Warning of Scottish car sales scam

* Cars for sale in remote locations * offered at bargain prices * Buyers warned to beware...

Warning of Scottish car sales scam

Used car buyers have been warned of a scam that involves non-existent cars on sale in northern Scotland.

A car is advertised for sale in the Scottish town of Thurso, which is far enough away to deter most buyers from travelling to view it. However, a bargain price - often around half the car's market value - is used to create interest.

According to used car experts HPI, the buyer is asked to transfer the money before they've had a chance to see the car or its documents.

The scam was flagged up by the HPI call centre, which monitors trends in vehicle checks and identifies any anomalies.

'HPI's contact centre is experienced in this area and often picks up on clues during a conversation with a customer that could point towards a potential scam,' said Nicola Johnson, consumer services manager for HPI.

'Under such circumstances we will advise the customer to be extremely cautious if they decide to proceed with the sale.

'Where customers believe a car is being fraudulently offered for sale, they should inform the webmaster of the site it is appearing on, and/or inform their local Trading Standards office who can investigate further,' she said.

In this instance, the local Trading Standards office to Thurso has not yet been contacted about such problems. A spokesman said: 'Sometimes place names are chosen at random to sit with the cock and bull story as to why they can't show the car.'