top of page

Cyber Strategies Blog

A Surge in Vehicle Cyber Scams

Lloyds Bank recently issued an important alert to its users in response to a surge in complaints about car scams. According to their own data, victims of these scams lose an average of £1,000.

Scams increased by 74% in the first half of 2023, according to Lloyds Bank, compared to the same period in 2022. These scams include fraudsters creating fake posts on social media or online marketplaces.

The study finds that those between the ages of 25 and 34 are most frequently defrauded.

The Ford Fiesta, a popular car, is the one most frequently used in fraudulent scams. Furthermore, antique cars, motorbikes, BMWs and Audis, tend to be often featured in fake advertisements.

There is also a growing market for fake advertisements for car parts and accessories such as alloy wheels.

An analysis of vehicle frauds revealed that 68% of them were marketed on Meta platforms including Instagram and Facebook Marketplace. Furthermore, 15% of these fraudulent scams started on eBay.

A growing market in fake vehicle parts and accessories

Criminals may simply create fake advertisements for vehicles that don’t exist on social media and online marketplaces. They trick naive buyers by carefully using pictures of real vehicles.

Usually, when someone shows interest, the scammer demands a deposit to “secure” the vehicle, and occasionally even insist on full payment, all the while making up various reasons for not allowing an inspection before the buyer pays.

It’s common for scammers to employ high-pressure sales techniques, such as highlighting how popular the vehicle is or other deals available. They might also emphasise how important it is to make your payment by the deadline.

The scammers trick people into sending money through, however once they receive the payment, they ban the buyer and delete the seller’s profile. Fraudsters may provide a fake address for the pickup of the vehicle, forcing customers to travel unnecessarily and waste money.

According to data provided in August by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Ford Fiesta was the best-selling used car in the UK from April to June. Notably, production of this model stopped at the manufacturer’s factories in Cologne, Germany. This

change may get the attention of buyers even more as they try to find this in-demand vehicle.

Director of Fraud Prevention at Lloyds Bank, Liz Ziegler, added: Buying directly from approved dealers is the best way to guarantee you’re paying for a genuine vehicle, and always use your debit or credit card for maximum safety. If you do want to buy something you’ve found through social media, only transfer funds once the car is in your possession.

Beware of scammers who use social media to advertise non-existent vehicles. Make your own research a top priority and hold off on making any purchases until you’ve seen the car in person and driven it.

If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the seller then you should never transfer any funds.

As the old adage says "if a deal sounds to good to be true, then it probably is"!


Recent Posts
bottom of page