CEL Solicitors have helped a father obtain a bank refund from Coventry Building Society after he was scammed when purchasing a car online.
Our client, who required a bigger car for his family, had been recommended to contact Flipping Cars, a car-sourcing service operating across the UK and Ireland. He subsequently purchased a BMW for £21,644 only to discover the seller was bogus.
The emotional effect of this scam on our client was profound. He required a larger car to accommodate a wheelchair for his child, who was being treated in hospital at the time.
The financial impact of the scam was also huge. Our client’s partner had given up work to look after their child, meaning our client was now the sole bread-winner.
In 2021, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issued a consumer warning against Flipping Cars Ltd, stating “Flipping Cars Limited must not accept any fees from any new or existing customers, or arrange that any fees are paid to any other person by any new or existing customer.”
Flipping Cars is now no longer in operation.
How the vehicle scam occurred
After a friend had recommended Flipping Cars, our client visited the company’s website. The website looked professional so our client had no reason to doubt its authenticity. The fact that the car broker was registered on company’s house also added to its legitimacy.
Having emailed the company. our client was contacted by a ‘Chris Laing’ who requested a broker fee of £395. After this fee was paid, the broker shared details of available vehicles.
When the recommended cars didn’t quite fit the bill our client sent an example of a vehicle he’d seen and liked on Autotrader. The broker subsequently said he had a good relationship with this dealership and could get a better price than that advertised.
After supposedly making a deal the scammer sent our client an email with an attached invoice for £21,644. Priced similarly to other cars of the same make and model our client had no reason to believe this offer was too good to be true.
After the payment was made, delivery of the car was promised for the next working day. However, the car never arrived, and despite Flipping Cars’ assurances about the delay, our client realised he’d been scammed.
Getting money back from a car scam
This car represented a significant purchase for our client who was vulnerable due to his child’s complex medical needs. He went into his local branch to make the transfer to My Car Broker Ltd. Unfortunately, no checks were made. Nor was the possibility of a scam raised.
With the help of CEL Solicitors’ specialist fraud and scam team, our client made a complaint to his bank who we believe, with further intervention, could have done more to prevent this scam.
Upon reviewing the complaint, Coventry Building Society decided to offer a full refund plus 8% interest.
Commenting on the help he’d received from CEL Solicitors, our client simply said: “Fantastic service, amazing results”.