Vehicle Scams: Don't Become a Victim

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Vehicle scams are on the rise and ClickaCar wants to ensure that you don't become a victim.

As tough economic times tighten their grip on many South Africans, more and more buyers are being reeled in by car scammers who seem to be offering exceptional bargains.

In a recent interview, the Managing Director of Searchworks, Sameer Kumandan said that many South Africans are turning to the internet for everything, from price comparisons to more thorough research on specs and features as they try to cover all angles before making the long-term financial commitment that comes with buying a car.

The online environment has also allowed fake vehicle adverts to proliferate, with many scammers creating relatively sophisticated adverts which included photos that match genuine vehicles, descriptions and details of the “seller”. In order to appear convincing, these scammers will go as far as to provide additional information about the car which will always include a reason as to why they need to sell at a heavily discounted price and explain the urgency. These scammers will then require you to pay a holding deposit or even the full amount to secure the vehicle, before disappearing with your hard-earned money, leaving you without a car and heavily out of pocket.

Kumandan goes on to add; “It is important that consumers exercise extreme caution when engaging with unknown individuals online and use whatever means at their disposal to verify the details of the seller and the vehicle being advertised. Buying a car is a serious financial commitment and is a process that shouldn’t be rushed.”

In order to defend yourself against falling victim to these kinds of scams, it is highly recommended that you exercise extreme caution when doing business with unknown people online. You should also use every tool you have to verify the details of the seller and the vehicle. This could be Social Media, other dealers and vehicle organisations before committing any money.

One of the easiest ways to avoid these scams however is by making sure that you, regardless of how good a deal may seem, always conduct business with registered, bank approved dealers like the network of dealers you can find on ClickaCar!

Red Lights: What To Spot & Avoid Falling Victim to Vehicle Scams

  1. Gather as many details on the seller before contacting them. If the same photos appear across multiple platforms and the same names (or different names and the same details), it’s best to avoid them.
  2. If a deal is too good to be true, then it probably is! Compare the market value of similar models, and if the price is far below the average market value, it's best to walk away.
  3. Never make an immediate payment or pay a holding deposit for a vehicle without going to see it. If you are pressured and feel uncertain about the vehicle, you have every right to not go through with the deal.
  4. Use a trusted dealer like those in the ClickaCar network instead. Our reputable dealers offer added peace of mind because they are held accountable to the Consumer Protection act.
  5. If you suspect any fraud or someone is trying to gain unauthorised access to your banking information, then contact your bank and the police immediately. 

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