A crime-combating forum held daily by officers at the Pretoria Central police station has revealed the methods of a group of scammers the public should be on the lookout for.
Bargain hunters looking for electronic devices such as plasma TVs, laptops and DVD players should steer clear of a gang operating in the Bloed Street area behind the mall.
Pretoria Central spokeswoman Sergeant Ann Poortman said electronic goods were advertised to the public at a reduced cost for cash.
Once the money had been exchanged, the goods were handed over to the buyer in sealed boxes. In some cases, invoices were also included.
Once they opened the boxes, the buyers realised they had been filled with bricks or newspaper.
“Plasma DVD players and laptops are the most popular items,” Poortman said.
Poortman said one of the scammers operating in the city was a young man in his early thirties. He targeted young women with laptops. He mainly operated in the Hatfield and Brooklyn areas, but some incidents in the CBD as well as Pretoria West had been reported.
Poortman said about three such cases were reported a week.