Criminals claiming to be vehicle dealership representatives have in November alone scammed four vehicle owners in Gauteng into handing over their vehicles as part of a purported recall exercise. When the victims contacted the dealerships they had no knowledge of any such recall being actioned.
South African vehicle tracking company Netstar has warned the South African public after clients notified the company of the stolen vehicles. Netstar is aware of one incident that occurred earlier in the year and four in November, of which three of the vehicles were recovered.
"The criminals claim to be from a vehicle dealership when contacting potential victims, saying there is a factory fault on their vehicle for which they have actioned a recall campaign," explains Koogan Naicker, Operations Quality Assurance Manager at Netstar. "Following this initial contact, the criminals arrive with a flat-bed truck and the vehicle is towed for so-called repairs," he says.
Naicker says criminals have a massive head start before the client discovers the scam and Netstar is notified of the crime. "Approach these cases with utmost suspicion and confirm with your vehicle dealership if you receive a call of this nature," he warns. "Notify the South African Police Service immediately if you suspect the caller may be a fraud," Naicker concludes.