Car buyers are being lured into scams on social media offering bogus car leasing deals, according to the The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA).
The Association has been made aware of a spate of fraudulent activity, where scammers are targeting customers with poor credit using social media advertising, including Instagram.
The scammers are posing as BVRLA members to lure in customers and extract money from them, it said.
The BVRLA is now urging the public to exercise vigilance and think twice before responding to any adverts that promote vehicle leasing deals that require ‘No credit checks’, promote ‘No deposit’ and ask people to ‘Direct Message’ via text to get the deal.
BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney (pictured), said: “These criminals are purposely targeting the vulnerable, scamming money from people who can least afford to lose it. 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 will continue to explore ways of increasing awareness to protect customers and BVRLA members.
Customers who want to check whether a leasing broker is a genuine BVRLA member are advised to contact the BVRLA directly.