Barker Insurance

Be wary of this new vehicle scam

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Many of us know that criminals and scammers continue to improve their methods which is why we want to help you stay safe. We will share as much information with you as possible when we get wind of any new scams. The latest vehicle scam has caught a number of people, especially those with high-value vehicles. It is a very professional scam so it can be easy to fall prey to it.

Below we share how the scam works and we give some tips on decreasing the risk of getting caught by scams.

How it works

  1. A person posing as an employee of a vehicle manufacturer or dealership (aka the scammer) calls the vehicle owner (aka you or your loved one) to say that there is a recall on your vehicle and that it is not safe to drive. The scammer is often well-spoken, very persuasive, and can verify the vehicle owner’s details including, for example, when and where the vehicle was bought
  2. The scammer then explains that the vehicle manufacturer/dealership will not take any responsibility if the vehicle is driven further and malfunctions
  3. The vehicle owner is then advised that a towing service will be arranged to collect the vehicle
  4. Arrangements are made and agreed with the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner is even provided with the name of the towing service and advised that the repaired vehicle will be returned within 24 hours
  5. The scammer arranges the vehicle collection with the towing service.
  6. After collection the owner is advised that the repairs are taking longer than expected and is asked to confirm if the vehicle is fitted with a tracking device. If a tracking device is fitted, the vehicle owner is led to believe that it will be “temporarily” disconnected while the repair takes place
  7. The vehicle is moved to its end destination by which time the vehicle owner realises that the vehicle has been stolen

Tips to reduce the risk of being scammed

While there is no way to completely remove the risk of being scammed, it helps to be vigilant and reduce the risk. Here we have compiled four tips to help you:

  1. A healthy amount of scepticism when talking to strangers can go a long way. Scammers have a way of looking and sounding professional so it helps for you to be sceptical when you receive unsolicited calls or emails about your assets
  2. If you receive calls like the scam mentioned above, it is best to call the dealership yourself, directly to verify the recall is legitimate.
  3. Be mindful and report any suspicious behaviour to your nearest police station and even the dealership
  4. Never give out your personal information

We are here to help you. If you have any queries about your assets or want to adjust any of your policies, feel free to contact us. We will also share any new information on scams with you as soon as we can.