Avoiding fraudulent buyersFraudulent buyers are thieves who pose as potential purchasers. Find out how to avoid being caught by scammers with our simple guide.

Never let a buyer test drive your vehicle alone.

There is a risk they won’t come back, even if they have left their keys with you as security – they could belong to another stolen vehicle.

Make sure all test drivers have valid driving licences and suitable insurance cover because you could be liable for any accidents they may have.

Fraudsters trick victims into leaving them alone with their vehicle – often by distracting the seller with a phone call or a request to see something – as soon as the seller leaves the vehicle, the thief drives away.

The Police advise vehicle sellers to:
•    Keep hold of their keys at all times
•    Avoid leaving their keys in the ignition

Fraudulent Buyers – Payment Fraud

Auto Trader is aware of fraudulent buyers proposing PayPal as a method of payment, often offering the entire value of the vehicle without viewing the vehicle. In our experience this is a scam, using accounts created with fraudulent credit card details. To protect yourself request that an interested buyer always meets you and views the vehicle in person. Never hand over the vehicle keys until your bank has confirmed the full value of the vehicle has cleared into your bank account.

Fraudulent Car Buying Companies.

Sellers will receive a text message from a company offering to buy your vehicle for a reasonable price. Sellers are then invited to go online and enter their vehicle details.

You will then receive an email with your valuation asking you follow a link to a website. You will be asked to fill in your details so the company can collect the vehicle. You will be advised that a “refundable” deposit will have to be paid via a Pay Point to complete the sale.

You are told that you will receive the refund on collection of your vehicle. The reality is no one will collect your car and you will not get your money back.

How Auto Trader can help:

Fraudulent payments
Useful contacts

What to do if you think you’re a victim

If you think you’ve been targeted by a fraudster, contact Auto Trader immediately by emailing scam@autotrader.co.uk or calling 0330 303 9001.