A case involving a salesperson of a Japanese car brand has gone viral over the weekend. The salesperson allegedly took deposits from customers that were supposed to go towards the purchase of a car but when it was time to take delivery, it was discovered that the deposits paid by the customers earlier were not properly paid to the dealership for the car purchase.
Car dealerships have advised customers time and time again to avoid being scammed by bogus sales advisors asking customers to make payments to personal bank accounts. We previously carried an announcement by Perodua back in 2021 advising the same.
“We have recently discovered at least two scammers, posing as Perodua sales advisors, asking customers to make booking fee or deposit payments to personal bank accounts. We take this opportunity to remind all our valued customers to only make payments to official company accounts or over the counters at our outlets,” said Perodua president and CEO Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said.
However, it seems that scammers have figured out a workaround, perhaps inspired by the 1MDB case where payments to bank accounts that were similarly named but not exactly the same were involved. According to a FB posting which included a police report, cash payments of up to RM90,000 were made to a non-personal bank account, but the bank account did not actually belong to the dealership.
Since scammers have apparently stepped up their game now, we have to be extra vigilant. Always verify the correct bank account for deposits with the dealership’s finance personnel. One red flag in this case would be the bank account name does not have Sdn Bhd in the name, usually car dealerships would be Sdn Bhd. You can always speak to the cashier at the aftersales area to make sure.
Always make sure you get a receipt as well, as the police report mentions that receipts were not given with the excuse of the system being down.