Gardaí warn of scam targeting transit van owners
"You are taking a big risk giving your van to a stranger who collects it from your door and takes it away to an unknown location."
Gardaí in Granard, Longford, have warned of a scam targeting owners of Ford Transit vans.
The warning comes as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang involved in the international sale and distribution of stolen machinery, vehicle engines and parts.
According to Gardaí, the scam works as follows:
Advertisements are placed on popular online sales sites, offering to repair or replace the engines of Ford Transit Vans.
The advert offers to collect the van from any part of the country, carry out repairs if necessary, replace the engine with a reconditioned one and return the vehicle to the owner once repaired.
In reality, once the scammer has the van, an engine stolen in Ireland or the UK is fitted to the van, with the owner then informed that said engine is a reconditioned one.
As a result, some owners have had their vans seized by Gardaí after paying out for repairs, leading to further loss.
Gardaí from the Roscommon/Longford division are advising owners of all vehicles, particularly Ford Transit vans, to be very wary responding to such adverts, whether online or offline.
"You are taking a big risk giving your van to a stranger who collects it from your door and takes it away to an unknown location," said a statement from An Garda Síochána.
"If you are a victim, this scam will have cost you money and your van will be seized."
Gardaí advise that people should only allow a qualified mechanic in a garage that you know to repair your car or van.
For more advice on fraud-related issues, you visit the official An Garda Síochána website.