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These cars were bought with fake bank drafts and sold on to unsuspecting buyers

Gardaí said there is a nationwide scam with perpetrators using marketplace sites to buy the cars and then sell them on for cash. One person lost €40,000 last year.

An Garda Síochána An Garda Síochána

Updated: 12.45pm

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA has warned the public to be vigilant when looking to buy a new car, releasing images of more than 20 cars that were bought with fake bank drafts and then sold on to “unsuspecting buyers” for cash.

The Garda Press Office said that 78 out of 79 such cars were recovered in the last three years.

All of the recovered cars were returned to their owners, leaving the buyers out of pocket. One person lost €40,000 last year.

There have been 24 cases so far this year, up from 21 cases in all of 2013.

A garda spokesperson told that this “huge scam” is happening countrywide and mostly involves people buying cars through marketplace sites.

“Someone sees a car, they arrange to meet up with a person at, say, Connolly Station and they get the bank draft but then once it gets to the bank account, there’s an issue,” they explained. “By that time, it’s already been sold onto someone else for real money and it’s the initial seller who gets the car back.”

“‘Buyer beware’ can’t be emphasised enough by An Garda Síochána,” they added.

The press office said that transactions are usually arranged to take place on Friday evenings.

The most important advice we can offer to sellers and buyers is as follows:
  • If offered a bank draft, get details of that draft in advance and check it is legitimate with the bank/branch it’s purported to be from.
  • Avoid buying a car in a car park
  • If the seller is unwilling to provide details for verification, walk away

If you’re thinking of buying a used car, have a read through this information sheet to make sure you’re going about it the right way. 

Additional reporting by Órla Ryan

Originally published: 7.15am

Read: Now THIS is how you sell a used car>

Read: Here’s how many cars have been sold so far this year…>

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