Do you have any plans to buy or sell a car from one of the popular websites or online platforms? Authorities ask residents to be cautious while dealing online as fraudsters keep a close eye on such online portals to scam prospective buyers or sellers.
The Sharjah Police General Command warned community members who use websites specialising in car sales and purchases regarding the growing threat of fraud and theft. According to the authorities, criminals use a new method wherein scammers take advantage of weekends and official holidays when financial operations are suspended in banking institutions.
Their modus operandi involves depositing fake cheque at ATMs, deceiving their victims into believing that the transactions are legitimate. Unsuspecting individuals, who are in the process of finalising their deals, fall prey to this scam, only to realise later that they have become victims of fraud and theft.
Sharjah Police have received several reports of people falling victim to fraud and being exposed to such perpetrators. Fraudsters communicate to victims (sellers) through auto websites during official holidays and strike a bogus deal. They agree to complete the initial purchase deal by depositing a fake cheque into the seller’s account.
The seller receives a text message from the bank stating, “A cheque has been deposited for the agreed amount and that the deposit process is under the transaction.” After receiving the text from the bank, the seller completes the full sale procedures and hands over the vehicle (to the fraudster) before receiving the money. After the holidays, the seller realises that he has fallen victim to financial fraud and his vehicle has been stolen.
Sharjah Police urged community members to take precautions and caution them against falling into the trap of commercial fraud.
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