A stolen vehicle scam on the rise

The Benoni SAPS. (Stock image)

Lee Roelofse writes:

On May 18 our work bakkie, a dark blue Ford Bantam, was stolen outside a pub in Great North Road at about 6pm.

The bakkie was reported stolen on May 19 at the Benoni Police Station where they supplied us with a case number.

On May 23, we were called by a Constable Langa to warn us about people who are phoning and requesting money to recover stolen vehicles.

After his call, we received a call from an “inspector” who said he was from the Benoni Police Station. He had our name, case number, address and everything.

He indicated that the bakkie was recovered in Barberton and he said it will take 90 days for the police to bring it back to Benoni, and he offered to bring it back.

In the next two days, he requested that payment of R4 000 must be made – R2 000 deposit beforehand and R2 000 on receipt of the vehicle – sent through an eWallet.

He even put us in connection with another person who said he was the driver.

We checked with the Benoni Police Station and they said this was a scam and the vehicle had not been recovered.

On May 24, we got another call to say the vehicle had been recovered in Hammanskraal and we were to meet an inspector at the Bedford Avenue pound to collect the vehicle.

We went to the pound only to find out that we were the fourth people with the same story and that our vehicle had not been recovered.

There is a massive scam going on and it is clearly an inside job, with the fact that these con artists have the case number, contact name and address is very scary.

They are extremely professional in how they handle the situation and it’s very easy to fall for this ploy.

Please warn other Benonians.

We thank Constable Lunga for the warning. If he hadn’t warned us we would have fallen for this scam.

Editor’s comment: Police are warning residents against people pretending to be police officers who are phoning people who have had their cars stolen or hijacked.

Benoni SAPS spokesperson Captain Nomsa Sekele said when a stolen car is recovered, no amount of money is required from the victim to tow their car to the police pound.

“These scammers contact the victims and inform them that their vehicle has been recovered and a fee is payable for the towing costs,” said Sekele.“They further inform the victims that the fee has to be paid electronically.”

Sekele said the police do not charge for the towing of stolen and abandoned vehicles to the police pound.

“We are appealing to the community to work with the police and report those incidents in order to prevent such criminal activities.

“People must remember, criminals are opportunists who always strike when a person is vulnerable,” she said. She added that the community must always be alert; it is their right to know who is investigating their cases and to be updated about the investigation.

“Under no circumstances should anyone pay for a vehicle to be towed to the police pound.”

Anyone who has been a victim of this scam is urged to contact the Benoni SAPS on 011 747 0053 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Also read: Beware of SIM swap scam

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  AUTHOR
Benoni City Times

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