February 17, 2022
When times are challenging such as during the South African pandemic, some motorists don’t think clearly and can become targets for criminals. These criminals will try and capitalize on the emotional state of motorists when the latter is trying to sell or buy cars. The Internet has become the playground of such criminals where many scams, which are too good to be true, abound. Discover how to avoid scams when selling or buying cars in South Africa.1
The Internet is easily accessible, which has helped criminals target the more naïve motorists. Motorists use many online sites for buying and selling vehicles because optimal prices can be obtained in this way.
Unfortunately, there is a physical side to this. Motorists still have to meet with strangers who would like to go for a test drive. Then there is the inevitable exchange of hard cash and legal documents. This is when criminals could take the opportunity to scam motorists, who need to be extra alert to this.
Fraudsters often send a cheque to purchase the car, which subsequently bounces. If fraudsters sell a car, they usually demand a deposit or even the total amount. Once they have received it, they suddenly disappear without a trace and with the vehicle. Scammers use false emails, so they cannot be traced.
Scammers make the potential buyer feel that they are missing out on a deal of a lifetime if they don’t follow through. The motorist falls prey to these thieves when he becomes excited to clinch a deal because the price of the car on sale is so exceptionally low. What a bargain, he thinks. But, unfortunately, they also play on the motorist’s emotions by telling him they have been retrenched and are down and out financially.
It’s crucial to get to know the identity of the seller or buyer. Ask buyers or sellers for their phone numbers and a place to meet. Often they disappear. Follow your intuition while chatting to a potential buyer. Stop everything as soon as you feel something is not right. Be immediately suspicious if the seller refuses any guarantees for money back as car dealers do. Refuse to deal with anyone who is difficult to trace and flits all over the place.
Request for the vehicle identification number (VIN) and check if it Is the same as the roadworthy certificate. Also, ensure the VIN hasn’t been obscured or covered on the vehicle. Lastly, avoid continuing with a deal when you are offered a low purchase price that is too good to be true.
Please note, this article can only be a source of information. Please consult a registered financial service provider for more information before buying any car insurance product.
Any motorist should be safe if they stay alert and follow the tips mentioned. In this way you can protect yourself financially. Suppose you did manage to sell your car successfully and intend to buy a new car. In that case, you will be legally required to purchase comprehensive car insurance if the vehicle is to be financed by a financial institution. Are you looking to buy comprehensive insurance? Get comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* with PMD. T’s and C’s apply.
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