Watch out for scams, warn police

Several Fish Hoek residents have fallen prey to con artists in recent weeks, according to the police.

Fish Hoek police station commander Lieutenant Colonel Jackie Johnson says residents have reported seeing a large sum of cash on the pavement in Main Road. When they stop to pick it up, they are approached by a man who also claims to have seen the cash and then tries to convince them to “split” the money.

Another man, claiming to be a police officer, then approaches saying both individuals need to be fingerprinted.

The victim is taken to a business on the Main Road and told fingerprints are being taken at the back and they must hand over their cellphone and wallet before entering the shop.

Lieutenant Colonel Johnson also urged the public to be vigilant when making online transactions.

She said that in recent weeks two cases had been reported where people had been defrauded of almost R1 million due to spoofing.

Spoofing is the hacking of another system in which the computer program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data, to gain an illegitimate advantage.

She warns that even when buying something from a legitimate company you are familiar with, you should verify the banking details by telephone and not online or by email as the emails can be hacked and banking details changed resulting in you depositing money into a false account.

Make sure you do not use the telephone number on the email to call the company to verify banking details as this number can also be false.

She also advises people to verify the existence of an online buyer or seller as well as the items being bought or sold before depositing money.

Lieutenant Colonel Johnson said parking scams in Fish Hoek included parking attendants taking foreign visitors to an ATM and making them withdraw cash to pay for parking. She said parking in Fish Hoek was free and she urged guest houses to inform their visitors of this.

She said burglaries, thefts out of vehicles and vehicle thefts were on the increase and she urged residents to not leave any valuables in their cars. She said VW Polos in particular were targeted.