Horse owners are being urged to be extra vigilant when buying horseboxes over the internet, especially 3.5 tonne lorries, after reports of a rise in scam adverts.

Solihull Riding Club’s Steve Scott found that two of the ads he replied to were scams. Mr Scott spotted a Vauxhall Movano in the Preloved adverts.

The ad said the owners lived near London, but when he asked to see the lorry he was told they had moved to Wick, near John O’Groats.

Mr Scott had an email from the advertisers on 30 August saying they could ship the lorry to him for £89, providing he transferred the purchase price.

However, on the same day he received an email from Preloved warning him that there had been a complaint against the seller. The company removed the ad.

“The complaint is currently under investigation, but we would like to remind members to be extremely cautious. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is,” said a Prevloved spokesman.

Mr Scott then replied to another ad for a 3.5 tonne Citroen Rela on Trade-It, which operates in the south-west.

“I sent a text but had a reply saying it was a grooming parlour,” said Mr Scott. He contacted Trade-It and was told the advert was being taken down.

“If you can’t go and see the horsebox — walk away,” warned Mr Scott, who wanted to make other H&H readers aware of the issue.

Liz Harker, a saddle fitter at Horsesense Saddlers in the West Midlands, has also had problems with scam ads when trying to buy a 3.5 tonne box.

“One said the lorry was in one place, but it then appeared to be miles away. It didn’t look genuine,” she told H&H.

The H&H ad team has had no issues, but H&H’s Robina Shahid added: “If there are any problems then we will act immediately. If you are in doubt call us on 0800 316 5450.”

NB: The lorry pictured top is for illustration purposes only and has not been involved in any of the scams mentioned above.