Tracking companies warn of new car theft scam in SA - here’s how to avoid it
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JOHANNESBURG - Two prominent vehicle tracking companies have warned about a new car theft scam in South Africa, and it appears that the scamsters are targeting high-end cars that are linked to several tracking companies.
Tracker warned that some of its customers had been contacted by these scamsters, who pretend to work for the tracking company in question.
How it works
The perpetrators contact the vehicle owner, saying that they need to come out to repair or replace the tracking device as they have detected a fault with it. Once on site, the scamsters either claim that they can’t complete the repairs on site, and thus need to take the car back to the fitment centre, or they say that they need to test drive the car to test the system.
High-end cars targeted
Another vehicle tracking company, Netstar, has warned that the synciate is targeting “high-value” vehicles. The company says it has launched a multi-pronged strategy to combat the threat, with alerts having been sent to customers, staff and fitment centres.
An investigation is also being carried out, the company stated:
“We are conducting an inquiry to ensure customer information remains protected and to help apprehend suspects so that justice is served,” said Netstar’s Operations Executive Charles Morgan.
“We have alerted customers of the situation, warning them to be vigilant, as several attempts have been thwarted by alert customers.”
What to do if you are contacted
Tracker has advised its customers that if anyone contacts them claiming to be from the tracking company, they must at the very least ask verification questions associated with the account. If a request is sent by email, it’s also wise to check the address that it’s sent from, as all correspondence, from Tracker for instance, should have ‘tracker.co.za’ in the address.
If suspicious, clients should contact the call centre on 0860 60 50 40.
Technicians will never request a test drive
However, the tracking company also pointed out that a Tracker technician will never need to test drive a customer’s vehicle, nor should they ever ask to.
Netstar added that its investigations show that no customer information was compromised by the company itself and that criminals acquired customer phone and vehicle details by other means.
“Netstar is sharing all relevant evidence with the SA Police Service. A joint working group has also been established with the industry stakeholders to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”
Netstar said customers are advised to ask anyone making a booking to quote their account number and call the Customer Service centre on 0860 12 24 36 to confirm any appointments.