Ferrari 488 Pista.

Johannesburg - Ferrari’s local importer has warned its customers about a recall scam that is currently doing its rounds.

Scuderia South Africa posted on its Facebook page that fraudsters impersonating Ferrari dealers were calling customers to inform them that their vehicle was involved in a recall campaign. Once the owner has given the go-ahead, the fraudsters send a flatbed truck to the owner’s premises to collect the car.

This isn’t the first time that such a scam has been attempted in South Africa. Back in December, insurance company King Price warned that there had been an “alarming rise” in the number of theft syndicates trying to con motorists into handing over their car keys, or even their personal information. 

This is made to seem very legit, as the scamster knows the client’s registration number and other personal details. 

Meanwhile, Ferrari has urged its clients to contact their nearest dealership directly should they receive such a phone call. 

“Should there be a recall of Ferrari vehicles, or service campaigns of any kind, Ferrari headquarters will never call you directly requesting the collection of your car,” Scuderia SA said in a statement.

“If you get a call from someone you believe is falsely claiming to be a Ferrari employee, please contact the dealership in question directly to validate the information.” 

Clients can visit the Ferrari page for contact information.

Insurance implications

King Price warned that there could be insurance implications in such a scam as some insurers won’t pay out for a vehicle that was stolen in such a manner, so the onus is on the car owner to ensure that the keys are never handed over to the wrong person.

“Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. By targeting dealership records, they often have detailed info about you, like when last you took your car for a service and even how many kilometres you drive per month," said Jacques Victor of King Price.

How to avoid being scammed

1. If someone calls you claiming that your car is subject to a recall, contact the manufacturer or 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 the nearest dealership. Or the police.

IOL Motoring