CONMEN are sabotaging engines of cars for sale before attempting to buy them from the owners at a fraction of the price.
The scammers are operating in the Fareham area, Hampshire police has revealed.
The force said it is has received a number of reports in relation to the new scam and are now urging people looking to sell their cars to be ‘mindful’ of a new tactic employed by crooks.
PCSO Jake Larder said: ‘We have had reports that people operating in a group are pouring oil in to the coolant systems of vehicles for sale whilst viewing the car, then taking it for a test drive.
‘This then makes it look as if there is an issue with the vehicle’s head gasket and so the group then offer less money for the vehicle claiming that they will still purchase it, even with the fault.
‘Please be aware of this scam when selling vehicles and be sure that the vehicle is always in your view and those that are wishing to purchase it are not left alone with the vehicle or the keys.’
Victims of the scam, or those with details of it, are being urged to call police on 101. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.