Ricochet News

Police warn buyers of vehicle scams in newspapers and online

Jan 11, 2018
Police warn buyers of vehicle scams in newspapers and online

Police are again warning those wanting to buy cars online of an increase in fraud cases where non-existent vehicles are advertised in the newspapers and on popular online classified website, Gumtree.

"The sales are fraudulent. Innocent victims are falling prey to these advertisements and depositing money into accounts that fraudsters have set up without viewing the vehicles or establishing the legitimacy of the sale," said police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane.

"In a recent case in Umgungundlovu North, the victim deposited R13 800 00 into an account for a Toyota Run-X that was advertised. When the vehicle was not delivered to her, she made enquiries and realised that the company did not exist and the sale was fraudulent."

Thus, police have made an appeal to the community to be cautious when purchasing items advertised on the internet or the newspapers.

"The authenticity of the sales must be verified before making any payments and payments can only be exchanged with the item during the trade," Lt Col Zwane said.

"Victims are often pressurised to deposit the money immediately by being told that there are several offers to purchase and that the item will no longer be available. Out of desperation to buy the item, they fall prey to fraudsters."

Anyone, who has been the victim of the similar modus operandi is requested to contact the local police or our Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.

The police also noticed an increase in hijacking of Uber taxi vehicles in and around Durban.

"Recently the driver of an Uber taxi vehicle was dropping his client and Greenwood Park area where he was approached by three suspects who were waiting in their vehicle," Lt Col Zwane said.

"The driver was allegedly shot and wounded and his vehicle was taken away. A case of attempted murder and hijacking was opened at Greenwood Park police station.

"We appeal to the owners of Uber taxi vehicle to take extra precautions when using their vehicles."