Technology provider HPI has warned dealers of a major new credit card scam being used to target used car retailers across the country.
The company said it has seen a number of reports where cars have been bought from dealers using stolen or fraudulent credit cards. These cars are then sold on to a different, unsuspecting dealer before the credit card company is able to decline the original sale.
As credit card companies take a few days to establish that a card is stolen before declining the sale, the fraudsters are presented with a window of opportunity during which the illegally acquired vehicle will clear provenance checks.
Neil Hodson, managing director of HPI said: "This is a very real and current threat to dealers. We're noticing that franchised dealers are the main targets. They receive a cold call from the seller, often pretending to be a trader, offering the vehicle they've just bought from another dealer at a tempting £2,000 below the CAP Clean price.
"Don't be fooled by a deal that looks too good to be true. Dealers need to conduct thorough checks to protect themselves from falling victim to this new scam. The log book won't be in the trader's name and the fraudster may send a driver to deliver the car. The deal often involves a BACS payment, but the money is removed by the time the fraud is identified, leaving the dealer severely out of pocket.
"Our advice is to be thorough when buying new stock, and be suspicious of any deals that seem too good to be true. It's better to miss out on a deal, than come a cropper of this breed of fraud."