Six individuals were detained in connection with a scam involving virtual vehicles

credit card in hand while using a computer

Officers looking into a significant "virtual vehicle scam" have detained six people.

Following the execution of warrants in Rotherham, Doncaster, Essex, and Hampshire, according to South Yorkshire Police, four men and two women were detained.

The arrests were made as part of a campaign against online con artists who falsely advertise discounted car sales before taking the buyer's money and disappearing.

The six people are all still being held.

Four men and one woman, all between the ages of 28 and 33, were detained on suspicion of conspiring to commit fraud, fraud by false pretense, and money laundering, according to the police.

A second woman, 27 years old, was detained on suspicion of neglecting a child.

According to a police spokesperson, fraud involving virtual vehicles had "hundreds of victims" in the UK.

The arrests, according to the operation's director, Det Ch Insp Anna Sedgwick, were made as part of a "large-scale, multi-agency investigation into the organized crime group that has been committing these frauds across the nation for a number of years.".

No matter how nice or trustworthy someone seems, she continued, "Never, ever transfer money to them without physically seeing the car first.

"Since there have been more reports of this scam in recent years, buyers should take extra precautions to verify the seller's legitimacy before parting with any money or personal information.

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