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Internet car bidding scam rips off foreigners

Foreigners were the main targets of a car sale scam carried out through an internet auction site, a senior official at the Hungarian Investigation Office NNI told MTI on Wednesday.

Four Hungarian nationals suspected of the scam have been apprehended and police is out for their partners - possibly foreign residents - with the help of Interpol, Csaba Papp said. The scam involved cars being offered for sale through internet bidding to US, UK, Greek and Czech citizens, and the bidders were sent e-mails asking them to transfer money to private accounts held at Hungarian banks rather than going through the normal bidding procedures.

Police have so far tracked down 35 victims, who altogether paid €9,000, nearly £120,000, $87,000 and Ft 1.23 million (about €4,800) into the suspects' accounts. Most of the money has been withdrawn from the accounts already, Papp said. This is the eleventh case of a similar nature investigated by police over the past six months, and it is clear that the number of such scams is on the rise in Hungary, Papp said. (