Police and trading standards officers for South Holland are warning people about a new type of copycat website.
They usually feature cars, expensive machinery and large plant, all for sale at low prices, and are designed to look like existing business websites.
But users have found that although contact details and information appear to be from Companies House. the sites are full of false information where scammers have just copied adverts from other websites and then changed the prices.
Residents who contact the websites to buy vehicles are persuaded to send money “up front” by bank transfer before seeing the goods.
It is only after the money has been transferred that the “company” claims to be no longer responding to calls or emails.
Pam Allen, senior trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “People need to be careful when shopping online because very sophisticated technology is being used to dupe them into believing what they are seeing.
“Although the majority of websites are genuine, there are a small number that are not.”
Detective Constable Stuart Barnes, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “We would ask the public when shopping online to consider their actions if they are spending large sums of money.
“If it appears too good to be true, then it more than likely is.”