This week Car Dealer has been contacted by a number of traders who have been the target of scammers looking to gain access to their accounts with the classified websites.
These scammers send out a fake ‘phishing’ emails which tells dealers they’ve had an offer on a car for sale – usually a Toyota Yaris – and then asks them to ‘log in’.
When they click the log in tab on the emails the conmen harvest their account details and add fake, very cheap cars for sale to their accounts in an attempt to scam potential buyers.
‘Unfortunately, there will always be cases of fraudsters looking to operate online, targeting both consumers and businesses,’ said Helena Fearon, customer security director for Auto Trader.
‘We have been made aware that a small number of our dealers have responded to a phishing mail and in some instances, dealers have unknowingly given their username and password details.
‘We have worked with the affected dealers to secure their accounts and to ensure that the false sites are closed down as soon as possible.’
Auto Trader has also issued advice to dealers who may be the subject of these scammers.
Fearon added: ‘We want to make it clear that we would never ask for our customers to share their details via email, we always advise that our customers use the trusted secure dealer portal to engage with us.
‘Auto Trader takes fraudulent activity extremely seriously and offers plenty of in-depth information to its customers on what to look out for and to avoid.’
‘This issue is not isolated to Auto Trader: online scammers often look to gain log-in details from companies for their own personal gain.
‘We strongly advise our dealers to verify any email they receive that requests password or log-in details and to be wary of clicking on links in emails.’
Auto Trader advises that dealers who fear they may have given up their personal information should do the following:
1. Change their password immediately
2. Check their account history for any fradulent transactions
If you have any concerns you can also visit the ‘Safety & Security’ area on the Auto Trader website or raise concerns with the security team at [email protected]
By JAMES BAGGOTT