Lloyds Bank has issued an important alert to its users in response to a surge in complaints about car scams. According to their own data, victims of these scams lose an average of £1,000.
Scams increased by 74% in the first half of 2023, according to Lloyds Bank, compared to the same period in 2022. These scams include fraudsters creating fake posts on social media or online marketplaces.
The study finds that those between the ages of 25 and 34 are most frequently defrauded. The Ford Fiesta, a popular car, is the one most frequently used in fraudulent scams. Furthermore, antique cars, motorbikes, and BMWs and Audis, tend to be often featured in fake advertisements.
Vans are popular, and there is a growing market for fake advertisements for car parts and accessories such as alloy wheels.
An analysis of automobile frauds revealed that 68% of them were marketed on Meta platforms including Instagram, and Facebook Marketplace. Furthermore, 15% of these fraudulent automobile scams started on eBay.
A growing market in fake vehicle parts and accessories
Criminals may simply create fake advertisements for automobiles that don’t exist on social media and online marketplaces. They trick naive buyers by carefully using pictures of real automobiles or vehicles.
Usually, when someone shows interest, scammers demand a deposit to “secure” the car, and occasionally even insist on full payment, all the while making up various reasons for not allowing an inspection before the buyer pays.
It’s common for scammers to employ high-pressure sales techniques, such as highlighting how popular the automobile is or how there are other deals available. They might also emphasise how important it is to make your payment by the deadline.
Scammers can trick people into sending money through this scheme. However, once they receive the payment, they ban the buyer and delete the seller’s profile. Fraudsters may provide a fake address for the pickup of the vehicle, forcing customers to travel unnecessarily and waste money.
According to data provided in August by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling used car in the UK from April to June. Notably, production of this model stopped at the manufacturer’s factories in Cologne, Germany. This change may get the attention of buyers even more as they try to find this in-demand automobile.
Director of Fraud Prevention at Lloyds Bank, Liz Ziegler, added:
Buying directly from approved dealers is the best way to guarantee you’re paying for a genuine vehicle, and always use your debit or credit card for maximum safety. If you do want to buy something you’ve found through social media, only transfer funds once the car is in your possession.
Beware of scammers who use social media to advertise non-existent vehicles. Make your own research a top priority and hold off on making any purchases until you’ve seen the car in person and driven it. By tracking the use of images, Google’s image search engine can help you find fake advertisements. Watch out for scammers who might set up competitor buyers to pressure you into making a quick decision.
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