police confirmed a total of 200 people had reported being defrauded by such sites in 2008 – and the force estimates criminals made an estimated £150m through them that year. Full story…
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