With the upcoming Chinese New Year festive period, the Police would like to remind members of the public to be vigilant against car rental scams. Such scams typically involve victims paying a deposit or the full amount for the rental of a vehicle after responding to advertisements put up by scammers. In some instances, scammers have been known to use a temporary office to appear credible. After payment is made, the vehicle would not be delivered to the victim on the proposed day of collection, and the scammers would become uncontactable. Between January and November 2019, the Police have received at least 35 reports of car rental scams with a total sum of at least $25,000 being cheated.

Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions:

Be wary of advertisements with generic photographs. Car rental photographs should correspond to the make and model of the vehicle being advertised;

Rent your vehicle from reputable car rental companies;

Check with ACRA to confirm that the car rental business is registered;

Insist on a documentation of the rental details (i.e. payment and particulars of parties involved) and keep a copy for your reference; and

Request to see the vehicle and its log card to verify the ownership.

If you wish to provide any information related to such scams, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. If you require urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.

If you come across a car rental advertisement that seems too good to be true, call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 to verify. Visit www.scamalert.sg to find out more about scams. Join the 'Let's Fight Scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim of scam.

Source: Singapore Police Force