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Beware online car scams spike in FS | African news network 7


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Beware online car scams spike in FS

January 19, 2017

VEHICLE SCAM: Fraudulent car buyers cash on vehicle owners who sell their cars through social media or the internet Picture: Supplied

VEHICLE owners who are trying to sell their cars privately using the internet and social media have been warned of fraudulent buyers.

This comes after several cases were reported to the police in Sasolburg, where sellers would place their car on the market only to be duped later.

Police there said several cases had been reported where vehicle owners would advertise a vehicle for sale on social media and an interested individual would contact them to arrange a test drive.

Police spokesperson Capt Livhuhani Hani said after the test drive was complete, the potential buyer would inform the seller that he was willing to buy the vehicle and the owner should give him his banking details so that the money could be transferred electronically.

“The money is then transferred to the seller’s bank account. The seller would then receive an SMS from the bank confirming the payment. “The seller would hand the vehicle over to the buyer,” she said.

Hani said a few minutes after the buyer left with the vehicle and the vehicle’s registration papers, the seller would receive an SMS from the bank notifying him of the reversal of the payment. “At this stage it is too late to stop the buyer, as he has already driven away with the vehicle,” she said.

She said police warned vehicle owners not to hand over the vehicles before they were sure that the amount was in the bank and could not be reversed by the person who deposited the money.

“Sellers can also request a copy of an identification document as well as proof of residence from the seller, so that the person can be traceable,” Hani said.

This is not the first time that police have issued such a warning. In July last year, police reported that a group of frauds had used the internet and some online car dealerships to steal cars by showing an interest in a vehicle, asking to test drive it and then not making the payment.

They would also use false online banking systems that would send fake SMSes of transactions made to the seller.

At the time, police spokesperson Const Sinah Mpakane said such incidents happened throughout the country, but that 20 cases of such incidents had been reported in the Free State. It is not clear how many cases of similar cons have been reported this year.

The SAPS reminded sellers and buyers to protect themselves when making online transactions. They recommend that people do not give away banking details to unknown persons, verify the buyer’s details beforehand and not give away any property until a payment has been made.

-KAMOGELO SEEKOEI

Source: http://www.ann7.com/beware-online-car-scams-spike-in-fs/


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