Ricochet News

Port Elizabeth police warn of conmen targeting victims of car theft

Nov 9, 2017
Port Elizabeth police warn of conmen targeting victims of car theft

The Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit in Port Elizabeth is warning victims of theft of motor vehicles to be wary of conmen, who are contacting them and informing them that their vehicle has been recovered.

"In the last two months, it has been noted that about ten complainants have reported that they had received calls from ‘police officials’ claiming to have recovered their vehicles," described police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

"It is alleged that the caller posing as the  police official will contact the complainant and inform him that his vehicle was recovered and that he needed to pay R1 500 - R2 000 into an e-wallet account through money market payment.

"The vehicle is usually ‘recovered ‘out of the area  than from where it was originally stolen.

"The caller will also relay that once the money is paid in then he will make arrangements for the release of the vehicle."

Colonel Naidu said that excited complainants on hearing the news of the recovery without giving any thought to the conversation, immediately pay in the money and never hear from the person again.

"Police are warning complainants that at no stage will money be requested from us for the recovery or release of a stolen or hijacked vehicle," she said.

"If such a call is received, always contact the investigating officer to verify such information. Make sure that you have the number of your investigating officer as well as your case number.

"Don’t ever accept a number from the caller. At this stage, it is not clear how the conman has information about the theft of such vehicle or contact details of the complainant."