Vehicle recall scam alert – How it works

The Insurance Crime Bureau (ICB) previously issued a vehicle recall scam alert following a significant increase in the number of cases. It seems that this scam is still active and here is some important information on how it works:

1. A person posing as an employee of a vehicle manufacturer or dealership (referred to as the scammer) calls the vehicle owner to say that there is a recall and that it is not safe to drive their vehicle. 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 goes on to say that the vehicle manufacturer/dealership will not take any responsibility if the vehicle is driven further and malfunctions.
3. The vehicle owner is advised that a towing service will be arranged to collect the vehicle and arrangements are made and agreed with the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner is provided with the name of the towing service and advised that the repaired vehicle will be returned within 24 hours.
4. The scammer arranges with the towing service to collect the vehicle. In the meantime, the vehicle 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 is taken place.
5. The vehicle is moved to its end destination (often across the border) by which time the vehicle owner realises that the vehicle has been stolen.

Several people have fallen victim to this scam so please be careful and report any suspicious behaviour to your nearest police station.

Should you or your clients receive such as call, please makes sure you verify the authenticity of the recall with the vehicle manufacturer or dealership.

This information from Hollard was shared by Sonette Botes, Western Cape director of the FFG group.

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