Car scam alert
Selling a car? BitterWallet is proud to announce their new matching service – you give us a few quid and we will guarantee a buyer. We have stacks of buyers lined up. Honestly. Yes.
Well, no. No we do not have such a service. But did you fall for it? I expect not, as you’re probably not a gullible imbecile, I’m crap at scamming and the words “scam alert” are blatantly written everywhere.
But a new vehicle scam of this nature has erupted across the UK and costing sellers an estimated £3m a year. People, having recently advertised their car for sale, are receiving cold calls from people maintaining they can match them with a buyer right away for £80-99. For those that pay, no buyer ever shows up and their money disappears.
Two men were jailed last year for the practice, despite claims their buyers’ department had people working in it around the clock with thousands of buyers ready to pay up for a motor. Unfortunately the courts found their story untenable on two counts – (i) nobody worked in their buyers’ dept. and (ii) they had no buyers’ dept.
Such tell-tale signs might keep some of these guys off the street. As for the rest, Mike Haley (OFT director of Consumer Protection) enthused: "We are working with the industry and enforcement partners across the UK to crack down on scammers who are preying on consumers during the economic downturn."
In the meantime, if you are selling a car, do keep your ears peeled to spot and hang up on this type of call.