To ask for help? I think I've been scammed and my car stolen!(97 Posts)
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I will try and provide all the information so the situation is as clear as possible
Basically, I had a road accident on Monday, a car ran up the back of me on my way to work
I googled Churchill's claims number but in my panic clicked on one of the sponsored results at the top of the Google search results
This turned out to be a marketing company that passed me through to an accident management company although I didn't know this at the time as they lead me to believe it was my insurer passing me through to a third party company to handle the claim. I now know this wasn't the case as when I called Churchill for an update they had no record of the claim
The problem I'm having is this accident management company called Spectra Drive arranged for my vehicle to be recovered and a hire car to be delivered
Once I realised what had happened I called them and ended the claim as Churchill couldn't start a new one until this was done (Spectra Drive were very rude and unhelpful at this point) and said I would need to contact the recovery company to arrange to get my car back
They gave me a number which goes directly to voicemail every time and refused to give me the address so that I can get my insurer to collect the car. I have googled/FB/Gumtree/Whatsapped the number and there is no record of them anywhere
I have also called the actual man who collected my car on his mobile who also refuses to give me the address without permission from the recovery company who I can't get hold of
I feel at this point they have essentially stolen my car. I have a 1 year old and rely on it to drop off my son so that I can go to work as there are no buses from mine to where he goes
I also have PND and anxiety and I have literally been up most of the night having panic attacks as I'm so worried that I'm either not going to get my car back or it's going to cost me a huge amount of money to do so as I'm struggling financially already
I just feel that no one will help me. My insurer will pick up the car and process my claim but no-one will tell me where it is. All I know is it is at a garage in Nottingham (I'm in Leicester) and I only have a first name and mobile number of the guy who collected it and he won't release the address without permission from the recovery company who don't answer the phone (both me and my insurer have requested this several times)
Please don't bash me or tell me I'm stupid, I already know that 😩
Any advice as to what I can do?
You poor thing. Go to the police and report your car as stolen. Tell the guy who collected your car you’ll be giving the police his details and he should expect a call.
If you have their hire car I doubt they're scamming you; they sound like sharks rather than scammers. What have they said about returning the hire car? I presume they'll want it back. This could be leverage.
Failing that, could you start calling around garages in Nottingham with a description of your car? Obviously there will be quite a few and it will be a hassle, however if you ask about whether they know who Spectra deals with as well as giving you a description of your car they might be able to point you in the right direction.
Yes do as first poster says. Do it ASAP.
@Lockheart I don't have a hire car from the recovery company, it's from yet another company who Spectra Drive sourced it from so I have no leverage based on that unfortunately. I have spoken to them though, off hired the car and they are coming to collect it today or tomorrow
I'm not convinced this is a police issue as I think this is a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. They haven't actually stolen the car. They ARE being obstructive and difficult but that's not an offense.
Threatening them with the police might get them moving but I suspect if OP went to the police they wouldn't do a great deal.
So stressful last thing you need. It crossed my mind when a couple of guys turned up and I handed over my keys.
From what I can find I haven't seen anything which suggests Spectra Drive aren't a legit company. It seems from what you've posted they have some predatory business tactics but again that isn't in and of itself illegal.
LinkedIn suggests Matthew Levene is their director, perhaps you can find some contact information for him?
I hope no-one is going to try and charge you garaging costs for a vehicle they are refusing to release to the registered owner and insurance company ?
Does Churchill not have a legal department ? I would imagine this would be something that would be better dealt with by them ?
Make as much noise as you can about this, email/ call/ post on social media and report to Trading Standards, Action Fraud and local newspapers if you can. I'd also complain to Google for allowing them to post paid misleading adverts
I would call the police as its theft. Explain the recovered the vehicle but are refusing to give you the address to collect it.
I don't know if the police can help but go down to your local station and explain the situation anyway. They'll advise you of the best course of action. Best of luck.
According to Companies House, Spectra Drive's offices are located at: Unit 17 Hurstfield Industrial Estate, Hurst Street, Stockport, England, SK5 7BB
Could be a family business because 3 of the 5 directors are the same surname:
Michael Constanti Georgiou
It's not theft @Beautiful3. They took the car with OPs consent. The fact she doesn't know where the car currently is does not render it theft. I'm not saying what they're doing is right but they haven't stolen the car.
Louis Georgiou's Linked In page. He is listed as the MD. You could try messaging him through Linked In
The company used to be FCA authorised but ceased being authorised back in 2016
Another thought OP, could you try calling around other Nottingham recovery companies or garages and asking if they know anything about the recovery company which picked up your car? They may know who they work with / where they're based / give you different contact details.
Can you give us a screen grab of the advert you accidentally clicked on on Churchill's website?
I've done a little digging for you. There are a number of companies related to Louis Georgiou and what appear to be his family. Several are listed to a specific address in Manchester (in many a varied profession) but they also seem to all list this phone number 0161 283 9639. It might be worth calling and asking to speak with him without divulging why you're calling if you see what I mean.
Sorry this has happened to you.
Entirely different situation but my son once clicked on an ad under a YouTube video. It went on a site that immediately subscribed us to a game costing £2.50 a week. The number listed for the company just rang and rang, no one ever answered. Had to phone a regulator in the end to get the real number to cancel the sub.
Get hold of a regulator as they may have other ways of reaching the company.
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