Western Cape police warn of new car sales scam

Police said vehicles are advertised by criminals at seemingly bargain prices on social media platforms to lure their victims into a scam.

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CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police are warning people against a new trend of fraud targeting car buyers.

Police said vehicles are advertised by criminals at seemingly bargain prices on social media platforms to lure their victims into a scam.

Once an interested buyer makes contact with the seller, they are made to believe that the vehicle generated huge interest and that a deposit is required to secure the deal or to reserve the vehicle.

But once a payment is made into a fraudulent bank account, the seller will become unreachable.

Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: "An analysis of registered crime has revealed a new trend of fraud where prospective buyers of used vehicles - mostly in the cheaper price range advertised on social media - are being targeted.

"Although the South African Police Services does not discourage the use of social media platforms to do business, we wish to warn the public to treat online advertisements with caution."