Car-buying scam – Vehicle-matching services


Consumers are being warned to be aware of a car-buying scam operating in the UK. Typically the seller is contacted by a cold-caller, after placing an advert in a paper or on a website, and promised that they can be linked up with a definite buyer for a “matching fee”.

The fee is requested in advance and in fact there is no buyer. Once the fee is paid, it is unrecoverable. This fee is usually within the range of £80.00 - £99.00.

The Office of Fair Trading, the Police and Trading Standards have joined forces to warn the public about these scams which are costing victims £3 million a year.

Consumer Direct received approximately 1500 complaints last year and it is suspected that many more people fell victim to such a scam without officially reporting it.

OFT and Trading Standards are in agreement that the high pressure cold-calls are very persuasive and one of the most effective ways to stop such scams is to raise public awareness.

If you find yourself in this situation and a vehicle matching service is calling you don't feel pressured into anything and don't give you credit or debit card details out to people your don't know. For further advice regarding car-buying scams call Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

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