If something sounds too good to be true, it is almost always a scam.
The Fickle Finger of Fate often works in mysterious ways. Exactly fifty-six minutes and thirty-four seconds after reading the News24 article by ‘Tigra,’ under the heading: Drive-a-new-car – has it devolved into a pyramid scheme, I received an SMS from
these schemers this company. They call themselves: Driver Car Sales (DCS). The SMS read: “Looking for the best deals on new cars from R699 p/m. Special offers at your fingertips. SMS ‘BUY’ to 35393 cost 2R3 p/sms, sms STOP to opt out std rate.”
Immediately after reading this unsolicited SMS, I felt my hackle rising. (No, Sakkie, I have no idea where my ‘hackle’ is located, but it’s not what you think, you dirty young man!) I realised that this was a job for the Protector of Windows and Orphans; Saviour of the Old and Infirm; Nemesis of Scammers and Spammers; your Hero and mine: Eric de la Vega de Castro!
What follows is a true account of what happened, so help me Bob:
Eric did a ‘Quick Search’ on the HelloPeter.com website. Driver Car Sales belongs to a group classified as: Companies Who Don’t Respond to Complaints. And I don’t blame them. There are so many people who are unhappy with their service; one would imagine that they just don’t have the time to respond to all the complaints!
But, be that as it may, Eric replied by SMS: ‘BUY,’ to 35393.
Now, typical of many companies who try to sucker people with a scam, DCS replied within minutes: Thank you for showing interest in buying a new car from R699pm. To speed up the application process fill in your details @ http://drivecarsales.co.za/mobiply/
A few minutes later, Eric received a recorded voice-call: “You are on your way to owning a car from only R799pm. Please enter your ID number and press 2,” which Eric promptly did – he sent them a number from his collection of hundreds of fake ID numbers.
(Note: Notice how the monthly payment has gone up from R699pm to R799pm.)
Couple of minutes later, Mr. Recorded Voice phoned again: “‘Congratulations! You have been weighed and found to be heavy enough to drive a new car! One of our consultants will be in contact with you shortly.”
Or something to that effect.
In the meantime, unbeknown to Drive Car Sales, Eric visited their website. He found that they required your Cellphone Number, your ID Number, and your Vehicle Choice.
The list of vehicles that you can choose from, is fairly comprehensive – starting with a Chery QQ3 0.8 TE with 2014 Warp Speed, to a 2014 3.0 LT KLINGON with Shield Detector. The DCS site also contained this dire warning:
“Note: Please note by clicking submit you agree to a pre-check being performed on your ID number.”
“This calls for a two-pronged attack,” said Eric, as he selected his car of choice, a 2014 New Audi A4 1.8T Manual.
He then received this message:
“Thank you for your submission! We will contact you shortly. Please have the following ready: SA Driver’s License, SA Identity Document, Latest Payslip,
We will be sending you a link to upload these shortly.”
And now we wait...
(To be continued after the elections.)