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HPG shares current scams victimizing car owners

If you haven’t heard of ‘rent-sangla’, you’d better read this

The Highway Patrol Group cares about your car and your ownership. PHOTO FROM HPG

In a country full of people desiring to own cars even if they don’t actually have the means to do so, it’s not surprising that scammers will appear to take advantage of these individuals when the latter can no longer pay their monthly amortization. You know the story. The car buyer is able to pay the low down payment, and also produce the installments for the first few months. Then life’s harsh reality catches up with the ambitious owner: The payments stop getting paid. Soon, the prospect of the vehicle getting repossessed becomes very real.

Welcome to the Republic of Delusional Car Buyers.

When the situation arises, the cash-strapped vehicle owner will jump at any rope thrown at him/her just to avoid losing the car. And that’s how many of these desperate car buyers end up falling victim to scammers who are more interested in getting their vehicle instead of helping them keep it.

That is the warning of the Highway Patrol Group in a post sharing the modi operandi used by said scammers in deceiving clueless vehicle owners. Many of them pose us “legitimate” renters of the car, and then offer the car to “clients.” In truth, these scammers will actually pawn said car to a financier—who will then sell the car to an unwitting buyer who thinks the vehicle and its (usually fake) papers are legit. In the end, a single transaction results in not just a single victim but in several tricked suckers. “Rent-sangla,” they call it.

Other scams identified are the so-called “Facebook Assume Balance Scheme” and the “Pasalo Scheme.” We’re not too familiar with these, but we’re assuming they have to do with scammers offering to help the vehicle owner in continuing the payments.

The bottom line: Never trust anyone—especially strangers—with your vehicle. The deal may sound good to you, but you can lose it all if you’re not careful. We’re a nation of con artists, remember that. Yep, from government down to the crime syndicates.

Of course, the best way to protect yourself against these scams is to stop purchasing things you can’t really afford. Let’s be honest with ourselves. You’ll be thankful in the future. Promise.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.