Ebay warning to 'foolish' car buffs

STEVE DOWNES “Foolish” car enthusiasts in Norfolk have lost thousands of pounds after falling prey to fraudsters who are using popular auction website Ebay to trap their victims.

STEVE DOWNES

“Foolish” car enthusiasts in Norfolk have lost thousands of pounds after falling prey to fraudsters who are using popular auction website Ebay to trap their victims.

Police last night warned people using websites to buy classic cars to “be vigilant” after receiving reports of buyers losing as much as £1,900 at a time.

An Ebay spokesman vowed to contact police to help them with their investigation - and added that the company had a series of tips to help car buyers avoid being conned out of their cash.

There are currently more than 100 adverts on the site offering classic vehicles for sale for usually around £1,900. They invite people to forward money to an account on the promise that the vehicle will then be delivered.

Det Con Chris Woodcock, field intelligence officer in the organised vehicle crime unit, said: “We already have knowledge of people, somewhat foolishly, sending the money - only to be left disappointed when they realise there is no such car available at the price that has been advertised.

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“The ads all appear to have been cut and pasted from genuine ads that exist on the web elsewhere. But the spurious accounts that have been set up purporting to have the vehicles for sale have all been created within the last few weeks.”

He added: “Once again the old maxim applies. If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.”

Det Con Woodcock said buyers should only make payments using a secure and recommended method - which did not include an electronic money transfer.

An Ebay spokesman said: “Maintaining a secure site for buyers and sellers is our first priority. We work to educate our users about the risks from spoof and phishing emails and if anyone is in doubt about an email or website they can report it to spoof@ebay.com.

“We also advise buyers not to deal with sellers who insist on payment by Western Union or other money transfer services as there is a high risk of fraud.”

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