BSP warns against increasingly prevalent ‘pasalo-benta’ auto-loan scams

You can never be too safe these days
by Drei Laurel | Sep 29, 2021
PHOTO: Shutterstock

The secondhand car market isn’t just a trick industry to navigate. It can potentially be a dangerous one as well.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has just released a statement telling car buyers and sellers to be wary of the pasalo-benta auto-loan scams that are becoming more prevalent in the industry. This comes a little over the month after the agency issued a memorandum regarding organized crimes being committed through auto loans.

Here’s how the scam goes: Unscrupulous individuals or syndicates will buy a car mid-installment, telling the seller that they will assume payments for the unit’s auto loan. Of course, the perpetrators have no intention of paying anything, so instead, they sell the unit to an unsuspecting buyer using fake documents.

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End result? The unit is eventually repossessed, the end-buyer ends up without a car because all he or she has on her are fake documents, and the wrongdoers run off with the money.

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According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), syndicates perform scams with the aid of fake conduction stickers, license plates, and employment certificates. They also resort to identity theft, using a real person’s information with a fake or incorrect photo.

To help fight off these scammers, the BSP is calling on financial institutions to “prevent these crimes by reinforcing the conduct of customer identification and verification procedures as part of the customer due diligence.”

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Guys, remember: If something is too good to be true, it most probably is. Actually, regardless of how good a deal is, it’s always important to practice your due diligence. You can never really be too safe these days.

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