Scam: ‘Cheap car’ seller targets PMB buyers

2008-08-18 00:00

A SCAM targeting prospective vehicle buyers has been detected in Pietermaritzburg, and police are warning members of the public about it.

Police spokeswoman Inspector Joey Jeevan said a number of people have fallen victim to a dubious car dealer.

His business location is unknown and prospective buyers communicate with him only through ever-changing cellphone numbers.

“An advert is placed in the classified section of various newspapers offering a vehicle for sale. The advert is usually very brief and the selling price is more than reasonable, thus inviting prospective buyers,” said Jeevan.

As tempting as the advert sounds, none of the buyers has received a vehicle despite having money deducted from their bank accounts.

Jeevan said the man, who has an “Indian accent”, identifies himself as a doctor to his would-be customers.

“[He] convinces the buyer to purchase the vehicle after which his banking details are supplied to the buyer in order for payment to be directly deposited into his account. The transaction is normally concluded without them having met, or the vehicle being viewed. The money is then withdrawn from the account shortly after payment.

“When the purchaser calls the number appearing in the advert again for collection of the vehicle, the number is no longer available and the person cannot be reached or traced,” said Jeevan.

Various cellphone numbers have been used in different adverts.

Any person who may have fallen victim to the scam is asked to contact Inspector Brett Rasmussen at 082 450 8644 or 033 845 2748 (office).

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