How to safely buy a car online

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Police is warning the community to be careful if they’re trying to buy a vehicle online because they have have cases where some have been victims of scams. This came to the SAPS’ attention after an individual deposited an undisclosed amount of cash for purchasing a vehicle that he saw online. After the deposit the seller’s cellphone went to and no vehicle was ever delivered to him.

Apparently, a stranger came for a test drive of the vehicle, said he liked it and then then transferred the money through telephone banking. The vehicle was given to him but when the seller went to the bank, there was no money. A case of fraud was opened and the case is still under investigation.

The SAPS recommends the follow to protect yourself against such scams:

  • Ensure that the money is in your bank account before you release what you are selling
  • Never respond to emails or cellphone messages appearing to be from your bank, which request your personal details. Remember that no bank will ever ask you to confirm or update your account details by e-mail.
  • Never provide your online ID, password or PIN to anyone and never write them down or share them.
  • Do not save your Internet banking password on your desktop.
  • At all times be alert before you take any decision.
  • Do not leave your computer unattended after you have entered your Internet banking password.
  • Always log off or sign off at the end of a session.
  • Avoid conducting Internet banking in public areas such as Internet cafés, or on any computer that can be accessed by people you do not know.
  • Change your PIN and passwords frequently.
  • Put sensible transaction limits on your accounts.
  • Only provide your credit card details to reputable companies.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Apply extra precautions when purchasing any item online; by for example  verifying whether the company is registered.

NEVER send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.

SAPS is committed in creating a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa, this can only be achieved if individuals and communities cooperate with the police by volunteering information on criminals and their activities. Working together, the Police and the community can ACT, against criminal activities and perpetrators can be brought to justice.

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