Car buyers and sellers should be vigilant over the increasingly prevalent modus of pasalo-benta or the assume-balance scam, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.
The pasalo-benta modus targets buyers who want to save money by purchasing cheaper vehicles, and also sellers who need to transfer their liabilities.
According to the BSP, the scheme involves a perpetrator who will buy a vehicle from a seller who aims to transfer their liability, with a signed agreement to assume payments for the auto loan.
The perpetrator, without the intention to pay the remaining amortization, will eventually sell the vehicle to an end-buyer through falsified documents.
The buyer will then have no rights over the vehicle, as “the car gets repossessed, leaving the end-buyer with nothing.”
Car theft syndicates have been using the modus.
The BSP advised banks and other financial institutions to observe and strengthen the implementation of anti-money laundering (AML) measures, including the following:
- Customer identification and verification procedures
- Ongoing monitoring of customers and their transactions
- Suspicious transaction reporting
- Continuing AML training, including controls relating to partner/accredited car dealers
The Philippine National Police also reminded the public to be on guard against fraudulent identities and falsified documents. – Synara Villanueva/Rappler.com
Synara Villanueva is a Rappler intern. She is an incoming fourth year journalism student from the University of Santo Tomas.
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