Case Study: 'The registration plates were cloned and the gardaí seized the car there and then'
Karolina MatcZak (20) from Cork bought a car on Done Deal from a seller in Dublin only to find out a week later that the car was stolen.
The Cork IT student and her fiancé paid €6,300 in cash for the 2011 Renault Megane from their savings and money lent to her by her mother.
She met with the seller at a housing estate in Swords.
"Straight away he gave me the keys for the car - I negotiated the price down by €400 because the front tyres were supposed to be new and it was scratched at the back," Karolina said.
However, it was only when she tried to register the vehicle in her name that she realised there was a problem.
"I filled out the logbook with our names and sent it off, but was waiting over eight days for it. I rang the motor tax office and they told me there was something wrong," she said.
Once the tax office confirmed there was an issue, Karolina went straight to the gardai.
"They came to see the car straight away," she said.
"The registration plates were cloned and the car was seized there and then. So I was without the car and my money - I was shaking and couldn't eat after it all."
It is believed the car was stolen from a house in Santry at the end of January. Karolina bought it two weeks after it was stolen and it has now been returned to its owner.