Scammers have now moved to social media platforms to offer deals on vehicles but request the buyers to pay up with cash in USD.
Then, when the interested customers turn up, the “sellers” instead rob them of their hard-earned cash.
With reports of such incidents increasing, it would be prudent to encourage sellers and buyers to learn what online safety measures are in place and which actions to take when car dealing online.
In a vehicle scam, scammers post fake online listings offering to sell in-demand cars at well below market value to lure potential buyers looking for second-hand vehicles and rob their victims when they come to pay for their vehicles.
The scammers usually attribute the “cheap” prices to slight damage or the need for a quick sale to address a family illness, divorce, or a family business in debt.
Recently, a Kadoma couple went to pay and collect a Mercedes Benz they had seen on Facebook. The pair had driven 142km from Kadoma to Harare to collect their dream car unaware of the new online car-selling scam.
Before travelling to Harare, from Kadoma, the couple was in regular contact with the seller, checked the car’s documentation. However, the couple was ambushed as they arrived at the given address.
Some potential buyers have also been robbed of their money at their homes after expressing interest in some items that will be on the market.
Robbers are aware that when an ordinary person sells his/her pricy good they know you are paid in hard currency and will NEVER bank the money, but will have it at their homes.
Members of the public are, therefore, advised to avoid attempting to buy or sell items at private residences or remote locations.