swindlers on the loose

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Police have warned the community of Newcastle about fraudsters who try to take them for a ride by telling them they have a won brand-new VW Polo.

It is alleged the fraudsters use different names and companies to con their victims.

They lure people into parting with bank details by telling them they need the information to deposit money for transport to collect their cars.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said the tricksters had already ripped off a number of people.

"The scam appears to be a problem in many areas. We were informed about the scam in the past few days. An officer at our station also received a call from these people with similar promises," he said.

Magudulela said the fraudsters use different company names and tell their victims to attend workshops at their head office in Gauteng.

"They tell people to attend a workshop and to collect their cars, but when people check their bank accounts, they find that their own money is gone too," Magudulela said.

He urged the community not to give their bank details to anyone over the telephone.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) has expressed concern about the use of its corporate identity by fraudulent individuals to commit crimes.

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said that fraudsters approach unsuspecting members of the public who are clients of Telkom.

"They make telephone calls and claim to represent the telecommunications company. They request Telkom clients to use new banking details to conclude transactions," Tlali said.

He said those who cooperated with the con artists were faxed a further communique, supposedly from the NPA, on behalf of Telkom.

"We distance ourselves completely from this scam. We would like to emphasise that as a law enforcement agency, our function has nothing to do with acting on behalf of any corporate entity, as agent for debt collection or similar functions," said Tlali.

He urged people to report fraudsters to the police.