I have taken the below information directly off a newsletter that I received from the AA. I hope that the information contained herein, stops at least one person from being scammed. Be careful out there and always be aware of what is happening around you – if something doesn’t feel right, chances are it isn’t!
Be on the alert for car keys duplication when buying a car privately
Buying a car online can be an easy and safe process, but you should always be vigilant, as there are fraudsters out to defraud you. AA Autobay warns prospective buyers to be extra cautious when buying a car online due to an increase in the cases where car keys are duplicated before the sale is finalised.
“Duplication of car keys is one of the scams seen as a trend for fraudsters to find an easy way to scam the buyer by stealing the car after the purchase,” says Karla Strydom spokesperson for AA Autobay.
When buying a car privately, you are at risk of fraudsters masquerading as sellers who are always on the lookout for ways to defraud unsuspecting car buyers of their hard earned money. Once the buyer has paid the full price for the car, a location for handover is arranged and the real keys are given to the new owner, while the fraudster is left with a duplicate. As a result, the fraudster has full access to the car and buyer’s personal information, so they can steal the car back from the buyer’s home or workplace. “Prospective car buyers shouldn’t be fooled by a smooth sale process, which may ultimately leave them with nothing,” says Strydom.
Buying a car privately from a reputable and professional seller protects the buyer from such scams. At AA Autobay the entire process and transaction is facilitated end-to-end for the buyer and seller, minimising the risk of unknown factors in the sale process. AA Autobay hands over the purchased car to the buyer at AA Autobay’s premises on the seller’s behalf, and in so doing, ensures that none of the buyer’s personal information is disclosed to the seller. This process ensures that the vehicle cannot be stolen by the fraudster, who impersonates a genuine seller, and whom may have a copy of the car keys to use at a later point to steal the vehicle back from the buyer.
The buyer and seller can rest assured of a peace-of-mind deal by using AA Autobay to facilitate the vehicle sale and purchase process. “We understand that when buying a car, consumers need protection against fraudsters, and against having their hard earn money embezzled from them. That is why AA Autobay does the necessary checks to ensure the seller is indeed the owner of the vehicle and is legitimate. A further precaution includes the protection of contact details as well as addresses of buyers and sellers to protect them against any other fraudulent activity,” concludes Strydom.