Online Fraud Alert

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Recently, several instances of fraudulent motor websites/ advertisements/ emails have been taking place. In these occurrences the fraudsters typically ask for a deposit or full payment upfront for a vehicle and then disappear with the money.The operators of these schemes often attempt to impersonate genuine motor dealers or websites by using their names, addresses, similar domain names, etc. and subsequently copying vehicle advertisements and other content from their websites.

Do not proceed unless you are 100% certain that the seller is who it claims to be and that it is reputable.

There are few telltale signs of this kind of fraud which include: (1) Vehicles offered for a lot less than their market value. (2) Poor grammar used in websites and advertisements. (3) A reluctance to provide a land-line telephone number and/or to speak to you on the phone.

VCARS.co.uk provides you with some tips for safely buying a car online:

Making Payments
VCARS.co.uk disencourages you to make an online payment for a car until you have seen the vehicle and are ready to take delivery.
Most importantly, never make any form of payment and/or sign any paperwork until you are completely satisfied that both the seller and the car are genuine.

Viewing
Make sure you see the car before any deal is made. If you view a car online make sure you know the car’s registration and possibly VIN numbers from the seller. Do a HPI check before entering into any agreement to make sure you know the history of the car.

Do not take cash with you if you are in any way unsure of a seller. Arrange to view the car at the registered address of the dealership or the individual during the daytime. If possible take someone with you to view the car and always let someone know where you are going and who you are meeting.

Make sure the seller has all the paperwork, the V5 document (log book) and the service history.

Price
If a price seems too cheap then it probably is for a good reason. Always make sure you have researched what a reasonable price should be for a car with the same features and similar mileage.

Questions
Make sure you ask plenty of questions about the car before you even view it. How long has he/she had it? What is the reason for selling it? Are there any problems? If anything at all does not match up (e.g. if it’s advertised as having Satellite Navigation and the seller forgets), then that’s enough for you to be concerned.

Using the Internet to find your new car is completely safe. But don’t forget to use your common sense, do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Please read our guide to buying a used car for more tips and advice about buying a used car.

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5 Comments

  1. We are a small website and we are approached daily by internet fraudsters trying to scam us. I would suggest you carry out as much research as possible before committing to anything.

  2. There is a scam that involves the fraudsters setting up fake websites.
    They claim to be selling cars that have been repossessed by the government.
    These cars do not exists and have been copied from legitimate on-line sellers the prices have been reduced massively.
    They normally claim that you can only contact them via an on-line chat facility.
    They copy similar web addresses to legitimate on-line sellers and normally copy legitimate sellers contact address details.
    They will ask out to make a payment to an account which will be untraceable and you will lose your money.
    They will often pretend to be buyers that have bought cars from these fake sites on-line social net working and car blog sites.

    Below is a typical contact with these fraudsters and is an actual conversation held between us and the fraudsters.

    llo, how can I help you today?
    Please wait for a site operator to respond…
    If you do not want to wait, please click here to leave us a message.
    Operator Rossana has joined the chat.
    Rossana12:18:52
    Hello, how may I help you?
    Catherine12:19:34
    Hi I am interested in the BMWM3 at £8100, how many owners has it had
    Rossana12:20:20
    1owner
    Catherine12:20:57
    Does it have a full service history
    Rossana12:21:51
    Yes,of course.
    12:22:14
    All the vehicles are coming with a clear HPI.
    Catherine12:23:18
    I have read all about your company and you are based in Hertfordshire
    which is quite a long drive from where I live, can you deliver the
    car?
    Rossana12:24:12
    Yes, of course.
    12:24:25
    The vehicle will be shipped within 2 business days after the payment
    is confirmed. Depending on the distance and our shipping schedule it
    will take up to 3 business days to receive the car.
    12:25:12
    We will arrange for transportation to your location. The shipping is
    free within United Kingdom
    Catherine12:25:22
    What happens if the car isn’t as described and I am not happy for any reason?
    Rossana12:25:42
    Upon delivery you will have 3 business days to inspect the vehicle. If
    the car does not correspond to your expectations or our description we
    will fully refund your payment within 3 business days and collect the
    car from you. The payment is FULLY refundable (including the shipping
    fee).
    Catherine12:26:30
    Do you need a small deposit to secure the car?
    Rossana12:27:05
    No.
    Catherine12:27:40
    Okay so do I pay you on delivery?
    Rossana12:29:53
    No,sorry. We need the payment confirmation. After the payment
    confirmation we will ship the vehicle to your door. Thanks
    12:31:09
    Upon delivery you will have 3 business days to inspect the vehicle. If
    the car does not correspond to your expectations or our description we
    will fully refund your payment within 3 business days and collect the
    car from you. The payment is FULLY refundable (including the shipping
    fee).
    Catherine12:32:30
    Can I pay you by credit card and if so do you charge an extra fee?
    Rossana12:33:43
    No, sorry. We accept just bank to bank wire transfer.
    12:34:04
    There are no hidden fees (NO REGISTRATION FEES, NO PURCHASING FEES, NO
    INSURANCE OR SHIPPING FEES). The price listed on our website is final.
    YOU ONLY HAVE TO PAY THE LISTED PRICE
    Catherine12:35:08
    Is it possible to talk to someone on the phone as you can imagine it
    is alot of money to me and I want to make sure I am getting the best
    deal I can
    Rossana12:36:35
    Right now we are upgrading the lines and they are working on it;I
    guess they can fix it within few days.So please get back on live help
    or email us. During the shipping process you will be in touch with our
    agent in charge.
    Catherine12:38:32
    Is it possible to call you on a mobile as I am nervous paying this
    amount of money without talking to someone but I don’t want to miss
    this opportunity as the car is a great deal
    Rossana12:41:07
    Our agent in charge with the shipping procedure, will contact you as
    soon you have made the payment in order to establish an appointment
    for delivery . If you have further questions, please feel fre to ask
    and I will gladly assist you .
    Catherine12:42:33
    ok, so I get to speak to someone later today once I’ve paid. What are
    your bank details?
    Rossana12:43:58
    First you must order the vehicle and then you will receive an email
    with the payment instructions. Thanks
    Catherine12:44:31
    How do I do that, can’t you arrange that for me?
    Rossana12:45:37
    You must register on our website and then you must order your vehicle. Thanks
    Catherine12:46:23
    I’ve found it, thanks Rosanna you have been a great help
    Rossana12:46:42
    You are welcome

  3. NO! This is exactly the type of scam website mentioned above. They clone stock and company details from honest websites such as our own and then try to get members of the public to give online payments.

    Please use our buying advice above to stay safe. Never give payment without seeing a vehicle and always ask plenty of questions.

    A proper seller would never expect full payment in advance.

  4. hi I was looking into buying a repossessed car and I came across a website called used car sites limited
    who are using vcars as a linked company all the danger signs are present but I would like to try and find out if this site is genuine they are selling certain cars very cheap ?

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