01 Feb 2014 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 01 FEB (NAMPA) Swindlers are targeting members of the public by placing false advertisements for flats, vehicles or plots for sale in local newspapers, the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) has warned.
The Head of NamPols Public Relations Division, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi in a media statement issued on Friday cautioned members of the public to refrain from paying money over to any person before goods are delivered.
Since October last year, six such cases have been reported to the police which are still under investigation.
All these cases are currently under police investigation in the capital. It is against this background that the police are alerting, informing and warning all members of the public to exercise maximum caution when responding to newspaper advertisements, he stressed.
On 02 January this year, a man who fell victim to such a scam deposited N.dollars 37 700 into a Nedbank account provided by an offender after he placed an advertisement in the Namibian Sun newspaper advertising a 2002 Toyota Hilux 4X4. The victim deposited the money and did not receive the car, nor has he recovered his money.
A similar advertisement was placed in The Namibian newspaper on 06 December last year. Someone responded to the advertisement and deposited an amount of N.dollars 81 000 into a bank account of which the details were provided by the culprit. The culprit has since disappeared and his phone number no longer exists.
Another advertisement in The Namibian newspaper on 02 December 2013 advertised mixed livestock. The victim deposited an amount of N.dollars 34 300 into a Nampost account and never received the livestock or a refund.
On 23 October 2013, an unknown man placed an advertisement in The Namibian newspaper saying he is renting out a house in Windhoek West. The victim met with the scammer at the Swabou building in Windhoek West to sign a contract. The victim handed over a deposit of N.dollars 13 500 and was informed to wait while the man purportedly went to make copies of the contract. He never returned.
Two days earlier, on 21 October 2013, a perpetrator placed an advertisement in the Namibian Sun newspaper for two plots for sale - one in Otjomuise and another in Rocky Crest. The victim called the offender and they met at the Windhoek Court. The victim wrote out two cheques totalling an amount of N.dollars 180 000, which was cashed on the same day at First National Bank (FNB)s Katutura branch. The offender was never seen again.
On 07 October 2013, a culprit advertised four two-bedroom flats to rent in Windhoek North for N.dollars 3 000 per month each in The Namibian newspaper. The lessee was expected to pay a deposit of N.dollars 1 500. The victim deposited an amount of N.dollars 4 500 into the account for which the details were provided by the culprit. The cellphone numbers which the culprit/s gave to the victim during the transaction no longer existed after the funds had been deposited.
These adverts are not authentic and are a scam. The Namibian Police are strongly advising all members of the public to refrain from depositing or paying money to any person before a product has been delivered, Kanguatjivi said.