Police warn against car rental scams during CNY festive period

Between January and November last year at least 35 reports of car rental scams were made, with a total sum of at least $25,000 having being cheated, said the police in a news release on Thursday (16 January). (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – The police have warned members of the public to be vigilant against car rental scams during the upcoming Chinese New Year festive period.

Between January and November last year, at least 35 reports of car rental scams were made, with a total loss of at least $25,000, said the police in a news release on Thursday (16 January).

Such scams usually involve victims paying a deposit or the full rental amount after responding to advertisements placed by scammers.

“In some instances, scammers have been known to use a temporary office to appear credible. After payment is made, the vehicle would not be delivered to the victim on the proposed day of collection, and the scammers would become uncontactable,” said the police.

Members of the public have been advised to take the following precautions:

  • Beware of advertisements using generic photographs. Images of cars for rent should correspond to the make and model of the vehicle being advertised

  • Rent vehicles from reputable car rental companies

  • Do a check with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) to confirm that a car rental company is registered

  • Insist on having documents stating the rental details, such as payment and particulars of the parties involved, and keep a copy for your own reference

  • Ask to see the vehicle and its log card in order to verify ownership

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