Devon and Cornwall Police issued the following alert on Friday 10th November 2023:
We have received recent reports of scams involving cars advertised for sale. This scam involves two males arranging viewings of cars advertised for sale, when the males arrive, one distracts the owner whilst the other looks under the bonnet and tampers with the vehicle so it will smoke or not run properly, the males will then point out the problem to the owner and ask for a discount on the car.
If anyone comes to view your vehicle, be vigilant, ask a friend to be with you if possible. Do not leave the potential buyers alone with the vehicle or allow them the opportunity to tamper with the vehicle. If an issue is noticed during the viewing or test drive, do not lower the price without having the vehicle examined by your own independent mechanic. Do not accept any deal that you are not happy with.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via our website here or by phoning 101 quoting 50230295927.
All reports of this nature also need to be reported to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or online www.actionfraud.police.uk