Car leasing scam: Fraudsters advertise fake vehicle contracts to catch out motorists
Car leasing is the latest target for fraudsters with organised criminals aiming to use the coronavirus pandemic as a way to scam motorists out of their money. Fraudsters have been seen advertising fake leasing deals online or posing as companies willing to offer changes to their payment plan during the crisis.
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These scams may offer road users a competitive deal and take relevant payment information without providing a vehicle.
Scammers can also set up fake email accounts and social media channels using names of genuine brokers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently issued a warning to the public about an expected rise in scam activity during the coronavirus pandemic.
Analysis from campaign group Take Five to Stop Fraud says just nine percent of Britons can spot a scam.
This can leave many motorists caught out and could give criminals easy access to personal information.
Tom Preston, Managing Director of Hippo Leasing said: “The FCA recently issued a warning to the public about an expected rise in scam activity following the disruption and anxieties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s a time when many of us are worrying about our job security and finances which can prove lucrative for fraudsters.”
Road users are advised by car experts Hippo Leasing to take extra precautions to avoid being caught out by the car scam.
Motorists can protect themselves from the scam and prevent handing information to criminals through five simple tips and tricks.
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Is it too good to be true?
Motoring expert, Tom Preston, says if a deal is too good to be true then it probably will be.
He says all legitimate companies adhere to rules set out by the FCA and will carry out checks before offering you a deal.
These businesses will not contact you through email or text messages to offer motorists lower monthly premiums so these may be a scam.
Does it sound too complicated?
Tom Preston says scammers will often hit victims with jargon to confuse them into agreeing to a policy.
However, leasing companies will usually give you clear information about key information such as deposits and payment information.
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Research as much as possible
Some scammers have upped their game by paying for advertising space on social media apps.
Motorists who see an accept online should always search up the company’s website and contact details to see if this sounds legitimate.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) can also inform you whether the company is a genuine leasing broker before signing up to an agreement.
Don’t break under pressure
Honest salesmen will provide you with information and give you time to make a decision of whether the policy is right for you.
If someone is rushing you to sign an agreement you should not trust them and could show something is not right.
Report it if in doubt
Motorists should report any scam top Action Fraud for further investigation. Just 14 percent of cases were reported in 2017 despite a total of 4.7 million incidents of fraud.
Tom Preston said: “If you’ve come across a car leasing scam, or fallen victim to one, it’s important to report it so steps can be taken to close the fake social media account, website or email address before others get caught in the trap.”
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