Internet car sales fraud costs the UK £18m per year

Losses from fraudulent internet car sales are costing the UK £18m per year.

The figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and the website Get Safe Online show there were more than 6,600 cases reported to police in the UK in 2013.

In almost half of all those cases, buyers were persuaded to make full or part payment for a vehicle, only to then lose contact with the '"seller".

The average losses per victim are put at £4,078.

In March this year, Soukanya Wood from Chelmsford in Essex spotted an advert on eBay directing her to the website

It claims to have been trading for more than 20 years, with its head office in Newbury in Berkshire. Mrs Wood saw a Ford Galaxy that she liked and received a call back from a man calling himself Simon Mortimer.

Car never arrived

"He mentioned that they were coming our way to pick up a Bentley from a nearby garage and if I wanted, they would deliver the car free of charge. So I thought it would save me going all the way to Newbury."

Get Safe Online says see the car before you buy

As the car transporter was supposed to be heading her way within two days, Mrs Wood was persuaded to pay quickly, depositing more than £7,000 into the company's bank account.

"The man had said that I'd have an hour to check the car out, fill out the paperwork and take it for a test drive. If I wasn't happy, he was going to take it back and issue a full refund," she said.

But the car never arrived and she has not been able to contact Mr Mortimer since.

Read More

Share post