A well-known car dealership in the City of Roses, Bloemfontein Motors, has recently been inundated with calls and visits by customers who have fallen trap to alleged online scammers.
These scammers have allegedly been operating under its name, creating the impression with clients that they are actually doing business with the real Bloemfontein Motors.
According to the manager of Bloemfontein Motors, Gerno Deysel, the scammers take certain images from the dealership’s Facebook account or from the internet, and add their own pricing, whilst using the name Bloemfontein Motors in their marketing.
“If you look at the prices of these vehicles, it is obvious that you cannot buy them at those prices, but unfortunately people still believe them and end up losing a lot of money,” he said.
Deysel told Bloemfontein Courant that just last week they had someone who showed up to the dealership all the way from the Eastern Cape to claim a Ford Ranger that they paid R80 000 for. “The guy sat and cried in his car for 10 minutes in utter disbelief when we told him that he had been scammed, and this was only one of many other victims. We get up to four customers a day who have been scammed from all over South Africa,” he said.
He added that the scammers will tell you that they are using a new WhatsApp number, and they will send you a fake invoice with their banking details, and not those of Bloemfontein Motors. Deysel also said they will use a bank account number from Capitec or Bidvest Bank for payment and phone the clients nonstop to try and convince them to pay the full amount or a deposit.
“Once you have made payment (any amount), they will close the bank account and cancel the cell number, you will then never get a hold of them again and ultimately lose your money.”
Deysel said that neither he nor any of his employees will ever ask for any kind of payment or deposit via WhatsApp. “We will never ask any of our customers to send us money before they have signed any papers, of which all communication will be sent via e-mail and not via WhatsApp.”
Deysel firmly believes that there is no such thing as buying a vehicle at a ridiculously low price, even if it is being advertised as an auction or repossessed vehicle. “Just ask yourself – why would anyone sell a vehicle for 60–80% less than its value? Please call our dealership to confirm the vehicle and banking details before making any payment,” he pleaded.
Visit Bloemfontein Motors for more.