Fraudsters targeting vehicle theft victims

2018-03-08 06:01

WITH the number of vehicle thefts and hijackings increasing across South Africa, an alarming new trend has emerged involving scams directed at the victims of recent vehicle thefts/hijackings.

This is according to Hugo van der Merwe, National Manager: Assessing at MUA Insurance Acceptances, who says that the company has already seen multiple instances where policyholders have been targeted by fraudsters following the theft or hijacking of their insured vehicles.

“Shortly after reporting a stolen or hijacked vehicle to the South African Police Services, a number of policyholders stated that they were contacted by individuals posing as police officers,” said Van der Merwe.

“In each of these cases, the fraudster informs the policyholder that his or her stolen or hijacked vehicle has been recovered in a different province or even in a neighbouring country. The policyholder is then informed that he or she needs to pay fees via electronic funds transfer (EFT) or an electronic wallet in order to have the vehicle returned.”

Van der Merwe warns that this is not regular police procedure and that individuals should under no circumstances pay these or any other types of fees if they are contacted after a vehicle theft or hijacking.

“These instances have been brought to the attention of the South African Police Service and are being investigated as a matter of urgency.

“Remember that if an insured vehicle is in fact recovered, the policyholder will be informed by his or her respective investigating officer.

“He or she will also never be asked to pay additional recovery fees,” Van der Merwe concludes.

(-ISSUED: MUA Insurance Acceptances)

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