How to spot a crooked car deal and what to do if you’ve been conned, as probe exposes fake online dealers | The Sun

AN INCREASE in fake car dealers that are targeting unsuspecting consumers has been uncovered by a leading UK motor trade website.

Car Dealer Magazine has been investigating the rise of fake car dealers since September 2022, and has been exposing these criminals with support from national media outlets.

Car Dealer claim they are regularly contacted by consumers and concerned members of the motor trade, highlighting new suspicious dealerships – and that they investigate every report.

If you have spotted a suspicious dealership website, we'd recommend sending the Car Dealer team a tip off and their investigations team will look into it and add it to a growing list of known cons.

Useful information has also been provided by the Car Dealer team to help prevent the public from being duped by these lawbreakers.

The investigation is broken down into key areas but for the full report, visit


Car dealer caught flogging second-hand motor with rat’s nest under the bonnet

Warning as death trap cars secretly being sold to unsuspecting motorists

Here’s some of the main points raised:

How do criminal car dealers work?

It seems that conmen set up a genuine-looking website with cars at suspiciously low prices. The websites look professional, with contact details, fake reviews from customers and lots of stock on display.

How can you spot a fake car dealership that is trying to con you?

Car Dealer’s investigations into these sites have spotted some similar themes that give them away – however, you need to dig deep. Firstly, checking their name on Companies House is not a foolproof way of protecting yourself as every one of the cons Car Dealer seen so far has cloned an existing business

Are the cars really cheap? Ask yourself why

Used cars find a natural price, plus or minus a few hundred pounds. Check the price of the used car you suspect is a fake against prices on Auto Trader for models with similar prices. If it is wildly cheaper, this should raise your eyebrows.

Most read in Motors


I'm an EV owner – I can never find a charger and the cost is a joke


I was fuming when rude driver stole my spot in carpark so I got my sweet revenge


Check out the best 150mph used cars for under £20,000


Urgent warning for drivers as thieves target specific type of popular car

What precautions can you take to stop being scammed by a fake car dealer

Visit the car dealership first, do your due diligence and pay with a credit card.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is – if it feels dodgy, walk away

What can you do if you spot a fake car dealership?

If you think you’ve spotted a fake car dealership, then your first step is to contact the police. Dial 101 and contact the Car Dealer team via email – they'll add it to a list of suspect websites to help protect others from being conned and report the crime. 

What to do if you’ve been scammed by a fake car dealer?

If you’ve been conned by one of these car dealers, the first thing to do is contact your bank. They may be able to help stop the payments leaving your account. They can offer support and investigate the incident. 

For full and complete details, along with a regular updated list of dodgy dealers, visit

Source: Read Full Article