SAPS warn public to be on lookout for fraudsters

Over the past week Muizenberg SAPS have made a total of 41 arrests for crimes varying from shoplifting to murder.

These arrests include two cases of shoplifting, eight for assault, one for domestic violence, two for trespassing, two for housebreaking and theft, nine arrests for possession of narcotics, one arrest for dealing in liquor without a licence, five for possession of stolen property, one for possession of a prohibited firearm, one theft of a car, three for theft, three for outstanding warrants and three arrests in connection with murder.

They have also seen a notable increase in reported cases of fraud over the past month, and are appealing to the community to be wary about the purchases they make.

On Thursday March 10, at 1.40pm, a man was drawing money at an ATM at the Capricorn Shopping Centre when a strange message appeared on the ATM screen.

“The victim was then app- roached by an unknown man who offered him assistance and a short while later, this man disappeared,” said Captain Stephen Knapp.

“However when the card owner tried to stop his card, he was told that a large amount of money had already been withdrawn.”

A case of fraud has been opened at Muizenberg SAPS.

“We would like to urge the community to be extra vigilant when withdrawing money from an ATM and not to disclose their PIN to anybody” Captain Knapp said.

In other incidents of fraud reported, unsuspecting members of the public have been conned out of their cash by responding to an internet advert for a motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts for sale.

“In one instance, the complainant was asked to deposit an amount of R30 000 to secure the purchase of an Opel Corsa GSI.

After the deposit was paid the complainant could not make contact with the supposed sales- person, who is allegedly based in Randfontein,” Captain Knapp said.

The same modus operandi was followed when motor vehicle rims were advertised on a website, and the complainant was conned out of R4 500.

In a separate incident, another member of the public responded to an advertisement of a house to let in the Marina da Gama area.

She was coerced into paying a deposit of R12 000. However when she visited the house, she was told by the owner that her house was not on the market, and she knew nothing of the advertisement.

“The community is requested to please not purchase goods or pay deposits on any purchases without first investigating the authenticity of the person selling the items,” Captain Knapp said.

What you should do to pre- vent falling victim to scams and fraud:

* Never respond to emails or cell phone messages appearing to be from your bank, which request your personal details.

Remember that no bank will ever ask you to confirm or up- date your account details by email.

* 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. Do not leave your computer unattended after you have en- tered your internet banking password.

* Always log off or sign off at the end of a session.

* Avoid doing 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.

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