Car Rental Scams In 2018 Cheated People Of At Least S$30,000

With Chinese New Year (CNY) just around the corner, many of you may be planning how you’re going to travel around to bai nian to your relatives on that day, assuming you don’t own a car.

With the consideration of how the MRT will be super packed, or how walking will make your feet hurt so much in those new 8-inch heels, you then opt for a car rental service.

Since there will probably be a spike in demand for car rental services this CNY, the Marina Bay NPC have stepped up to issue a scam alert warning the public to be vigilant against car rental scams.

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After all, we’re sure you won’t want to start off the new year being scammed of your money.

Car rental scams can be anywhere

Like any other scams nowadays, car rental scams can be anywhere.

And if an ad for a rental car seems too good to be true, it should raise a red flag.

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Car rental scams usually work by tricking victims into paying a deposit or the full rental fee before actually receiving the car.

The scammer will then go MIA after the payment has been received, leaving the victims to eventually find out that the car rental agency and the car itself did not ever exist.

In light of this, here’s what to look out for if you aren’t sure if the car rental service is legit:

  • Ads with generic photos
  • A service advertised for much cheaper than the prevailing market rate

Car rental photos should also correspond to the models advertised.

How to protect yourself

Now that you know what to look out for in a car rental scam, here’s how to make sure the scammer doesn’t get his or her way.

First of all, you should only rent vehicles from reputable car rental companies. If you aren’t sure, check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) whether the company exists.

Next, ensure you obtain documentation of the car rental details, especially that of payment.

Lastly, ask to see the vehicle and its identification documents to verify its ownership.

Help make scammers stay in their lane

Scammers in this day and age are getting more and more advanced, so their scamming methods may change over time and it is important to be vigilant at all times.

Avoid car rental scams, and share this with anyone you know who is intending to rent a car this CNY!

Featured image from Holland Village Singapore.