New research finds one in ten British car buyers have been victims of fraud as scammers continue to target industry – Car Dealer Magazine

As scammers continue to get their claws into the automotive industry, a new study has revealed that ten per cent of British motorists have fallen victim to fraud when buying a car.

The ‘Road Ahead’ report by Close Brothers Motor Finance found that young buyers in particular are susceptible to fraud.

Just under a quarter (24 per cent) of those 24 or under said they had been scammed, as well as 15 per cent of respondents aged between 25 and 34.

By comparison, just eight per cent of those aged between 45 and 54 said they had fallen victim to fraudsters. Finally, only three per cent of drivers aged over 55 told the survey they had been scammed.

The research found that social media was the place where people were most likely to fall into traps set by fraudsters.

Of the 2,005 respondents, 28 per cent said social media was the most likely place to find scams, followed by private sales (18 per cent).

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Dealers were judged to be more trustworthy however, with only eight per cent believing people were most likely to fall victim.

Additionally, the data highlights a notable gender trend, with women less likely than men to experience fraud when buying a car.

Men are three times as likely to have fallen foul to scams when buying a vehicle. The study found 15 per cent of men have been scammed, compared to five per cent of women.

Car Dealer has reported extensively on the threat posed by fraudsters, who often pose as legitimate dealers to con customers.

Earlier this week we reported how scammers set up a fake car dealership website – JDM Cars – pretending to be based at the site of  Jim Reid Car Sales.

The JDM Cars site follows two others Car Dealer previously reported – both supposedly based in Scotland – Millers Car Sales and AD Car Sales. Both those sites have been shut down.

Lisa Watson, director of sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said: ‘Though the internet has become an increasingly popular and convenient way to buy and sell a vehicle, with platforms such as Facebook Marketplace offering an easy solution, it has in turn become a popular operating environment for criminals.

‘Consumers and their spending habits are easily influenced by what they have seen online.

‘Coupled with the current economic crisis, it would seem enticing offers advertised through online channels by scammers are catching the eyes of consumers, specifically younger drivers.

‘More awareness is needed, now more than ever, as financial hardship will only make consumers more susceptible to falling victim to online scams as they search for second-hand cars.

‘Trustworthy and legitimate car dealers are in an excellent position to help educate, support, and protect consumers in their car buying journeys, as they have a regulatory responsibility to treat customers fairly.’

Car Dealer has reported all previously reported scams to the police, online fraud investigators, Facebook and the website hosting company.

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