SINGAPORE - At least 87 reports of car rental scams were made in 2018 costing victims more than $30,000, the police said on Wednesday (Jan 30).
This is up from at least 45 cases reported in 2017 and at least 23 reported in 2016.
In a statement, the police warned the public against possible cases of car rental scams during the upcoming Chinese New Year festive period.
Car rental scams usually involve victims paying a deposit or the full amount for the rental of a vehicle after responding to advertisements put up by the scammers.
Scammers have used a temporary office for added credibility in some cases.
Police said that the vehicle would not be delivered on the proposed collection day, and the scammers would be uncontactable as well.
The authorities advised the public to be wary of advertisements with generic photographs, and car rental photographs should correspond to the make and model of the vehicle being advertised.
Members of the public should also rent vehicles from reputable car rental companies and check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority to ensure that the rental company is registered with the regulatory authority, the statement said.
Renters should also insist on documentation for the rental details, such as proof of payment and particulars of the parties involved, and keep a copy of the documentation for their own reference, it added.
Those who wish to provide scam-related information can call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000 or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness
For scam-related advice, call the anti-scam helpline on 1800-722-6688 or visit www.scamalert.sg