ACCORDING to Mountain Rise Police spokesperson Gay Ebrahim, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Umgungundlovu North Cluster has witnessed a recent spike in fraud cases where vehicles are advertised in newspapers and on the internet. He advised the public to be aware of these scams in order to combat them this festive season. “Innocent victims are falling prey to these advertisements and depositing money into accounts of the fraudsters that have set up these fake sales without having viewed the vehicles or establishing the legitimacy of the sale,” said Ebrahim. Ebrahim said that after the victims deposit the money into the fraudster’s account, they soon realise that it was a scam when they wait for the vehicles that are never going to be delivered. They then find out that the said company or individual does not actually exist. “We are appealing to the community to be extremely cautious when purchasing items on the internet and newspapers and ask that individuals make sure that they verify products before purchasing or making any payments,” “We know that victims are often pressurised into depositing monies immediately by being fed lies that the items have plenty of buyers and that stock will run out if they do not act. Out of desperation, they purchase the products and fall victim to these fraudsters,” said Ebrahim. Ebrahim has urged the public to come forward should they know of anyone or have ever been a victim of the modus operandi to contact their local police station or Crime Stop at 0860 10111 immediately.