Buying a vehicle can be a safe and straightforward process, as long as you take these few simple steps to protect yourself.

Safety & Security Centre

Avoiding scams

If a vehicle is offered at a much cheaper price, ask yourself why. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
• Make sure the seller has a valid address and telephone number – be wary of mobile phone numbers, always visit the seller at home and never buy without seeing and driving the vehicle first
• Be wary of  buyers wanting to buy the vehicle without seeing it, requesting upfront shipment payments or private information, a false sense of urgency or unnecessary details – it could be a vehicle export scam
• Never wire money abroad as it is often a fraudulent seller

Protect your PC

• Ensure security software is up-to-date, including anti-virus protection, anti-spyware software and a firewall
• Set a secure password for your wi-fi connection using a combination of letters and numbers
• Block spam emails and use an up-to-date web browser
• Encrypt your wireless network to protect against eavesdroppers and freeloaders
• Visit getsafeonline.org for more information on protecting your PC

Protect your identity and privacy

• Avoid identity theft by using an up-to-date web browser and blocking bogus emails with a spam filter
• Use a secure password, with a mix of words, letters, numbers and punctuation, and avoid using names of loved ones or other easy-to-guess passwords
• Be careful about the personal information you give away online (such as on blogs and social networking sites)

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 0845 071 0487.