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Syndicates target luxury cars
16 July 2015

 
Organised crime syndicates are increasingly targeting luxury cars. The South African Insurance Crime Bureau has picked up that the owners of luxury cars are being targeted through dealerships or social media.
Fraudsters pretend to work at dealerships – in particular the service department or customer service. When people complain on social media or in a public forum about their vehicles, they are either identified by their information on record at the dealership, or through comments or complaints they post on social media or other websites. Some of the victims have also been people who have filed complaints directly with dealerships.
The fraudster, pretending to work for the dealership, contact the vehicle owner, explaining that they do not want negative publicity and offering to fetch the car from the owner’s home and take it in for repairs.
Only when the owner contact the dealership to find out what is happening to his/her car, do they find out that they have been conned and by that time the car is gone.
According to Hugo van Zyl, chief operating officer of the SAICB, there were 29 reported cases by October last year but there could easily be more.
The SAICB and the police are working together on these crimes and five arrests directly linked to the syndicate have been made in Gauteng. Van Zyl said another six people were arrested in Botswana with four stolen cars. These were being taken to Zambia.
Though most of the cases have been reported in Gauteng, similar incidents have been reported in Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Klerksdorp and Durban.
Anyone with information on this crime can call the SAICB on 011 021-1432.