Gardaí are warning drivers of Ford Transit vans of a scam targeting them.
The warning comes as gardaí in Granard, Co. Longford, are investigating an organised crime gang involved in the international sale and distribution of stolen machinery and vehicle parts.
It involves an offer to repair or replace a vehicle's engine through online ads on popular sales sites. The advert offers to collect the van from any part of the country, carry out repairs or if necessary, replace the engine with a reconditioned one, and once repaired to return it to the owner.
However, gardaí say once a scammer has a person's van, it's fitted with a stolen engine.
They say owners are losing out on the cost of repair, and again when the vehicle is seized.
They're warning owners to be wary and to only allow a qualified mechanic in a recognised garage to repair their vehicle.
"You are taking a big risk giving your van to a stranger who collects it from your door and takes it away for repairs to an unknown location. If you are a victim, this scam will have cost you money and your van will be seized by gardaí,” said a Garda statement.