Police in Derbyshire are warning people about a scam which is targeting car dealerships and garages.
It involves the offender calling and paying interest in a vehicle, claiming that their business will pay for the car in full once an invoice is received.
The seller then sends the caller an invoice and the garage checks their bank the following morning to see the cash in the account - in full.
In this example, the caller stated their company was called BB Ltd and when the garage checked the bank account, the money was in the account from 'BBL'.
Luckily this garage sensed something suspicious and called their bank who confirmed the money was for a Bounce Back Loan from the government.
The offenders had fraudulently applied for the loan in the garage's name with their bank details and personal information, in an attempt to trick the garage into believing the money is from the caller, and will hand over the car.
Police are warning people that if it seems too good to be true it usually is, and to take the following steps to protect themselves.
• Ask yourself why anyone would buy anything as expensive as a car unseen and with lack of interest? For instance in this example the caller only asked if the tyres were ok and didn’t want to see the £40,000 car
• Check funds are legitimate with your bank
• Never part with the vehicle before receiving the money
• Be careful what information you share publicly. For instance, remove date of birth from social media accounts to reduce the likelihood of someone accessing your personal data and using it against you.
• Secure your accounts (personal and business) with strong passwords (three random words) and enable 2FA (2 Factor Authentication)
• Keep all software and devices up to date
• Avoid clicking links or opening attachments in unsolicited emails and texts
• Always check change of bank detail requests directly with customers using established contact details (not just via email), and make your customers aware you will never contact them via email to change your bank details.