Two people have recently been scammed out of about half a million rand as vehicle scam strikes loom, Ladysmith Gazette reports.
Both these people were in the process of selling their vehicles. The vehicles had been advertised online and they had received responses.
The first incident took place last month when the seller was contacted and the ‘buyer’ met him at a parking lot in Ladysmith. The ‘buyer’ did an internet transfer on her laptop and the seller then received an SMS stating that his bank account had been credited with the agreed-upon amount.
The buyer drove off with the vehicle, a VW Jetta, including its logbook.
When the seller checked his bank account, he found that no transaction had taken place and no money had been deposited into his account. It is believed that a fake SMS had been generated.
The second incident took place this week when a Toyota Hilux was taken from a seller in the same way.
Police are warning the community to avoid selling their vehicles in this way as vehicle scam strikes are looming . Rather make use of a reputable company to sell your vehicle.
If you do sell your car, do not rely on an SMS as proof that money was deposited; check directly with your bank and ensure that the money deposited is immediately available to you and that there is not a waiting period on the transfer of the money.
Alternatively, make use of bank guaranteed cheques or use a cooling-off period of a few days in which you can verify with your bank before handing over your vehicle to anyone.
– Caxton News Service.