Our insurance broker, Garden Route Insurance Brokers (GRIB), has informed us that for a while now, criminals have been operating a car theft scam we thought you should know about. How the scam works A person posing as an employee of a vehicle manufacturer or dealership (referred to as the scammer) calls the vehicle owner to say that there's been a recall on their vehicle and that it's no longer safe to drive. The scammer is often well-spoken, very persuasive and can verify the vehicle owner's details including, for example, when and where the vehicle was bought. The scammer goes on to say that the vehicle manufacturer/dealership will take no responsibility if the vehicle is driven further and malfunctions. The vehicle owner is advised that a towing service will be arranged to collect the vehicle following which arrangements are made and agreed with the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner is then provided with the name of the towing service and advised that the repaired vehicle will be returned to them within 24 hours. The scammer arranges with the towing service to collect the vehicle. In the meantime, the vehicle owner is advised that the repairs are taking longer than expected and is asked to confirm if the vehicle is fitted with a tracking device. If a tracking device is fitted, the vehicle owner is led to believe that it will be temporarily disconnected so the repairs to take place. The vehicle is then moved to its end destination (often across the border) by which time the vehicle owner realises that the vehicle has been stolen. Tips to avoid being scammed: If someone calls you claiming that your car is subject to a recall, contact the manufacturer or your nearest dealer immediately. In the case of a genuine recall, the manufacturer will send you formal communication that describes the process in detail, the steps to follow, and how to verify what's happening at every stage. Under no circumstances should you hand over your car to a third party. If there's a genuine recall, a car manufacturer won't collect your car themselves, as the liability and risks are too high. Never give out your personal information, or make any kind of payment, to anyone claiming to be from a car dealership or manufacturer. End the call or delete the email and call your nearest dealership or the police.