Gardaí issue new warning of car sales scam

Gardaí are warning of a major spike in the activity of a criminal gang involved in a car sales scam.

The fraud involves a criminal gang that buys cars privately with fake bank drafts through popular online websites.

They then quickly re-sell the cars before the scam is uncovered.

So far this year, Gardaí have already identified 24 such cases - while there were only 21 cases for all of 2013.

"Part of the scam is that they look to try and conclude this deal on an evening, weekday evening, or the weekend, outside of banking hours," said Detective Garda Will Saunderson from the Garda Stolen Vehicles Unit.

"So it gives them a window of opportunity to sell them on for cash before the draft is discovered.

"I would ask people, again, that if you are accepting a draft, to verify that it is original and to do that during banking hours."

A Crimestoppers spokesperson said: “If you are buying or selling a vehicle privately and come across an activity that appears to be illegal, please call Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25.

"Your call is anonymous and you may receive a reward for the information you provide. By calling Crimestoppers with information, you can help make the private selling and buying of motor vehicles safer for everyone."

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