Don’t fall prey to new scam

Linden Police Station spokesperson Constable Takalani Matumba.

The Linden Police are warning the public to be vigilant of a scam that targets people who have reported stolen vehicles.

After reporting their vehicles stolen, some victims have received calls telling them that their vehicles have been recovered by the police, but need to pay before their vehicle can be released.

“We are aware of this scam and are warning the public to be vigilant about it,” said spokesperson Constable Takalani Matumba.

Ian Mackenzie, who makes use of a gym in the Cresta area regularly, almost fell victim to this scam after his vehicle was stolen from the gym’s parking lot.

After opening up a case of vehicle theft at the Linden Police Station, a case number was issued to him.

The very next day, Mackenzie received a call from a person claiming to be part of the Flying Squad saying that his vehicle has been recovered and that two armed assailants were in custody.

“I was happy to hear the news, but I got a bit sceptical with the conversation that followed,” Mackenzie said. He said that the man who identified himself as ‘Captain Plaatjies’ said that he would have to pay an amount as a deposit before his stolen property could be released to him.

“The man told me that my car would be taken to Mamelodi and it would take months to be released to me, but if I paid him R2 000, he would drop my car off at the police station. I said that I would prefer to meet him there, but he said that this was not possible and that I had to deposit the money into his account.”

Mackenzie followed up with the police who informed him that his vehicle had not been recovered and that the call that he received was a scam.

“If a community member reports their car stolen and receives a call that their car has been recovered and are told that they must pay a certain amount of money for its release, they must be aware that it is a scam. They must report the matter to their nearest police station or the detective who is handling the case,” Matumba said.

The procedure that will take place when investigating and/or recovering a stolen vehicle:

  • After opening the case, the person who is the complainant or the lawful owner of the vehicle will be contacted by the detective who is handling the case if they have any info about it.
  • If their car is recovered, the complainant will be informed and asked to go and identify their vehicle.
  • The owner of the vehicle must be in possession of their identity document and ownership papers to prove the car belongs to them.
  • There is a recovery statement that needs to be obtained before the car can be handed over to its lawful owner.
  • There is no money or fee that needs to be paid for the owner to get back their vehicle.

ALSO READ: Opening a false case will land you in jail

  AUTHOR
Reuven Blignault

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