Staffordshire Trading Standards are warning of fake car buying websites. They are targeting private car sellers by either advertising their website or sending unsolicited text messages directing them to fake websites offering to buy their car for a price close to the asking price. The fake websites can have logos of known motoring organisations and newspapers displayed, but they do not have permission to use such logos.
The website asks for a vehicle inspection fee and the seller looses their money if they carry out the transfer. The inspection never takes place as there is no genuine interest in buying the seller's car. Paying through money transfer services (such as Ukash vouchers) is the same as paying by cash; it is unlikely that money can be recovered once transferred.
Genuine websites that offer to buy from private car sellers do exist and so consumers may not suspect that this is a scam. Genuine car buying websites DO NOT ask for you to pay anything!
This is an ongoing fraud and as fake websites are closed down new ones are regularly set up to attempt to steal money. Websites advertising or selling goods and services must display certain information by law; such as their address, telephone number and company registration information.
If you suspect a website requesting payment for goods and services is not genuine pleasecontact Trading Standards confidential hotline on 01785 330356