The Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has discovered that car fraud scams in the UK are on the increase and urges anybody purchasing a used car to check for any outstanding finance, to prevent themselves from losing both their money and their new vehicle.
The FLA has revealed that ‘conversion fraud’– the act of selling a car that still has outstanding finance against it –was accountable for 40% of all car fraud scams in the third quarter of 2009. Total car fraud in this period cost the industry £3.4m and left hundreds of innocent car buyers out of pocket. It is believed the tough economic climate is forcing people to take desperate measures and the high-value nature of cars make them a major target for fraud.
Nicola Johnson of HPI, a primary source of vehicle information for the UK motor industry, said: “Some vehicle history checks do not involve finance information. This leaves them vulnerable to any type of finance fraud.” If you live in London, Glasgow or Manchester, you’re at even greater risk for being in the UK’s three car finance fraud hotspots.
FLA’s head of motor finance, Paul Harrison, said: “We have seen conversion fraud increase, as some people look for an easy way out of financial difficulties by selling a car that does not belong to them.” The FLA maintains that there is no substitute for a genuine HPI check to protect yourself against fraud.
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