The Vehicle Recall Scam: What You Need to Know

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Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash

Have you ever been persuaded to give away confidential information or fallen for something that’s clearly too good to be true and later questioned how you could be so trusting? There’s nothing worse than that feeling of humiliation that comes after falling for the latest scam. But let’s be honest, scammers are super smart and are constantly thinking of new ways to con you. It’s really easy to get caught off guard. The only thing you can do to protect yourself is to be more cautious and keep informed of all their latest tricks.

One trick that we’ve recently encountered, and would like to share with you, is the vehicle recall scam. Let’s run you through the process.

How the Vehicle Recall Scam Operates

The Phone Call

The scammer convinces you that he/she is from a vehicle manufacturer or dealership and phones you to inform you that there is a manufacturing fault with your car and that it needs to be recalled.

The Presentation

The vehicle recall scammers know how to present themselves to gain your trust. They’ll sound very well-spoken and professional. But if their presentation skills aren’t enough, they’ll give you the vehicle owner’s details, such as when the vehicle was bought, to appear legitimate.

The Hook

To cement the scam, the ‘representative’ will try to create a little fear in you by saying that it isn’t safe to drive your car and that the vehicle manufacturer or dealership won’t be liable for any vehicle repairs should you drive any further before returning it to them.

The Towing Arrangements

The scammer goes on to alert you that they will organise a towing service to collect your car. They’ll make all the necessary arrangements to further convince you. As part of this vehicle recall scam, the ‘representative’ will inform you of the towing company’s name and will reassure you that your car will be returned within a 24-hour period.

The Tracking Device Confirmation

After organising the towing service collection, you are told that the repairs are unfortunately taking longer than expected and are then asked whether your car is fitted with a tracker. The scammer convinces you that they need this information because they will need to temporarily disconnect it during the repair.

The Realisation

By the time you put two and two together and realise that your car isn’t coming back, it will have been moved to its end destination (which is likely to be across the border)!

At the time of writing this warning, several people have already had the ‘wool’ pulled over their eyes. We urge you to alert all your friends and family of this vehicle recall scam and to always call the vehicle manufacturer directly to confirm any manufacturing defaults. Being forewarned is being forearmed!