Beware of vehicle finance fraudsters

2011-12-19 14:39

Consumers must beware of vehicle finance fraudsters that have left many people in serious financial straits.

“Advertisements are often found in the print media, offering assistance in taking over vehicle instalment repayments,” head of the Wesbank’s risk division Nicholas Litton said.

“These adverts are directed at consumers who want deposit money for vehicles, or who can no longer keep up with their repayments because of financial problems.”

Litton said bogus companies offer to find a person, known as a buyer, who would take over the instalments to the bank.

He referred to this as an illegal practice as the financial obligations of the consumer cannot be transferred without the knowledge and the arrangement of the financial services provider.

Litton pointed out that companies make consumers believe that they work with the banks, and that they would pay the arrears on the account or a deposit on a vehicle to be purchased.

He said consumers were then told to sign an agreement regarding the take-over of the asset or a vehicle that was given to the buyer, who was said to be responsible for repaying the instalments.

“The repayments are actually not made to the bank and the account remains in arrears, leaving the original owner without a vehicle and still being held responsible for the remaining debt on the account.”

Litton advised consumers to avoid working with such companies as they might find themselves paying off huge debts on the assets they no longer had in their possessions.

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