Heartbroken Scottish couple scammed out of £14k as conman drives away with their BMW

A family from Scotland have been left devastated after they fell victim to a cunning doorstop scam.

A car thief used a fake banking app to steal a BMW from the couple who have now been left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Greg and Lois Murphy had put their BMW up for sale with plans on using the money to go towards their new baby. However, after meeting with a man in Aberdeenshire, agreeing on a sale, and handing over the keys - the money failed to go into Greg's account.

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Meanwhile, the fraudster drove off with the luxury car.

Speaking to the Record, Lois, 31, who is seven months pregnant, said: "He used an app that looked like a normal Lloyds banking app on his phone. He showed us a bank transfer confirmation and my husband received a text to say the money would be in our bank in two hours.

“He even offered to get a drink and a bite to eat at a pub across the road. He is very good at what he does. We had his details, so we handed over the keys."

Greg had advertised his car for sale on Facebook Marketplace and was contacted by the scammer, who used a fake name. Posing as an interested buyer, the man met Greg at Dyce train station on April 9 and visited the couple's home to test drive the vehicle.

He agreed to purchase the vehicle for £14,250 and used a fake Lloyds banking app to dupe the couple into believing he had transferred the cash. Greg, 31, even received a text to confirm the payment - which claimed the funds ‘may take two hours to clear’.

The brazen thief remained in contact with the couple for days promising the missing cash had been sent. Lois and Greg were left gutted when their bank said the transaction did not exist.

Police Scotland later confirmed the details given by the conman were fraudulent.

Louis said: "My heart just sank. We knew we had been scammed. We contacted the police who told us we weren’t the first.

"It turned out all of his information was fake - and so was the bank transfer. Greg wasn’t keen to let him leave until the money arrived but the guy was so brazen.

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“We were selling the car because we have a baby on the way. We had planned to use the money to buy newborn essentials but we’ve been left with nothing. We are absolutely devastated.”

After posting their ordeal on social media, the couple were contacted by four other victims who had fallen for the scam. Lois, who works as a mortgage adviser, said they were able to identify the man from an image caught on a doorbell camera from a home in Stirling where a Mustang was stolen in December.

It is understood the serial thief - who spoke with a Fife accent - has pinched a fleet of luxury vehicles across Scotland including a Mercedes from Inverness in November, an Audi RS3 from Stirling in January and a Range Rover in Kirkcaldy in December.

Lois added: “When we contacted police with his photograph, they recognised his face straight away. I couldn’t believe the number of people who got in touch with us after falling victim to this scam - it could happen to anyone.

“Our insurance provider won’t pay out because Greg handed over the keys. If you are selling a car online, please check the money has arrived before giving away your car. It’s disgusting that people can prey on others with no remorse. I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "Enquiries are ongoing into a fraud which occurred on Tuesday, April 6, 2024, in the Station Road area of Aberdeen."

Lloyds Bank told the Record: "We recognise the threat posed by fraudsters attempting to impersonate our brands. This problem isn’t unique to us, unfortunately, all major companies are targeted by organised crime groups and fraudsters.

"It's important to remember that you should never hand over possession of an item until you can see the money has cleared in your own account. And don’t succumb to pressure. If someone is trying to rush you into a sale, or into handing over the possession you’re selling, take a step back and question their keenness."