Police warn the community to beware of rental scams

Constable David Mothapo, spokesperson for Sandton Police Station.

 

The Sandton police have issued a warning to the community following a case where the victim was defrauded of almost R10 000.

Sandton police said the community should take the necessary steps to verify the information when responding to advertisements on e-commerce sites such as Olx and Gumtree.

This according to Constable David Mothapo, spokesperson for the Sandton Police Station who said, “The victim alleged that she saw an advertisement for a flat rental on Olx. She then contacted the person whose details are on the advertisement, who claimed to be the owner of the flat in question.”

Mothapo said the victim paid the deposit for the flat and afterwards struggled to get hold of the alleged fraudster since the cellphone was off. “The victim approached the body corporate who informed her that they do not know the alleged fraudster,” said Mothapo.

The community can take the following steps to avoid falling victim to this scam:

  • Physically visit the property and inspect it before making any agreements
  • Request the identity of the owner such as ID or passport
  • Request proof of ownership of the property such as the title deed
  • In the case of a flat or apartment in a residential complex, contact the body corporate for verification
  • Never carry cash when meeting the property owner
  • To avoid other crimes, meet in public areas
  • Pay the deposit and/or rental money only when you are entirely satisfied that the deal is legit
  • If you suspect any possible fraud or crime, contact the police immediately.

Have you been defrauded by scams on e-commerce sites? Share your stories on the Sandton Chronicle Facebook page.

  AUTHOR
Pieter Dempsey

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