The police have strongly warned members of the public to protect themselves against online car sale scams.
The latest scam is targeting desperate vehicle buyers, thereby providing falsified documents bearing forged signatures and soliciting funds under false pretence.
Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said the modus operandi is that the scammers would share pictures of the vehicle which they are selling with the would-be buyer on Facebook and once the buyer expresses interest in buying the car, they would than arrange and complete paperwork which bears a forged police date stamp as well as a forged signature of one of the police chiefs to make it seem authentic.
“Currently, the Namibian Police is investigating a syndicate which involve a number of people including women who are sent by the scammer to withdraw money that is deposited by the buyer. Thus far, N$43 000 was recovered,” said Shikwambi.
She further stated investigations into this particular scam is at an advanced stage and so far two suspects were arrested adding that the preliminary investigations conducted established that male suspects involved in this case are convicted offenders serving in jail term.
“A unit/cell search was then conducted at the correctional facility by correctional officers and as a result, five cell phones were found in the targeted cells. In view of the above, the Namibian Police Force would like to reiterate its continuous warning by deterring the Namibian nation from smuggling items in the police and or correctional facilities because it gives room to criminals to advance their criminal activities,” she reiterated.
Shikwambi said the offenders in the matter will sternly be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The police further discouraged the nation from engaging in unverified online transactions, advising the public to be cautious when buying cars by being alert to the possibility of being scammed when deciding to buy vehicles.
She said that the public should note the risks of buying cars which they have not viewed physically and refrain from depositing money into an account for a car that is not received.