‘They took advantage of me’ - Mum’s warning after Facebook scammers sell her stolen car
- Credit: Archant
A single mum is thousands of pounds out of pocket after unwittingly buying a stolen car on Facebook.
Jade Green, 21, from Gorleston, said she was taken in by fraudsters who looked “decent”.
But three weeks after an exchange deal which saw her swap her BMW 4x4 vehicle for a Vauxhall Insignia, plus £100, she was pulled over by police who said it had been reported as stolen.
The car was immediately seized by the roadside.
She fears she may never recover her losses and wants to warn trusting motorists they may be dealing with unscrupulous sellers who are offering cars with outstanding finance.
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Miss Green said she regrets not checking the car’s background, relying on the word of the seller.
A missing log book also failed to flag suspicions, although she did question the woman’s decision to simply swap cars when she could have got more from a sale.
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The mum of two young boys aged two and three, said she was looking for a more practical family car and was taken in by an advert on Facebook Marketplace.
She went to visit the woman and her partner in the Breckland area and explained her situation.
“I thought they were normal people,” she said.
“She said she had done an HPI check but had lost the log book.
“I just believed her, she seemed so geninue.”
Weeks after buying the car she was pulled over by police near Great Yarmouth Racecourse.
The car had been listed as stolen by the finance company.
Miss Green who works full time as a carer estimates she has lost around £2,600.
“They took advantage of me,” she said. “I told them my situation. I just do not know how they can do something like that and I don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”
Reluctantly she has set up an online donation page to help her recover some of her losses.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “Police are investigating a case of suspected fraud, after a woman purchased a vehicle from the Breckland area that was later believed to have been stolen prior to the exchange.
“The vehicle has been seized while enquiries continue.”
Check before you buy
Norfolk County Council has produced a CHECK list to help protect unwary buyers
•Compare the costs, use a price guide website to understand the value of cars in your price bracket.
•History, check the V5 document matches up exactly with the car. Check its MOT and recorded mileage history online at gov.uk/check-mot-history.
•Expectations, age, price, mileage and descriptions all have a bearing on what you can expect for a used car. Ask questions, will it be serviced? Will it have an MOT?
•Confirm the deal in writing.
•Keep all paperwork on the deal.
If things go wrong the Citizens Advice website has some advice here.