Owners of Ferraris and other high-performance or expensive cars have been warned to be vigilant in light of a new, and very clever, scam that has been reported in several locations. The thieves are so convincing they have enticed many owners of luxury vehicles to simply give them the keys, and then watch their pride and joy loaded onto a flat-bed truck and driven away. How does it work?
The owner will receive a call from the fraudsters pretending to be the official Ferrari dealer or importer. The call informs them that their vehicle is subject to an urgent recall, and that a truck will be at the premises the next day to collect the vehicle. The clever bit is that when the truck does arrive, it’s driven by a uniformed man who presents a set of official papers for the owner to sign. The impression given is that this is all above board.
A couple of days later, the owner may call the dealer to see how things are progressing, and the dealer – of course – has no idea what they are on about! The car has been spirited away, and by now been stripped of valuable parts that can be sold without suspicion. Detail touches even include disabling the security GPS locator on the car, proving that this is a crew who know what they are doing.
Over the Border
A recent theft of this type involved a Ferrari 812 Superfast, a rare and desirable model retailing at over £250,000 in the UK. This example had been ‘recalled’ and collected, and was discovered days later in Mozambique but without its 6.5litre V12 engine.
Audi and Toyota owners have also been victims of the scam, with Audi in particular having posted a warning on its Facebook page in South Africa. Likewise, Ferrari has issued the following warning:
“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. 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.”
If you live in the country and own a high-end car, be aware of fraudulent recall claims, and always check before you let your precious car be driven away.
Images Copyright of : Ferrari.