Car scam alert

29 May 2009

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.

[BBC News]

TOPICS:   Scams   Motoring


  • Steve
    This scam has been around for years, I remember when I used to sell cars in Autotrader and get cold called with this all the time.
  • NOT G.
    I have OVER 1000 keen readers waiting for new TOP NOTCH editorial content that I can match up to YOUR blog for a fee of.... oh hold on a minute... sorry, wrong site.
  • NOT G.
    Surely it's just common sense to avoid these kind of things? If you put an ad in the paper or on a website with your phone number you have to expect you might get time wasters or scammers. Perhaps in desperate times people just drop thier guard...
  • LB33
    New? This has been going on for 15 years...
  • MinstrelMan
    hows this any different to what estate agents do? apart from that obviously being property?
  • Nobby
    > hows this any different to what estate agents do? apart from that obviously being property? All the estate agents I have used have never charged up front. They charged when a sale is made. If they want money up front, they can fuck off, and I'll use someone else.
  • Nobby
    The man behind this is a onecar. Blimey, there is actually a site called They probably own too.
  • MikeBeaver
    My missus had a call about her car today like this, the woman on the phone said she was from a finance company that arranged it for buyers (or something like that), she offered to get thee GF MORE money than she was actually askig for and all it would cost was £99!! of course, she made her excuses, got of the phone and then asked me why I was rolling around in fit's of laugheter? I had to point out that it was an obvious scam, the woman has continued to call throughout the day, seems these scammers are a persistent bunch!! Mike..

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