Criminals claiming to be vehicle dealership representatives have scammed four vehicle owners in Gauteng over the course of November 2019 alone, says vehicle tracking company Netstar.
Netstar said that these motorists were tricked 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.
The tracking group said it 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,” said 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,” he said.
Several car brands and dealerships have sent out notices to customers warning them about the scam, adding that all official recall information would come directly through them via official channels.