What Is 'The Resteal'
Scammers are said to be selling second-hand vehicles to buyers.
British citizens are being warned about a used car-selling scam called "resteal" that is on the rise, with dozens of victims falling for it. The scam involves criminals selling used cars to buyers, only to steal them back again in the hours after the sale. The criminals then repeat the process with the same car, selling it to multiple buyers and stealing it back each time. Experts say that the scam is particularly prevalent in certain hotspots around the UK, and that Brits are unknowingly falling victim to con artists.
The motor insurance loss adjustment firm Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA) said after restealing the vehicle, criminals move onto their next victim using the same car. Philip Swift, a former detective and managing director at CMA, told The Metro News the scam is 'repeated in rapid succession to devastating effect'.
Mr Swift also pointed out that scammers employ a cunning tactic by stealing the identities of authentic vehicles that closely match in terms of brand, model, and color. As a result, when prospective buyers perform background checks on the number plate, they will encounter the information associated with a legitimate vehicle, further obscuring the fraudulent nature of the transaction.
In addition to this identity theft, scammers intentionally advertise the car at a significantly lower price compared to other listings available online, luring in potential victims with seemingly attractive offers.
Mr Swift said the majority of cases have occurred in the north of England by specialist gangs.
"We live in an age where technology enables a vehicle masquerading as another - same number plate, apparently correct paperwork - to be discovered with relative ease," he said.
The criminals know this, so they use fake identities and change their addresses frequently.
"These unscrupulous crooks leave havoc in their wake, for both the innocent purchasers and the owner of the legitimate vehicle whose identity has been replicated," he said.