'Clocking' - otherwise known as illegitimately adjusting a vehicle's mileage - has been practised by dodgy used car sellers for many years as a means to make extra money.
However, UK-based vehicle information expert HPI is warning that the risks from buying a clocked car could hurt consumers in more places than just their wallet.
Nicola Johnson, Consumer Services Manager for HPI, explained: "Clocking is used by fraudsters to boost the sale price of a vehicle, but the act of clocking also hides the fact that the car is likely to have done considerably more miles than the driver realises.
"If vital components are excessively worn and/or not replaced as recommended by the manufacturer, that vehicle could be a real danger to the driver and other road users.
"Despite some obvious tell-tale signs of general wear and tear, a higher mileage vehicle may look in reasonable condition; however, behind the bodywork there may be some less obvious wear that isn't reflected by the reported mileage.
"An incorrectly reported mileage could also lead a new owner into believing that their scheduled maintenance is up-to-date, missing out on vital service work such as a timing belt change that may lead to catastrophic engine failure."