Crimes relating to the loss of property or money due to online buying and selling have spiked in recent months, say Fish Hoek police.
The station’s Warrant Officer Peter Middelton warned the easy way to pay, EFT, had become the easy way to fall prey to swindlers.
He said people had lost everything from cellphones to vehicles.
In one case a group of locals had tried to buy several vehicles by EFT, only to be left without the vehicles and their money. Although, police had made an arrest in that case and recovered most of the vehicles.
Police advise the public to hold onto their property until they have been paid – or vice versa – particularly, if the online buyer or seller is a stranger.
“EFT payments need to be cleared firstly by the bank, and so even though it reflects in your bank account, it’s not available until cleared,” Warrant Officer Middelton wanted,