Bogus dealer staff could target your vehicle!
The South African Insurance Crime Bureau (SAICB) has warned of a new trend in vehicle theft, wherein high-value vehicles are being targeted by syndicates pretending to be employees of vehicle dealerships.
Hugo van Zyl, COO, SAICB, explains: “The suspects will obtain information of a specific vehicle that is booked in for service or repairs at a dealership, as well as the details of the client involved.
“Once the owner of a targeted vehicle logs a complaint, he will receive a phone call from one of the suspects pretending to be the customer service manager from the dealership’s head office, or somebody from the specific service department.”
Van Zyl adds that it is not known whether something is deliberately done to the vehicle that has been targeted in the workshop, in order to ensure a complaint is logged, or whether the suspects act on random complaints logged by owners at the different service departments.
“The suspect will tell the client that he is aware of his problem and will even mention the name of a real employee at the dealership with whom the client dealt before,” Van Zyl continues.
“He will enter into discussion with the client with the view of solving the problem and will reassure the client that they will do anything not to inconvenience him further and in doing so prevent bad publicity.
“The suspect then arranges for the vehicle to be picked up from the client in order to have the problem resolved at the dealership and subsequently disappears with the vehicle.”
It is only when the client eventually starts to enquire about his vehicle that he realises the person he has been dealing with does not represent the dealership and all his credentials are false.
“Clients should check the credentials of persons claiming to represent dealerships, and vice versa,” Van Zyl concludes.