Don’t deposit money for online car sales, warns SAPS

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Police say ‘sellers’ have asked their victims to pay a deposit to secure a deal, only to leave them high and dry.

Durban North police have warned residents to be extremely wary when purchasing vehicles from online websites. This comes after two cases were registered at the station with residents being scammed out of more than R20 000, North Glen News reports.

Captain Raymond Deokaran, spokesperson for the station, said in the past, victims were requested to pay a deposit in order to secure a deal, only to be left high and dry.

“We’ve had several cases over recent years and two in the last month. In both cases the victims were asked to pay a sum of more than R20 000 collectively to secure a bike and a vehicle only to find out they had been scammed. In both cases a large deposit was requested and once the money was paid, the scam artists disconnected the cell numbers they were using. We are urging residents to verify the authenticity of an online deal before parting with your money,” he said.

Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane, provincial spokesperson for the police, added vehicles were advertised at such bargain prices that the buyer rushed to make the requested deposit into the bank account that is provided by the would-be seller so as not to lose out on a great buy.

“Sadly, once the deposited money has been withdrawn from the account, the buyer finds that the sellers’ cellphone has been disconnected, and it is usually at this stage that he or she realises that their deposit money has disappeared with the con artist. Their dream of getting a vehicle at a bargain price is shattered. We advise the public to purchase vehicles from registered vehicle dealers,” he said.

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