Metro Bank Warns Motorists About Used Car Scams
Don’t Fall for Deals That Seem Too Good to Be True
Metro Bank, a leading financial institution, has issued a warning to motorists considering purchasing a used car. The company has identified used car sales as the ‘Scam of the Month’ for 2023 and revealed that scammers tend to exploit the surge in car sales following the launch of new ’73’ number plates on September 1, 2023.
Baz Thompson, Head of Fraud and Investigations at Metro Bank, shed light on why criminals often target buyers through car scams. He emphasized, “Cars are typically people’s second-most valuable asset after their homes. It is crucial to approach research and purchasing with caution to avoid falling victim to scams. Scammers are well aware of the increased demand for used cars during this time of year.”
Metro Bank has observed that scammers employ various tactics to deceive car buyers, with online platforms like eBay and Gumtree being the preferred medium. These fraudulent ads often utilize images from legitimate sellers, and some scammers even create counterfeit versions of popular websites.
Another deceptive practice involves scammers posing as leasing companies, enticing buyers to pay a deposit for financing a vehicle they may never receive.
To shield drivers from falling into these traps, Metro Bank advises conducting thorough market research to determine the general price range for the desired car model. Suspiciously low prices should raise questions.
In cases where the car is being financed, motorists should exercise caution if the deposit fees are unusually low or nonexistent, and if the seller does not perform any credit checks.
Additionally, buyers should be wary if sellers pressure them to make a bank transfer as the payment method.
Metro Bank emphasized the importance of physically inspecting the car before making any purchases. If that is not feasible, drivers can request a video call with the seller to verify the car’s authenticity.
Furthermore, Metro Bank suggests looking up the car’s license plate on a comprehensive history check website. This can reveal the vehicle’s MOT history and whether it has been reported stolen in the past, providing an additional layer of protection.
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