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Stolen Car Scam

Further to a previous appeal, Gardaí wish to warn members of the public of the dangers of selling vehicles privately AND accepting bank drafts as payment.  

FRAUDSTERS are targeting individual sellers and buying their cars using counterfeit bank drafts.  The car is immediately sold for cash, to innocent purchasers.

Gardaí wish to warn members of the public against the dangers of this.  For the SELLER of a vehicle, some tell tale signs to look out for is that FRAUSTERS will never actually view your vehicle which he is proposing to buy.  They will drag out the negotiations for almost a week or longer.  (This is so as to give him time to find a buyer for the vehicle).  They will insist on paying via bank draft and most likely he will insist on the transaction taking place on a Thursday evening or Friday.  The reason for this is that by the time the SELLER lodges the bank draft and it is discovered to be counterfeit, the vehicle will already have been sold on to an innocent PURCHASER.

And for the innocent PURCHASER the main warning is that the vehicle will be offered at well below its market value.  The FRAUDSTERS will suggest that the vehicle is a repossessed vehicle, hence the low price AND he will insist on being paid in cash.  At no time will the new PURCHASER ever get to meet the individual who is now supposedly selling the vehicle.

This SCAM is ongoing now since last year and it is believed that FRAUDSTERS have netted over €300,000 to date.

Our main appeal is to potential sellers of vehicles and indeed property in general.  Please be aware when accepting bank drafts as payment.  A number of bogus bank drafts are in circulation and are of good enough quality to deceive the unsuspecting punter.  Should you wish to accept a draft from someone as payment, please insist on getting the draft details first and then contact the relevant bank or financial institution to confirm the authenticity of said draft.

Unfortunately, since the last appeal more than 20 vehicle have been ‘bought’ with bogus bank drafts and sold on immediately with a cumulative loss of more than €200,000 in the last 12 months.

Member I/C  D/Garda Maria Flynn, Stolen Motor Investigation Vehicle Unit