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Online bike sales in India now face a new risk — stealing while test riding. Selling or buying of cars and motorcycles through online platforms such as a website or smartphone application has become a common thing in the country. The main advantage of online automotive sales over conventional methods is the convenience it offers.
Now, ET Auto shares that a Pune-based group is reportedly making use of this convenience to steal bikes while conducting test rides. As you would expect, the group will make an appointment with the seller and after reaching the location, they would request for a test ride. Since test riding is a common practice during automotive sales, a good majority of owners will allow it without having the slightest suspicion of theft.
The group in question comprises around three men who convince their victims to meet up outside city parameters or similar areas without much activity going on. Four such incidents have happened in Pune in February 2019 alone.
Sarthak Richariya, a finance company executive from Mundhwa, recently filed a complaint at the Bharati Vidyapeeth police station stating that a man (who identified himself as Sanjay) got in touch with him after coming across his ad regarding the sale of a motorcycle for Rs 1.50 lakh.
The two met each other on February 3. After the meeting, Sanjay demanded a test ride of the motorcycle to make a final decision; for which Sarthak agreed. Sanjay got on the motorcycle and never returned.
Similar incidents happened on February 9 and 12, for motorcycle deals worth Rs 45,000 and Rs 30,000, respectively.
"We suspect that the same group of men is involved in all cases. The suspects won't share their mobile numbers with those who are looking to sell their two-wheelers on the e-commerce website," stated senior inspector of Bharati Vidyapeeth Police, Vishnu Pawar.
Thoughts On The New Risk In Online Bike Sales
Today, a good majority of Indians prefer online services to buy or sell vehicles. Though most of these platforms ensure quality service, it is confined within the website or app and not outside. The security offered by online used-vehicle sales platforms extend only till the two interest parties meet other; post which there are high chances of frauds such as this.