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Conmen posing as car dealers causing grief

Monday, February 18, 2013
Mark Baynes, right, a customer looking to purchase a foreign-used car speaks with Visham Babwah, head of T&T Automotive Dealers Association at P&V Marketing on Saturday. PHOTO: ALANA SURAJ

Beware of conmen operating in the foreign-used car industry. This warning comes from Visham Babwah, head of the T&T Automotive Dealers Association. In an interview, Babwah, who heads P&V Marketing, said he had more than 20 reports for 2013 from angry customers who have lost money to conmen who promised them cars cheaper than market prices. 



Babwah said the conmen are giving the industry a bad name. He said the scam involves a so-called dealer whose operations include an online showroom where he displays cars on the Internet to customers and promises them a bargain. The potential victim is asked to cough up more than half the cost to have the vehicle shipped to T&T. Babwah said the victim is then told the vehicle would take six to eight weeks to arrive.


By that time the conman disappears with the money. Babwah said a man came to his office last week in tears after he lost $100,000 to a conman who promised to get him a Nissan X-Trail for $20,000 less than the normal market price. Babwah said people should only buy from registered dealers and should not purchase cars that they see online. 


“You should buy cars that you see on the lot. A car from the lot should take at most two weeks to license once the paperwork is completed. “Check around and compare prices and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no steal of a deal waiting, only conmen posing as dealers waiting to steal your money with bogus deals. “If you are unsure of the dealer you can contact the Ministry of Trade at 675-8242 or contact the TTADA at 784-1654 for advice,” he said.


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