Vehicle Repair and Recovery Scam

A scam email request for work targeting independent garages has been identified.

Garages receive an email from a potential customer asking if they can look at a vehicle – Normally a VOLVO XC90 – that they have just purchased, which they believe requires repair work and an MOT.

The customer states that any communication must be conducted via email, as they are hearing impaired or suffer with a similar disability/illness. The customer will then arrange for the vehicle the be delivered to you, as normal.

Prior to the vehicle arriving another email is sent from the customer stating they cannot pay the recovery agent, as the business’ Point of Sale (POS) machine is not working and they require payment upfront.

The customer states that they are currently hospitalised due to their previously mentioned illness/disability but will be willing to give you their credit card details if your business can process an amount of £1200. They ask you keep the £200 as a deposit for your service and have the remaining £1000 sent to the recovery company for the delivery of the vehicle, as per these emails below:

Email 1:

Hello, l have just bought a vehicle from an online car auction and the vehicle has no insurance nor MOT yet, I believe the brake is faulty and l need a good expert to work on the car. It’s a Volvo xc90 2013, it needs a brake repair and full service. I will also appreciate if you can help me get it ready for MOT by checking all the necessity. Or if you have anyone you can recommend I’ll really appreciate. Please get back to me if you can get it ready as soon as possible.



Email 2:

Morning, I have just read from the Recovery agent now and he confirmed my car will be Recovered to the garage address on the 5th (Thursday), but l will need a little favor from you. l have not paid the Recovery that will deliver the car to your garage as the POS machine is not working and they requires payment upfront.

I wish to pay them directly but l am in the hospital for the surgery of my hearing disability. l will be giving you my credit card now to put through for an amount of £1200 and you keep £200 as a deposit for your service and have the remaining £1000 sent to the Recovery for delivery of the car, as they just informed me that they receive payment upfront.

I will pay your outstanding balance when you finish fixing the car whenever I’m coming to pick it up later next week. Let me know if l should send my card details to you right away.

I await your response

Kind Regards,


The emails above were received by an IGA member.

If you receive a similar email or become aware of any suspicious activity, please report it to the IGA Direct Member Helpline on 01788 225 908 as soon as you can, in order for us to alert other members.

You can also report scam emails to Citizens Advice and Action Fraud.