CRA has been made aware of an alarming scam doing the rounds and request the public to please take notice and respond with caution.

This scam relates particularly to high value vehicles, and we encourage you to be mindful and to report any suspicious behaviour to their nearest police station.

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 is a recall and that it is not safe to drive their vehicle. 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 not take any 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 and arrangements are made and agreed with the vehicle owner. The vehicle owner is provided with the name of the towing service and advised that the repaired vehicle will be returned 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 while the repair is taken 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.

This is a professional scam which several people have fallen victim to. Please always call the vehicle manufacturer or dealership back on their landline to verify the authenticity of the recall. Please take notice of this warning and respond with the necessary caution.