Moment Romanian Scammers Pour Oil into Coolant System of BMW Before Test Drive then Ask for Knock-d

A CARdealer claims scammers poured used engine oil into the coolant system of his car before a test drive - then asked for a knock-down price when it sounded faulty.

John Woodcock advertised a BMW E39 for sale at £1,750 on Gumtree when three men claiming to be Bulgarian arranged to view the car at his home.

He said the potential buyers delayed the viewing until it was dark and then distracted him while one man emptied a bottle of oil under the bonnet and demanded to purchase the car for just £500 because of the 'damage'.

Luckily John, who has worked in the motor industry since he left school, was wise to the scam and refused to complete the sale.

CCTV cameras near his home in Royton, Greater Manchester caught the con-men on camera apparently tampering with the engine and an oily bottle was later discovered under the vehicle.

John, 28, said: "They've tried to pull the wool over my eyes and I'm worried they're going to try to scam more people.

"They were supposed to meet me at 5.30pm but kept delaying and delaying until it was pitch black so the signs weren't good from the start.

"They turned up at 9.30pm and initially agreed to pay £1,500. They said they were Bulgarian and had travelled from Luton with the intention of exporting it.

"They were asking questions and looking round the car when one popped the bonnet, another asked me to show him the spare tyre in the boot.

"I threw him the keys and said do it yourself but he insisted I showed him it because he was useless with cars.

"Then they asked for a road test and I went with them. They were complaining about it lacking power and said they would pay no more than £500.

"I'm in the trade and I'd topped the levels up that afternoon so I knew there was nothing wrong with it.

"I looked into the coolant and could see all this used black oil. That's when the alarm bells started ringing and I told them that's not the colour it should be in that part of the engine.

"They were demanding I sell it to them on the cheap, saying how they'd travelled all the way from Luton, but I sent them packing.

"It was only when I watched the CCTV back that I could clearly see the guy unscrewing the coolant cap and pouring in oil." Dad-of-two John, who runs vehicle dealership CVS Oldham, reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police on June 30.

He has since posted footage of the apparent scam online and claims dozens of other car sellers had been in touch to say they'd had similar experiences.

John said: "I'm lucky because I'm in the trade, but they're trying to mug off ordinary people.

"I found out that they're actually Romanian, not Bulgarian, and they've been trying this all over the country.

"They had been driving it quite aggressively and the first thing they did when they parked up was demand to open the bonnet.

"I dipped my finger in and the coolant was full of oil. I found the bottle of oil under the car after they left.

"I never heard from them again. It does worry me that they're going to catch out normal people who maybe don't know as much about cars." John added: "If someone thinks there's a genuine problem, they might be willing to lower the price. But these guys are just crooks.

"The police came to take prints of the vehicle but I sold it a few days later anyway. It's BMWs in particular that they target, so people need to be wary." A spokesman for GMP declined to comment.

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