DESPITE several police warnings issued to the public not to release any property that has been sold unless the bank gives the seller the assurance that the funds are cleared and in their account, the public are still becoming victims to crime. According to police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender, recent reports suggests that criminals have succeeded in their new plan as several complainants have lodged complaints with the police. “We currently have enquiries registered for investigations of cases that followed the above modus operandi,” said Captain Govender. This is what the criminal does Scenario 1: .When you advertise your vehicle for sale, you receive a phone call from a person showing an interest. . The “prospective buyer’ will inform you that there’s someone coming to view the vehicle. . The person arrives on behalf of the “buyer” looks at the vehicle and calls the “buyer”. . They discuss various issues around the vehicle and show a keen interest in purchasing the vehicle. . Price is not an issue and you, the seller, become excited because you are going to get your asking price. . You receive a message on your phone that an Electronic Funds Transfer(EFT) is done. . Do not accept this message as payment. First check with your bank that funds are cleared before releasing the vehicle or any documents. . Once the vehicle is released, the seller goes to the bank only to find that no transaction was made. . Once the vehicle is released, it is sold and the “buyer” mysteriously disappears. Scenario 2: . A “buyer” goes to a car dealership and identifies a car. This normally happens on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. . They create the impression that the vehicle is needed urgently for a funeral. . A false proof of payment is furnished and the vehicle is released. . On a Monday morning when the seller goes to the bank, the bank informs the seller that no deposit was made. . Do not fall into the trap of believing that the documents produced are valid. . Always check with your bank and verify payments before releasing property.Scenario 3: . You are a victim of crime where your property is taken. . You receive a call from an individual identifying himself as a police officer. . He appears to have information on your case and tells you that you need to deposit a sum of money for courier charges to post your property or some other bizarre reason. . The suspect will request that you deposit the money via Shoprite or e-wallet. . SAPS will never request you to deposit funds to recover your property. . If your property is recovered, you will receive a call from an investigating officer to first of all identify your property at a police station or SAPS site. You will be required to complete documentation before property is released to you.