The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association says it has been made aware of a spate of fraudulent activity, where scammers advertise bogus vehicle leasing deals on social media and are to extract money from unsuspecting customers.
Using social media advertising, including Instagram, the scammers are posing as BVRLA members to lure in customers with advertising headlines targeting those with poor credit ratings.
The BVRLA is urging the public to be vigilant and to think twice before responding to any ads for vehicle leasing deals that require ‘no credit checks’, promote ‘no deposit’ and ask people to ‘direct message’ via text to get the deal.
“These criminals are purposely targeting the vulnerable, scamming money from people who can least afford to lose it,” BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney said. “It’s deplorable. Their adverts can appear very convincing, with some even posing as BVRLA members and citing membership numbers of legitimate members.
“We want to get the message out there that all legitimate leasing brokers adhere to Financial Conduct Authority rules and will carry out credit and affordability checks. Those who don’t will not be legitimate traders and could be out to scam you.”
The BVRLA has reported this emerging threat to the authorities and says it will continue exploring ways to increase awareness. Customers who want to check whether a leasing broker is a genuine BVRLA member can contact the BVRLA directly.