Police warn against car rental scams during Hari Raya Puasa

Car rentals are likely to see an uptick over the Hari Raya Puasa festive period as many visit their relatives and friends. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ahead of the Hari Raya Puasa festive period next month, the police have issued a fresh reminder to the public to guard against car rental scams.

The end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan falls on June 5 this year. Car rentals are likely to see an uptick over the period as many visit their relatives and friends.

Last year, at least 83 victims were cheated of around $19,600 in such scams, which typically involve them paying a deposit or full amount for the rental of a vehicle after responding to advertisements put up by scammers.

The police said in a statement on Thursday (May 23) that in some instances, scammers have been known to use a temporary office to appear credible to victims.

Victims were later unable to collect their vehicle on the proposed day and the scammers would become uncontactable.

The public are advised to take the following measures:

- Be wary of advertisements with generic photographs. Car rental photographs should correspond to the make and model of the vehicle being advertised;

- Rent their vehicle from reputable car rental companies;

- Check with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) to confirm that the car rental business is a registered one;

- Insist on a documentation of the rental details, such as payment and particulars of parties involved, and keep a copy for their reference; and

- Request to see the vehicle and its log card to verify the ownership.

Anyone who wishes to provide information on scams may call the police hotline on 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness.

The public may also call 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg for advice on scams.

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