Police warn of spike in fraud

Sea Point police have warned that fraud is increasingly becoming an issue on marketplace sites.

According to police spokesperson, Captain Elizabeth Munro, many people have fallen victim to fraud when it comes to online payment.

“The belongings ranging from motor vehicles, pets, exotic plants, and electronic gadgets are advertised on these sites, the prospective buyer gets to contact the seller and reach an agreement. The buyer sends a fraudulent EFT (electronic fund transfer) notification and the seller release whatever is advertised. Only at a later stage the seller will become aware that the EFT notification was fraudulent,” she said.

The police have urged the community to be vigilant of the scammers by ensuring that the amount of money agreed upon first reflects (clears) in your bank account, before releasing the product. Residents are advised to never send a cheque and to be careful when choosing an online payment processor.

“Scammers will go as far as to produce fake documents. Of course, your best course of action is to stick to local and in-person transactions,” she said.

For any enquiries on fraud incidences you may contact Detective Constable Thembinkosi Kika on 021 430 3700 or 021 430 3720.

Meanwhile, according to the police, for the past two months a few bicycles were stolen at a gym in Sea Point. A man in his 30s, from Manenberg, was caught in the act on Tuesday August 20 by an alert security guard at the gym.

The suspect was busy cutting the bicycle chain with a bolt cutter when he was apprehended and detained at Sea Point police station.

The police said they are investigating if it could be the same culprit who stole the previous bicycles in the area.

“Since the arrest, these thefts have quieted down. Once again, proof that by working together we can tackle crime,” Captain Munro said.