Whenever there is a business transaction that involves selling or buying cars, especially used cars, the risk of fraud is always on people’s mind. Yes many used car dealers are legitimate, but then there are those that are not.
One woman in Long Island, New York stated that she was told by the salesman that the car 'comes with a two-year warranty'. In addition, the car was said to have been looked at by their mechanic, but was not. She also gave them a $500 deposit for the car but the final contract said the deposit was $100 and they added $2000 for the two-year warranty that was supposed to 'come with the car'. So even in the United States , there are unscrupulous car dealers who will try to give you a 'run for your money', and if these scams exist in the US, just imagine what untrue car dealers can get away in other countries whose laws are not as strict, such as in the UAE?
There are many different ways in which fraudsters can trick the residents of the UAE through car scams and can cost victims a large deal of money. Therefore, it’s imperative that people gain knowledge of some of the popular scams in order to avoid falling prey to any of them.
Following are the five common car scams in the UAE that you need to watch out for.
Deposit That Vanishes!
The most important thing that you need to look out for is the way the seller navigates through the deal. If they ask for an upfront deposit, that must ring warning-bells for you. In this case, there is a good chance that your deposit will vanish along with the seller. No matter what, always make sure that you get the proper receipt of any payment you make. Also, remember to ask for a copy of the Emirates ID. This will not give you full protection from fraud, but you might be able to recover some money.
The Fake Escrow!
You must avoid paying the seller ahead of the transfer of ownership. Even if you are acquiring the car at a bargain price, do not rush into paying and getting your hands on the vehicle. The seller might ask you to make the payment to an escrow account. Once you have deposited the money, the seller might run away with your money and the car. Make sure to adopt a reliable payment method and always make the payment AFTER the ownership of the vehicle has been transferred.
People are often willing to pay extra amount of money for the vehicle under warranty. But one must remember that the warranty can be discarded on many grounds and might have even expired. Always talk to the dealer first and find out if the warranty is valid and transferable.
Paying Off the Lease!
Avoid opting for a car with outstanding finance on it. This would mean that the finance company is still the real owner. If the seller asks you to pay off the lease, you should see that as a huge red flag! You can still do this if you will, BUT make sure that the seller has given the power of attorney to you to transfer the car in your name. Also, the seller must hand over the keys to you at the finance company office.
Although it is normal to be suspicious while buying used cars in the UAE, you must make extra effort to ensure that the car’s odometer hasn’t been tampered with to display a lower mileage. In some cases, it might even be a salvaged vehicle, revamped after a major accident. Get the car thoroughly inspected before closing a deal.