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Law: Credit card fraud – when playing cards make sure the player is at the table

On the legal helpline we still get a steady trickle of problems where a fraudster uses a stolen card to buy one or more cars.

The most dangerous situation is where the seller deals with the buyer when they are absent, i.e. CNP transactions – Cardholder Not Present.

It is not unusual for a prospective rogue buyer to do the purchase over the phone and arrange for someone to collect the vehicle or get it delivered to a particular address.

In such circumstances the contract deal is ‘voidable’, i.e. the seller can record it with the police and HPI etc as stolen.

However inevitably, by the time the fraud is found out the rogue has sold on the vehicle to someone who has purchased in good faith. It is likely the end buyer will get good title and the seller is the loser. With CNP transactions the credit card company will usually offer no help.

If, however, you carry out the sale in the presence of the rogue and you abide by all the security checks required by the credit card company you will often be able to get your money from the credit car company.

The moral of the story, therefore, is make sure you don’t do risky deals over the phone and remember if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is!

Visit or call 0870 26 77 118 for more information.

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