Joburg resident received a call from a ‘police officer’ requesting an ‘admin fee’ of R1,500 for her’recovered’ car

Car theft is a common occurrence in South Africa, with many residents falling victim to this crime. However, for Melanie Olivier, the ordeal did not end with the theft of her car.

The Sunday Times reports that she found herself targeted by a scammer impersonating a police officer, adding insult to injury.

The incident began when Olivier’s car was stolen from outside her boyfriend’s house in Melville.

Despite reporting the theft to the police and providing CCTV footage of the incident, little progress was made in recovering her vehicle.

It was at this vulnerable moment that she received a call from a man claiming to be “Captain Mohale from Brixton police station”.

The scammer informed Olivier that her car had been found near Komatipoort and was in police custody.

He even went as far as describing the condition of the car and providing details about the case, leading Olivier to believe that he was indeed a police officer.

However, things took a suspicious turn when he requested an “admin fee” of R1,500 to release the vehicle.

Despite not having the full amount, Olivier paid R200 via eWallet in hopes of getting her car back sooner.

  “He said Komatipoort was in another jurisdiction and to have my car released would take five to 15 weeks. The only way to hasten the process would be to pay an admin fee of R1,500.

  “I told him I didn’t have that kind of money in my account and he asked me how much I had. I know the red lights should have started flashing seriously when he started haggling about the admin fee, but I was just so hopeful that I would get my car back.”

Unfortunately, this was the last she heard from the scammer.

The police later confirmed that her car had not been recovered, leaving Olivier feeling deceived and defrauded.

This type of scam is not uncommon in South Africa, according to Willem Els from the Institute for Security Studies.

He explained that scammers often target victims of crimes, such as car theft, by posing as law enforcement officials and requesting money for the release of their belongings.

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