Fraud warning for internet buyers
The victim had arrived there intending to buy a camera that had been advertised on the internet.
Police subsequently cautioned internet buyers and sellers to trade carefully when conducting business arranged through internet classifieds.
In a recent incident, Sunnyside police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said a man who had advertised a motor vehicle was hijacked at gunpoint shortly after he had given a “buyer” the opportunity to test-drive it. While driving through Sunnyside, the suspect was joined by an accomplice and turned on the car owner.
“The vehicle is still missing,” he said.
Prospective home buyers are also not immune to scams. A man and a woman were each sentenced to 7-year jail terms by the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court after they had colluded to defraud people.
They had conned people into parting with cash while pretending to sell them houses.
Brooklyn police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach urged potential home buyers to be vigilant and to verify that they were working through reputable estate agents.
It came to light that fraudsters identified houses that were legitimately on the market. They then re-advertised them online. When an interested buyer contacted them, they posed as estate agents and took the client for a viewing of the property.
The fraudsters even had their own lawyers who drew up sale agreements. After payments were made, they disappeared.
“Recently a victim of such a scam recognised the alleged fraudster inside a shopping centre in the east of Pretoria. She alerted security officials who helped to arrest the alleged fraudster,” said Weilbach.
“Fraudsters are often also defrauding persons who want to rent accommodation.
“Often deposits are paid for accommodation that does not exist, has been rented to someone else already,or was never available to start with,” she said.