Vehicle dealer fakes CaseTrust accreditation
A woman in Malaysia thought she was buying a car from a trustworthy dealer in Singapore, as she noticed that the dealer was accredited under the Consumers Association of Singapore’s (Case) scheme that identified reliable sellers.
But it turned out that the dealer – SG Export – had falsely represented itself under the joint CaseTrust - Singapore Vehicle Traders Association (SVTA) accreditation scheme.
In a statement on Tuesday, Case said it received the complaint from the woman on April 14.
She made a payment for the vehicle on April 10, but was met by a request for more money from SG Export, which neglected to provide any documentation except for a one-page “car-booking letter” that bore both Case’s and SVTA’s logos.
The dealer also provided a fake address on the letter and stated the cost of the vehicle as RM43,750 (S$13,180).
“SG Export is not a registered business entity in Singapore. It is also not accredited under the CaseTrust-SVTA scheme,” Case said, adding that it has reported this complaint to the police.
Reminding buyers to exercise caution when making purchases with SG Export, Case stressed the need to verify the authenticity of businesses on the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Business Filing Portal, which can be accessed at www.bizfile.gov.sg
In addition, buyers can also check if a business has valid CaseTrust accreditation on Case’s website. If they encounter a business that falsely represents itself, they can report it through the watchdog’s hotline at 6461 -1800 or its website.
Online vehicle purchasing scams have been a bugbear for buyers in Malaysia since 2019, when there were 552 reports of such scams. Victims lost about RM3.2 million in total as a result.
The following year, the number of reports rose to 678, with total losses amounting to RM5.9 million.
In these instances, Malaysian police said the scammers advertised on social media the sale of vehicles that allegedly come from Singapore, Thailand or Langkawi.
The vehicles were advertised below market price, and interested buyers were instructed to transfer sums of money to settle various matters, including road tax and customs duty.
After the payments were made, however, the victims did not receive the vehicles.