Where’s legitimate money to be made you can be sure criminals will try to use it as a way to steal from innocent victims. This is certainly true of car leasing. Car leasing is when you pay a monthly fee for a car and hand it back at an agreed time, rather than a personal contact purchase (PCP) agreement where you have the option of buying the car at the end of a repayment term, or handing it back to roll into a new deal. Leasing is very popular as it offers an affordable way to drive a nice car, plus the chance to drive a new car regularly.
Head to YesAuto’s leasing page to find out more about how leasing works and find a great, legitimate leasing deal on a new car.
Over the last few years fraudsters have realised the popularity of car leasing means they can post fake adverts for leasing deals online which entice people to contact them. When the adverts are clicked most of the time users are asked to submit personal details - name, address, who they bank with - which can be then used to defraud them out of money. It’s become such a problem that Gerry Keaney, chief executive of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) recently 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.”
Sometimes the fake adverts are from companies who can legally sell you a leasing deal but the advert they posted is a completely fake price used as a way to get you to call them, at which point they will try to sell you a much more expensive deal: an incredibly shady and dishonest practice.
Luckily there are a few good tips on how to spot a fake leasing advert, which are mostly found on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Follow this guide to avoid being stung.
This is the biggest red flag of all. For anyone to be a legitimate leasing broker they must be signed up to and adhere by the rules dictated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which state anyone being offered a credit deal must first be given a credit check to ascertain they can afford it. Therefore if any advert claims you won’t be given a credit check it is lying, and probably not a genuine company.
If you speak to someone on the phone or via messages, they should not be asking you for any personal details right away. If they do then they are likely a scammer. Never give anyone personal information until you are sure it is a legitimate company.
We said don’t give any personal information until you’re sure the company is genuine, and it’s simple enough to do via a Google search. If it is legitimate company it should have a slick website and even user reviews. They should have a landline phone number and email address for you to contact them via. If you’re still not sure, you can contact the BVRLA who should be able to confirm whether the company is real.
A common swindler’s trick is to bombard you with information - usually full of confusing jargon - and hope to have confused you enough to sign a deal which isn’t right for you or volunteer personal information. Any reputable firm will send you a full breakdown of the deal you are enquiring about which you can read and digest at your own leisure, and they should answer any questions you have in a way you can understand. Never commit to a deal you don’t understand or lack information on.
Regarding adverts which are designed to hook you in before being persuaded into a more expensive deal, the first sign this is happening is being told that the deal in the advert has expired for some reason. Common reasons they will give include the fact that the car in the advert has sold out or that the price didn’t include the extras the car comes with, such as a special paint job or bigger wheels.
If the car is genuinely available for leasing, the company should be able to provide you with a chassis number which is unique to the model. For them to be offering the deal the car should be in their stock so they should have that information to hand. If they refuse to give you a chassis number, steer clear. It’s likely there is no car available.