SCAM ALERT: RSLPF warn against vehicle sale scam
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) is urging the public to be vigilant when purchasing motor vehicles.
The warning has been issued following an increased number of reports of theft, including robbery, surrounding the sale of motor vehicles advertised via social media platforms.
According to the reports received, images of motor vehicles are posted, particularly on Facebook, declaring them for sale.
“Investigations have indicated that these motor vehicles in most instances do not actually belong to the advertisers,” the RSLPF said.
Prospective buyers are then asked to make payments and are told to head to another location to collect, which they later learn is part of a scam.
“Sometimes, persons are lured into places to be robbed of their valuables.”
The public is advised to follow certain precautionary measures to avoid falling victim of such scams.
- VERIFY THE VEHICLE'S AUTHENTICITY! Ask for copies of ownership documents to be forwarded via email, to ensure that the vehicle belongs to the advertiser. Insist that photo identification documents, proving the advertiser is indeed the same individual as reflected on the documents, are also included.
- When arranging to view a motor vehicle, insist that it is taken directly to a certified institution and not to a remote location for your own viewing.
- Never agree to meet an unknown individual alone; unexpected company may dissuade a thief.
- Never agree to meet in a secluded area, especially one you are not familiar with. Legitimate sellers will not fear a public meeting. Suggest meeting at or near a Police Station for your safety!
- Avoid being in possession of cash; cheques may be obtained from financial institutions for payment. If you fall victim to robbery, you may quickly cancel the cheque, before it is cashed. If cash payments are your only option, ensure that you are accompanied and conduct the transaction in a public area.
- When in doubt, call the police! If a transaction does not seem legitimate, notify the police immediately!
For further advice, contact the nearest police station.