The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is warning car buyers to check the V5C registration document of any used car they are buying.
In particular, it's urging buyers to make sure that the V5C document does not include any of the following serial numbers:
• BG8229501 to BG9999030
• BI2305501 to BI2800000
The DVLA says V5Cs with these serial numbers are not in circulation and never will be, so if they are found on the V5C of any car, drivers should call the police and not buy the vehicle.
If drivers are unsure, or want to check if a serial number is within the series, they can contact the DVLA on 0870 241 1878.
The DVLA is also reminding drivers never to buy a car if the V5C has no serial number, or looks as though it may have been altered or tampered with, or if the car only comes with part of the V5C.
Matt Sanger, What Car?'s used car editor, says: 'Just because a car comes with a genuine-looking V5C does not mean the document is real.
'Take the time to check that all the information on the V5C matches the car and check with the DVLA that the serial numbers are bona fide.'