The Financial Crime Unit of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division is warning car dealerships and individuals selling cars of a scam occurring in Halifax.
Over the last week, a number of local car dealerships have been victimized by a scam involving the purchase of a vehicle. A man attends the dealership, negotiates the purchase price for a vehicle and promises to transfer the money directly into the dealership’s bank account. Once the dealer receives notification that the funds have been transferred into their account, the vehicle is turned over to the man. The dealership is informed by their bank days later that the funds were transferred fraudulently, leaving the dealership with no payment for the vehicle. To date, four dealerships have reported such incidents to police, with combined losses in excess of $50,000.
Although the investigation is in its early stages, it appears that the man deposits fraudulent cheques in his own bank accounts and then transfers the fraudulent amounts into the dealerships’ accounts. When the banks determine that the cheques are fraudulent, they cancel all subsequent transactions on the accounts, including the money transfers to the dealerships.
The suspect is described as a white man in his fifties, 6’1”, 300 lbs., with a thin moustache and dark hair.
To avoid this type of fraud, the Financial Crime Unit recommends that you confirm the validity of bank transfers with your financial institution prior to the exchange of goods or services. Contact police immediately if you become aware of a scam or suspect you have been a victim of a fraud.