SAPS is appealing to the public to tread carefully when buying vehicles through dealerships or even privately. This, after a Free State woman was duped into paying R95 000 for a vehicle she now does not have in her possession.

According to Captain Nqobile Gwala SAPS the Verulam SAPS are investigating a case of fraud.

The woman’s car woes began on 21 May 2021, after she saw a Facebook post advertising a VW Polo. She made contact with the seller and was informed by a man that his dealership was in Durban.

COUPLE’S LONG JOURNEY TO BUY A VEHICLE

Deciding she wanted to purchase the vehicle, the woman and her partner embarked on a 634 km bus trip to Durban and arrived in the city on Monday 31 June to view and buy the vehicle.

According to Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) the couple arrived at the Durban Bus station and was fetched by the seller to view the vehicle in Umlazi.

“They (the couple) were informed that the advertised vehicle had mechanical issues and suggested the couple purchase a red VW Polo. After agreeing, the couple were transported to a carwash in Umlazi,” a RUSA statement said.

After test driving the car, the couple paid the seller R10 000 in cash and an additional R85 000 via electronic transfer into an ABSA bank account which cleared immediately.

The couple grew suspicious after they were followed by five other people in a blue Audi and were driven around for hours instead of processing documents to finalise ownership of the red VW Polo.

Realising they were taken for a ride, the woman asked the seller to stop at a restroom. This is then how the couple landed at an Ottawa (near Verulam), carwash where dramatic scenes unfolded.

CAR SELLER ABANDONS COUPLE AND TAKES THE CAR WITH HIM

“As the woman informed her partner of her suspicions, the suspect reversed their vehicle out of the carwash. The male victim grabbed a brick and smashed the driver’s window. The Audi, however, sped off.”

RUSA assisted the couple at the Ottawa carwash but were unsuccessful in tracking the fraudsters in the blue Audi.

“A transfer of R95 000 was made but the suspected dealership and other males drove away with the vehicle. The matter is still under investigation. We are appealing to community members to always be cautious when buying vehicles,” said Gwala.

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Presh JM Reporter

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