It’s not a good time to be privately selling a car, apparently. Recently, motorists have been targeted by violent gangs in the North West. Now they face the prospect of smoking engine scams in Dorset…
A Budding Engine Scam
Drivers in Dorset are facing the prospect of a novel car scam. Scammers are responding to their Gum Tree and Auto Trader adverts. Once arriving at the seller’s address, they’re pouring oil or coolant over the car’s engine in an attempt to make it smoke. Usually, they’ll wait for the seller to retrieve keys or documentation from their homes.
This was the case with one man who went into his home to retrieve some paperwork; only to find his would-be customer looking under the bonnet upon his return. During a test drive afterwards, smoke began to appear. After visiting a local garage, it was confirmed that coolant had been poured over the car’s engine. A similar incident took place at a Dorset pub, where scammers poured oil over a car that was up for sale.
Ultimately, the objective of this scam is to force the seller into accepting a lower price; all whilst avoiding damage to the car, which can later be sold on for its real value. A smoking engine, after all, is usually a sign of a serious fault.
Police in Dorset have warned drivers to be on the lookout for two men between the ages of 40 and 50. Both are said to be of Indian descent and appear to travel in a silver Audi. Witnesses report that both dress smartly, and are sometimes accompanied by a teenage male.
Kate Hann of East Dorset Police has asked drivers to come forward if they’ve encountered the group. She said, “I would like to hear from anyone who has put a car up for sale recently where the buyers have acted in a similar way, or recognises the men described from similar circumstances”. She added, “I am also keen to remind anyone selling their car to be aware of anyone operating as described and report any suspicious activity to police”.
For the time being, reports of this scam are isolated to Dorset. But it’s not hard to imagine the perpetrators moving on to new areas once the word of their activities spreads. When selling a car, never leave it unattended with someone you don’t know. In addition, you should supervise any potential customer when it comes to inspecting the vehicle; finding someone with their head in the bonnet, without having asked your permission, is clearly a major red flag…
‘Ruthless’ Gangs Are Targeting Victims With Fake Car Ads – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/ruthless-gangs-are-targeting-victims-with-fake-car-ads/
Parking At Train Stations? Car Thefts Have TREBLED There – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/parking-train-stations-car-thefts/