Public warned of new scam

2019-05-22 06:00

THE South African Police Service (SAPS) has warned all Eastern Cape residents against a new scam in which criminals, posing as police officers, have been deceiving members of the public.

This comes after the SAPS became aware in recent weeks of complaints from a number of individuals.

“The SAPS has learnt with serious concern of reports of unknown criminal elements masquerading as police detectives and soliciting large sums of money from unsuspecting relatives of those arrested by the SAPS,” the organisation said in a statement.

“These faceless criminals are phoning relatives of the arrested suspects, whom they know are desperately seeking help to have their loved ones or friends released from custody.”

The SAPS said that the criminals used false names and ranks to introduce themselves as senior police officers who are bringing the suspects’ relatives information in exchange for money.

“On some occasions, they use police members’ names to authenticate their calls and create false expectations as if they are able to get the suspects released by the police, if relatives were to pay a particular amount of money.

“Only the courts of law are authorised to release the arrested persons under regulated and stipulated conditions.

“The SAPS is not a money making organisation, but a government institution which renders its services free of charge and without conditions or strings attached.

“When people lay charges or complaints at a particular police station, they do so willingly and voluntarily without any expectation of whatever nature on the part of the police.”

The SAPS went on to say, “Discussions, enquiries and consultations only take place exclusively between the investigating officer and complainants.”

This therefore means that, no third person may be involved or communicate on behalf of the complainants, relatives or accused persons other than their legal representatives.

Community members receiving these bogus phonecalls should immediately inform the police on 08 600 10 111.

Identities will be strictly kept confidential.


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