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Beware of new online scam

Beware of new online scam

A new online car stealing scam has been revealed following recent Home Office figures that showed a near 50% increase in vehicle thefts over the last five years – up from 75,308 in 2013-14 to 111,999 in 2017-18.

According to mycarcheck, the follows the same routine. A car will be advertised at a very attractive price. The contact number will go straight to voicemail prompting the prospective buyer to email the seller. The buyer will be told the car is abroad but will be shipped as soon as payment hits an escrow holding account.

Its own survey found that of 800 customers, 48.7% said they saw vehicles for substantially less than other similar models, and 13.2% were asked to email the seller and 6.4% said the vehicle had to be shipped from abroad.

Mark Bailey, head of CDL Vehicle Information Systems, which owns mycarcheck.com, said, 'We warned last summer that the volume of online scams was off the chart and since then the problem has only got worse. Sophisticated con artists are creating fake adverts on an industrial scale and lots of people are getting ripped off.

'It is frightening that so many participants in our survey got to stage three as they were really on the hook. Our advice is: if you encounter any of the above, and certainly all three in order, walk away. The car probably doesn't exist, you won't get your money back and the police won't be able to investigate as you 'willingly' transferred the funds.'

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