Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are warning people to exercise caution online following a rise in the number of fraudulent listings being posted for cars and caravans.
Internet scammers are tricking people into purchasing vehicles that don’t exist by playing on COVID-19 restrictions and asking for upfront payments.
This week, GMP have published a document offering guidance on how to identify sophisticated scams – reminding buyers to check registration details with the DVLA and use credit card payments so money can be tracked.
Police have also warned people to tread carefully if they are contacted by someone claiming to be from the DVLA or an insurance company.
Internet fraud has been widespread during the coronavirus pandemic, with hackers taking advantage of the panicked climate by launching phishing scams that claim to offer tests and cleaning services.
During May, hundreds in the UK also received fake emails purportedly from the TV licensing company. These messages tell the reader their direct debit has failed and that prompt payment is needed to avoid prosecution.
The email also claims readers are eligible for a “COVID19 Personalized Offer” of six month’s worth of free TV.
ActionFraud, the UK police unit designated to preventing cyber crime, stated: “Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.”
Visit the ActionFraud website to learn more about staying safe online.