Technology

Fraud alert as scammers make cars smoke before test drives

A DRIVER has warned others to be careful when flogging their cars after scammers staged a bizarre smoke scam ahead of a test drive.

Bikramjit Kooner, 52, claims two guys eyeing his BMW tried to trick him into getting the vehicle for a third of the price.

Bikramjit Kooner, 52, says the men tried to get him to sell his car for a third of the price

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Bikramjit Kooner, 52, says the men tried to get him to sell his car for a third of the pricePhoto credit: SWNS
He claims he saw the two potential buyers pouring oil into the coolant system

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He claims he saw the two potential buyers pouring oil into the coolant systemPhoto credit: SWNS

They showed up at his home in Norwich on May 14 to look at the father-of-one’s BMW 520D M Sport after he had advertised it on eBay.

But Bikramjit soon became suspicious as one of the men motioned him to the trunk of the car while the other lingered near the hood.

He jumped in the engine with the couple to test drive his 10-year-old car when the vehicle suddenly began to fill with thick smoke.

The concerned car salesman returned to his home before the trio lifted the bonnet to check – where they encountered another puff of smoke.

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The alleged scammers then attempted to negotiate with Bikramjit, offering to buy the car for “junk” for a mere £2,000.

But he was baffled why his BMW, which he had touted at £6,000, suddenly broke down and declined.

He explained: “They said, ‘Oh, it’s oil in the water, so your car engine is gone and the timing chain is going to snap if you keep driving’, and I thought the same thing.

“He said, ‘Your engine is broken!’ “Then they tried to buy the car as scrap for £2,000.”

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They renegotiated £3,500 before the courier driver discussed the offer with friends – who warned him he would be taken away.

The doubting father decided to check his security cameras and trace the meeting back, only to find that the men had allegedly tampered with his car.

Bikramjit explained: “[They] Add engine oil to the coolant system and pour used engine oil onto the side of the engine.

“They removed the air filter so the smoke could get straight into the car before the test drive.

“I thought all night about when I left her to get the paperwork, but it was only 30 or 40 seconds. But luckily my camera was on the plate.”

Footage shows the men appearing to be opening the bonnet after sending the 52-year-old down to do paperwork.

I want to save other people, I know a bit about cars but in 20 minutes I was almost brainwashed.

Bikramjit Kooner

Bikramjit claims the shady duo then poured some oil into the BMW’s coolant, which caused the engine to smoke during the test drive.

He claims that on returning with the documents, one of the men distracted him while the other squirted more liquid on the engine.

The courier driver also claimed one of the scammers appeared to have loosened the air filters – but has now been unable to contact the couple.

He reported the crime to Norfolk Constabulary, which is investigating his allegations.

Luckily, Bikramjit didn’t finalize the sale, but he wants to share his story to protect others from falling for a similar alleged scam.

He said: “I thought I was lucky I didn’t take their offer. They made an effort, twenty minutes to half an hour, they wanted to take the car.

“If I hadn’t known that I would have done the deal for £2,000.

“I want to save other people, I know a bit about cars but in 20 minutes I was almost brainwashed.”

Bikramjit has since taken the car to a mechanic who confirmed the liquid was motor oil.

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But fortunately none of it had penetrated the mechanism of the car, so it could be flushed out.

Norfolk Constabulary has confirmed that its investigation is ongoing.

Birkamjit wants to warn other car sellers to be careful

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Birkamjit wants to warn other car sellers to be carefulPhoto credit: SWNS

https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8826848/scam-warning-swindlers-make-cars-smoke-test-drive/ Fraud alert as scammers make cars smoke before test drives

Fry Electronics Team

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