automotive industry

Bangko Sentral warns of ‘pasalo-benta’ auto loan scam

Looking for affordable cars? Better take a closer look at vehicle documents.

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/

Synara Villanueva is a Rappler intern. She is an incoming fourth year journalism student from the University of Santo Tomas.

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