This latest scam has cheated thousands of their money, here's what you need to know

Motorists are being told to stay on high alert due to this elaborate scam that has already caught many out.

Exposed: This latest car scam has already defrauded 3000 motorists of their money
© David Tomlinson - Getty Images
Exposed: This latest car scam has already defrauded 3000 motorists of their money

A recent BBC investigation exposed a fake car dealership website called Auto-Promotions that was guilty of defrauding victims out of thousands of pounds.

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Pietro Pagliuca, from West Yorkshire, was looking to buy a second-hand Nissan Qashqai after his previous one had broken down. He researched the company online to check if everything looked legitimate before deciding to transfer £4000.

Fake dealership

3000 motorists already fooled by this latest scam Aleksandr Zubkov - Getty Images

Unfortunately for Pietro the company had simply appropriated the name and was being used as cover for a scam. The BBC reports,

The name Auto-Promotions was taken from a former legitimate car dealership to appear convincing. The family company is nothing to do with the fake website under investigation, but is still listed on Companies House

Pietro received a stamped invoice and had even chatted with someone purporting to be the sales director but it all started to unravel when the car never arrived.

Pietro and his mother had pooled their savings to pay for the car. He had planned to use it to take his elderly mother out as she has mobility issues.

Can banks help?

Pietro reported the scam to his bank and earlier this month they gave him half his money back. However, this is just another example to add to the growing list of scams, that leads us to ask; should banks be doing more to protect their customers?

Birmingham Mail reports,

According to Action Fraud the number of people being conned is growing. Last year there were 3,000 reports of online fraud from UK drivers - a 21 per cent rise compared to 2019.

If you are a victim of a scam and having trouble getting money back from the bank, the Financial Ombudsman Service is the next port of call. The service is free to use and victims who have had trouble getting money from their bank ‘are having considerable success, with the service finding in the consumer’s favour in more than 70% of cases’, according to The Guardian.

Sources Used:

- BBC: 'Online scam exposed - the cars that don’t exist'

- The Guardian: 'Victims of fraud: how to get your money back from your bank'

- Birmingham Mail: 'Motorists warned of elaborate car scam that's already fooled 3,000 drivers'

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