There is an increasing trend for South Africans to buy and sell their vehicles privately. The main medium used to advertise vehicles privately is the internet. While convenience is the main factor driving online sales, AA Autobay and DEKRA, in association with the AA, urge customers to be vigilant at all times to protect themselves from fraudulent scams.
AA Autobay and DEKRA Automotive have teamed up to alert customers of online scams and risks involved when handling a private sale or buying a car online and have simple tips for individuals to follow to ensure that a sale is legitimate.
“Individuals need to be vigilant when buying or selling a vehicle privately – do not be fooled by the allure of a convenient location such as a nearby shopping centre or your workplace – you are putting yourself at risk,” says Karla Strydom, spokesperson for AA Autobay.
“We find that individuals put themselves at risk when they handle the process by themselves as it may appear more convenient. We are aware of some incidences where fraudsters set up inspections of vehicles at locations such as shopping centres or unknown areas to the seller. They pretend to be interested in viewing the car and the unsuspecting individual could be putting themselves at risk to robbery or hijacking,” she says.
“While we have been aware of some incidences where fraudsters attempt to impersonate themselves as AA Autobay or DEKRA personnel, it is important to note that an AA Autobay or DEKRA professional will never view a car outside of these organisation’s premises. Alarm bells should be ringing if the person is arranging to set up the location elsewhere than the authorised AA Autobay or DEKRA centres,” warns Strydom.
AA Autobay and DEKRA provide secure locations where vehicles can be inspected, bought or sold. The sale takes place at the organisation’s premises and all individuals are protected at all times. The entire transaction is facilitated end-to-end for the customer, minimising the risk of unknown factors in the sale process. “Avoid becoming a victim of a fraud scam, use accredited channels to sell and buy vehicles online,” concludes Strydom.
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