Livestock owners warned of scam

2018-12-28 06:00

The SAPS Stock Theft Unit in KwaZulu-Natal is warning livestock owners to be aware of the modus operandi used by the stock thieves. Criminals are targeting livestock owners by informing them that they had found and recovered their stolen livestock.

They pretend to be police officers from the Stock Theft Unit from another province investigating their case. They then inform the victim that their livestock has been recovered at another province but they have to deposit a certain amount of cash so that their livestock can be transported back home.

Criminals are demanding amounts from R2000 upwards. Police are cautioning livestock owners not to fall prey to this scam. Please beware that police will never request cash from a victim. Stock Theft Investigators will in fact assist victims and transport them to view the recovered livestock. Criminals are targeting victims who are close to the borders in areas such as Bulwer, Impendle, Bergville. All the victims of stock theft are advised to make contact with their investigating officers as soon as they have opened a stock theft case. If they have been contacted by these criminals, they are advised to immediately contact the nearest police station or their investigating officer.

Familiarise yourselves with detectives investigating your cases and do not fall prey to these fraudsters. When receiving such calls or text messages, please ask the caller for the brand mark of your recovered livestock as well as their contact details and then contact police immediately.

This guidance has been issued to prevent such incidents in future. Below are some tips that will help minimise the chances of being the victim of this scam:

- The SAPS will never ask or inform complainants to deposit any money into any account.

- The Stock Theft Investigators will in fact assist complainants and drive complainants using state vehicles to view the alleged recovered livestock if photos cannot be obtained.

It is advised that the members of the public or livestock owners, should in such instances gather as much information as possible and report it directly to the Stock Theft Commander serving their respective areas.

INFORMATION SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING COULD ASSIST IN IDENTIFYING FRAUDSTERS:-

- The cell number of the person who called.

- The date and time of the call.

- The name and surname of the person who called.

- An address where the livestock can be viewed.

- The account number of the account into which the money should be paid and the account holder’s name.

- An e-mail address or another cell number where confirmation of payment should be forwarded.

We would also like to warn all livestock owners to be cautious and very careful during this time of year, as these scams are once again active in the province, especially during the festive season.

— Supplied

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