Police are urging motorists to be on their guard following reports of fraudulent meet and greet parking companies operating near to Manchester Airport.
Over the past month, officers have received six separate reports of incidents relating to a number of meet and greet parking companies.
The companies involved are allegedly based in Cheshire and none of them are officially affiliated with the airport.
The majority of the reports have involved travellers who have returned from their holiday to find that their vehicles have travelled hundreds of miles while they were away.
On one occasion, a woman returned from her holiday to find police had seized her car after it was driven without insurance.
In another case the owner returned to find their car had been driven to Northamptonshire, when they believed it was being stored securely at a local car park.
Police Constable Jaspreet Kaur, of Macclesfield Local Policing Unit, said: “We are looking into these reports and our enquiries are ongoing. We are working closely with the local Trading Standards team to establish the full circumstances of what has happened.
“I’d urge anyone who has had a similar experience in Cheshire to get in touch.
“I’d also urge motorists using meet and greet services to remain cautious, check company reviews and make sure they only use reputable companies.
“It’s important that you read the full terms and conditions before signing any contracts and take a photograph of your current mileage before handing over your vehicle.”
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “We are disappointed to hear that certain unscrupulous third-party parking operators are misleading customers in this way. These providers are in no way connected to Manchester Airport and we would always recommend customers do their research into a company before handing their keys over.
“As well as Manchester Airport’s own parking products, there are a number of reputable providers in the area and we encourage customers to use initiatives such as Park Mark and the government-backed Buy with Confidence scheme to find one that has undergone a series of detailed checks and is committed to trading fairly.
“We will continue to support the police and our neighbouring councils’ trading standards teams in doing all we can to raise awareness and tackle this issue.”
Anyone with any information in relation to the incidents, or anyone who believes that they may have been a victim, is asked to call Cheshire police on 101 or visit www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report .