Tuesday September 18, 2012
Be cautious of scams while trading second-hand cars
By TERENCE TOH
KUALA LUMPUR: People looking to buy or sell their vehicles should be cautious of scams, warned MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong.
He said he received about two complaints on used car scams every month, adding that there were 26 cases last year and over 10 cases this year.
“I have many cases in which the victims come to see me after buying second-hand cars because they were either stolen vehicles, had been involved in accidents or not approved by Puspakom,” he said.
The worst cases, said Chong, were those in which a seller would sell a car under an “instalment” payment to a buyer, who would then vanish with the car.
He reminded sellers that under the terms of the Hire Purchase Act, anyone who paid for a car under instalments had to first settle their accounts before selling their vehicles to someone else.
“In many of these cases, the victims, mostly young people, have to file for bankruptcy,” said Chong, adding that he believed a local syndicate could be behind these car scams.
Another tactic was for scam artists to trick their victims into taking their vehicles for “test drives”.
“We have cases in which the so-called car buyer would stop the car halfway and push the victim out.”
He urged second-hand car buyers and sellers to take photographs of whoever they entered into transactions with, saying this would greatly help with identification,
Chong also asked buyers and sellers to make all necessary and precautionary checks before getting involved in any vehicle sale.