These guys are scum of the earth.
It's always frustrating and anger inducing to learn about terrible things happening to good people, and this latest eBay scam will definitely get your blood boiling. According to the BBC, a gang of criminals in the Greater Manchester area has been partaking in what's called cloning cars, and it works like this: A stolen vehicle is given the identify of an identical legitimate model, including its license plate and VIN numbers, and even its documentation. It's then posted for sale on eBay.
A perspective buyer can even run all of the necessary checks and, of course, the car will come up clean. Upon "winning" the bid, the seller asks for cash on collection, instead of an eBay secure payment. Thinking everything is all good, the buyer complies and ends up with a stolen vehicle. A recently retired policeman even fell for the scam, believing he bought a £17,000 Mercedes through one of these eBay scams, only to discover after taking delivery that the car's details had been altered. The car was returned to its original owner and he was out £17,000. Same thing happened to another guy, thinking he bought an £18,300 BMW.
A BMW garage informed him the next day he bought a cloned car. For its part, eBay has reiterated that cash on collection is a clear sign of a likely criminal act, and never agree to it. As for the local police, the retired policeman who bought the Mercedes claims the gang was known to police since last January, but the scam has yet to be shut down, and no arrests have been made.