In the past, the police has also warned residents of other ways in which scammers can try to swindle you when it comes to vehicle sales in particular. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are planning to sell your car, always make sure you know the best way to go about the sale, to not fall prey to scammers. On Friday, May 17, the Abu Dhabi Police General Command warned residents of fraudulent online practices, through which “false and deferred financial receipts” are presented to victims, in exchange for immediate acquisition of vehicles or other goods offered for sale.

In the past, the police has also warned residents of other ways in which scammers can try to swindle you when it comes to vehicle sales in particular.

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Here are three different tricks that you should be aware of.

1. Forged bank receipts

According to the advisory by Abu Dhabi Police, when you put up an ad for selling your car, a buyer may approach you and agree to check the car and make the payment. However, at the time of payment, the buyer may send forged bank receipts, and claim that the money transfer takes several days as per the receipts. Based on this information, a seller may hand over the car to the buyer, falling victim to a scam.

2. Taking advantage of weekends and public holidays

Last year, Sharjah Police also warned residents of a new modus operandi it had detected, where criminals would deposit fake cheques in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) during weekends or public holidays, taking advantage of the bank holiday.

Sharjah Police reported that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had received several reports of criminals reaching out to sellers through their online ads, reaching an agreement with the seller and then depositing cheques in ATM machines while wearing a disguise, so that bank surveillance cameras do not recognise them.

As soon as the seller receives a text message from the bank stating that “a cheque has been deposited for the agreed upon amount, and that the deposit is under collection”, they complete the sale procedures and deliver the vehicle to the scammer.

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3. Taking possession of car in areas not monitored by security cameras

Abu Dhabi Judicial Department also issued a warning last year on how scammers take advantage of the suspension of banking services during public holidays, adding that another trick employed by such criminals is to select a place for the handover of the item that does not have security cameras. This makes it harder to prosecute the perpetrators.

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How to stay safe

Now that you know the different ways fraudsters may operate, how can you stay safe? The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department advised residents to always be careful and not conclude any sale deals during official holidays. It is also important to not hand over the car until you receive its full price.

In case you do fall prey to such a scam, it is critical to go to your nearest police station to file a report and alert the police.