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2022/06/07      |  Written By:  Warrant Officer J Mostert   |   Province:  Western Cape

Criminal cases for theft and fraud are still opened on a regular basis by complainants whom have been duped by unscrupulous scamsters. The majority of cases are whereby the complainants have sold items on various platforms which include social media platforms such as Facebook marketplace and other sites.

SAPS Bothasig would like to remind potential sellers not to hand over sold items to third parties without obtaining the details of the seller. It is also important to note that a sms informing the seller that the money has been paid into the banking account is not a proof of payment. Personally check the bank account itself to verify if the money is in fact in the account. The buyer can be advised that the property will only be handed over once the payment reflects on the bank account. Explain that it is a temporary measure to ensure that the payment has been made.

SAPS Bothasig would also like to warn people selling property to be very wary when the buyer requests that it will be collected by a third party. Experience has shown that in most cases the property cannot be recovered when handed over, as the seller has no particulars, which include positive identification information, or information of the vehicle, which was used by the third party. The alarm bells should already be ringing when this type of suggestion is made and the best advice is to cancel the transaction immediately to ensure that the seller does not become a victim.

Do not offer to deliver the property to the buyer in areas unknown to the seller. Members of the community has done so, and ended up either being robbed, or the buyer disappearing with the merchandise when fetching the money. A case was registered during this week where a seller was requested to bring the item on sale, a TV, to the N7 highway opposite Du Noon for delivery. In the end the complainant was hijacked and lost the TV and his vehicle.

Adhere to the saying, “If it looks too good to be true, it usually is!” Be aware!

On the Bothasig CPF Facebook page there are more crime prevention hints available to educate members of the community on how to avoid falling prey to these scamsters.

Put one over on them… be aware, and educate yourself!