Ricochet News

Residents warned of fake cops targeting people at ATMs in elaborate scam

Dec 4, 2017
Residents warned of fake cops targeting people at ATMs in elaborate scam

Detectives in Port Alfred are currently searching for two suspects, pretending to be police officers, who allegedly scammed two residents just as they left a local ATM with a large sum of cash last week.

"One of them is in possession of a police appointment certificate that's in a wallet. The first suspect was wearing an orange/maroon jersey, brown corduroy trousers and black shoes. He is bald and is clean shaven," described police spokesperson, Captain Mali Govender.

"The second suspect is wearing a black cotton lumber jacket, khaki trousers, black Panama hat. He is short in height, dark in complexion, also bald."

Captain Govender said that both suspects approached the victim, who had just left an ATM in town.

"She was in the company of a relative when the incident occurred.

"According to the victim, they left a local ATM after making a withdrawal. On their way to a local mall, one of the suspects dropped a packet that was filled with cash," she added.

"The victim picked up the packet after which the second suspect confronted the victim and asked if they picked up money. He then threatened the victim and produced a police appointment certificate demanding them to hand over whatever money they have.

"The suspect then gave them directions of where to go to have their fingerprints taken at a local chain store. The victims did as they told and when they returned to where the 'policeman' was he had disappeared with all the cash."

Captain Govender said that this is now the new trend suspects are using to rob unsuspecting victims.

She said that the SAPS will not: "seize or ask you to hand any of your belongings without giving you a reasonable explanation, and should we confiscate your property, you will be requested to accompany the police officer to the police station".

Captain Govender added; "We will also not ask for you to go and have your fingerprints taken at a chain store. The community is urged to never hand over any of your property to any person.

"Be aware of your surroundings when drawing cash from an ATM. If you are not comfortable and suspect that you are being followed, proceed to a busy place.

"Do not pick up parcels that have been dropped by someone, rather alert the person who has dropped the package. We believe that these suspects were watching the victims and followed them."