National 20.9.2016 02:02 pm

Thieves scam victim after stealing car

A cellphone phishing scam. Picture Neil McCartney

A cellphone phishing scam. Picture Neil McCartney

The victim says her daughter gave the thief R1 600 to have the car back.

A 70-year-old Centurion woman and her daughter have fallen victim to a wily fraudster.

The two women were scammed by a robber pretending to be a police officer returning their family car that had been stolen earlier in the day, Rekord Centurion reported.

The elderly woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Rekord that last Friday, she had gone to her daughter’s house to water her plants, as she was away overseas and parked her 1995 Honda on the side of the road.

While watering the garden, she said she had heard some noises from the street but did not think much of it.

“When I got out to leave at midday, my car was gone.

“I don’t know what would have happened if I had gone outside to take a look [when she heard the noises].”

Later that evening, the woman said she received an SMS reporting that her car had been found in Rustenburg.

“Then someone called my other daughter saying he was a warrant officer from the police. He told her that since the car was found in Rustenburg, she should pay R1 600 to have it returned.”

The woman said her daughter went ahead and made the payment into the bank account provided.

“When my daughter called back and asked when the car would be returned, the so-called warrant officer asked for R180 airtime.”

The woman said since her daughter refused, they had not heard from the man again but had reported the stolen car to the Lyttelton police.

Colonel Alida Esterhuysen, of the Lyttelton police station, confirmed the crime had been reported.

“The police are investigating this matter.”

Esterhuysen said the police would contact the victim to open another case of fraud, so the two can be investigated separately.

“In instances like these, they [thieves] always find ways to scam people. But it might just be luck that the perpetrators used a real bank account to commit the crime.”

– Caxton News Service

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