A BBC investigation has revealed how vehicles were being sold in Greater Manchester after having their details replaced with legitimate cars.
A retired police officer who lost £17,000 buying a cloned Mercedes C-class from a seller in Rochdale was among the victims.
Criminals gave the car the identity of another, similar vehicle including registration number, chassis numbers and accompanying documentation.
Graham Murray said the seller wanted cash on collection and that he it was only later, after handing over the money that he realised the vehicle’s details had been tampered with.
He said: “It was £17,000 just gone, and I knew there was little or no chance of getting this money back, ever.”
Another victim, Gordon Alexander bought a cloned BMW for £18,300 from an address in Rochdale.
It was only when he took his car to be serviced the next day that he realised he had been conned.
He said: “I was absolutely gobsmacked. I’ve worked hard for my money.
“I’ve worked every day, and for someone to just take £18,300.”
An eBay spokesperson has confirmed that the eBay account has been closed and added: “Cash on collection is very unusual and we would ask buyers to always pay via the platform when purchasing.”