HomeCar CultureCommentaryIrish officials arrest four in classic car scam that targeted elderly

Irish officials arrest four in classic car scam that targeted elderly


Irish officials have arrested four known gang members in a classic car scam that primarily targeted elderly collectors, the country’s national police force said in a news release.

The An Garda Síochána said the scammers were arrested following an operation in Rathkeale, County Limerick. The Irish Times reported all four were linked to Irish gangs and had previously been involved in numerous crimes, primarily theft cases.

The scam worked two ways: The scammers allegedly would agree to purchase a classic car, but would only pay a fraction of the agreed price before taking possession. The Irish Sun reported the scammers would call people who lived on rural properties where a classic car was stored and ask if the vehicle was for sale.

An anonymous source told the Sun that the scammers would then pressure the victim into selling.

“Two or three of them will show up and offer large sums of money to these people and they can be quite aggressive about it,” the source said. “If the mark gives in, they’ll either disappear without paying or use distraction to pay just a small part of what is owed.

“They are counting on the fact that those they are targeting are often elderly and live alone.”

In other cases, they would agree to sell a certain classic car to a buyer for a price, but deliver a far inferior vehicle from the one pictured online. The Garda did not say how much money buyers lost.

The scam primarily targeted people in Ireland, but there may be victims in other countries.

Garda officials said the scammers obtained about 20 cars worth a total of €360,000 ($406,000) by pressuring sellers, including top British marques such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce dating back to the 1930s.

And that’s likely not the final number. Officials believe more people were victimized and encouraged them to come forward.

“From enquiries to date, I believe there may be more victims across the country who have been deceived during a transaction involving a vintage or classic car,” Detective Superintendent Michael Mullen of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation said in the release.

“I would like to appeal today, particularly to the elderly community to contact your local Garda Station if you believe that you have been deceived in the purchase/sale of a vintage or classic car in circumstances where either money has not been received or money received far less than that of the value of the car.”

Carter Nacke
Carter Nacke
Carter Nacke is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He began his career at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix, the largest news radio station in Arizona, where he specialized in breaking news and politics. A burgeoning interest in classic cars took him to the Journal in 2018. He's still on the hunt for his dad's old 1969 Camaro.


  1. It would be interesting to see how much these thieves get prosecuted for. I’m assuming they’ll each get prison time; I wonder how much of a sentence Irish law allows for? Crimes like this are becoming increasingly common as the market for classic automobiles grows in popularity and value. Buyer and Seller beware!

  2. Bo need to got to Ireland to find scammers, there are a lot over here… I can give you the example of the site "hotclassicdeals.com" which disappeared these last days where you could find very nice classics at bargain prices.
    The sellers invite you to contact certain shipping company as Landfall-company.comor tgntransportation.com supposed to stock their car and handle the sale asking you to send them the money…
    Both websites were located out of the country and recently created.
    They finally closed and disappeared few days ago…

    Here are the seller’s fake names :
    Anita Aisenberg selling a Red 1957 Chevrolet C-10 Short Bed V8
    Norman Hoover selling a Black 1979 Chevrolet C-10 Silverado lowered
    Jill Patrick selling a Blue 1966 Ford F-100

    There must be a lot more of these scammers around, people should be awared…


    • A guy tried to get me to sell my 04 Mercedes Benz CLK500 with 39000
      original miles. He wanted me to take a check. I said cash,( $15000.00) bank said no check especially out of state
      (Alsaska) they said even cashiers check
      or bank checks can be stopped once buyer gas possession of car. Takes 3 days to verify funds are deposited in my account. Not just available in his.

      • I paid for 1959 ford Galaxie that’s never received,after I sent the money they emailed me and said that they wanted me to send more money for shipping, I new that I was scam, reported it ,they had a lead on them,but I never herd any more.

  3. Only accept a wire transfer or Western Union (at any Walmart). I sold a car to someone in Sweden off craigslist. I thought it was a total scam but it was not. I learned that a fake wire transfer is a federal crime and traceable. Use a bank account with very little money in it, in case they are sophisticated enough to drain the account. (Unlikely if they are that tech savoy they have better targets) It clears in a day and puts the burden of trust on the buyer.

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