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In the past few years, fraudsters have been aware of the popularity of car rentals, which means they can post fake used car trading advertisements online for rental deals in order to entice people to contact them. When clicking on an AD, most of the time the user is asked to submit personal details – name, address, who the bank is working with – which can then be used to scam them out of money. The problem has become so serious that Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Car Hire Association (BVRLA), said recently: “These criminals are deliberately targeting vulnerable people and taking money from those who can least afford to lose it. It’s a shame that their ads can even impersonate a BVRLA member and quote the membership number of a legitimate member. It looks very convincing.”
Sometimes these fake used car trading ads are from companies that can legally sell you a used car trading, but they post ads at completely fake prices to get you to call them, at which point they will try to sell you a more expensive deal: very shady and dishonest practice.
Fortunately, there are some good tips on how to spot fake used car trading ads, mostly found on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Follow this guide to avoid being stung.
The AD promises “no credit check”
That’s the biggest red flag of all. For anyone to become a legitimate leasing broker, they must sign up and comply with rules laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which states that anyone who gets a credit deal must first get a credit check to determine whether they can afford it. Therefore, if there is any advertising required, you will not get a credit check, which is lying and may not be the real company.
They were too hasty
If you speak to someone over the phone or via email, they should not immediately ask you for any personal details. If they do, then they are probably cheaters. Do not provide any personal information until you are sure you are a legitimate company.
Name of Research Company
We say don’t give out any personal information unless you’re sure the company is real, and it’s easy to do with a Google search. If it’s a legitimate company, it should have a nice website and even user reviews. They should have a landline phone number and an email address that you can use to reach them. If you are still unsure, contact BVRLA, who should be able to confirm whether the company is genuine.
They bombard you with information
A common trick for scammers is to bombard you with information – often full of confusing jargon – in the hope of confusing you to sign a deal that is not suitable for you or to voluntarily provide personal information. Any reputable company will send you a full breakdown of the transactions you are inquiring about, which you can read and digest at your leisure, and they should answer any questions you have in a way that you can understand. Never execute a trade that you do not understand or have little information about.