Motorists need to be extra vigilant, as a new car theft scam has emerged in the country. Scammers are posing as employees of car tracking companies to steal cars.
According to Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) company Tracker, vehicle tracking customers are being contacted by scammers who are pretending to work for Tracker.
“They advise the customer that there is something wrong with their tracking device and that they need to come out to repair or replace the device,” explains Tracker. “Once on site the perpetrators will claim that they need to test the device by taking the car for a test drive or they will say that they can’t finalise the repairs on site and need to take the vehicle back to the fitment centre.”
It’s not only Tracker that has been targeted. Tracking company Netstar has also issued an alert, explaining that some customers have received calls from people posing as employees of vehicle-tracking companies.
These calls have the same modus operandi as the Tracker scammers, suggesting it is part of a syndicate.
“This scam is being perpetrated against clients of several vehicle-tracking companies. We assure you that Netstar has not compromised your personal information in any manner and we are investigating this matter,” said Netstar in a statement.
If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from Netstar about device repairs or installation, ask the person to first confirm your Netstar account number. If they are unable to do so, simply hang up the phone. Alternatively, contact Netstar directly to remove any doubt.
Tracker advises that if you are contacted about repairs to your tracking device by someone claiming to be from Tracker, ask them to take you through the Tracker security verification questions associated with your account in order to verify the legitimacy of the call.
If they are unable to do so, advise them that you will need to contact someone at Tracker to verify their claim. If you are still unsure or find the call suspicious please contact their call centre on 0860 60 50 40.
It is important to keep the following in mind:
– A Tracker or Netstar technician will never need to nor should they ask, to “test drive” your vehicle
– Always check the email address the request is sent from – this is often an immediate give away as the criminals would not be using a tracker.co.za address
– You can always confirm the validity of an appointment by contacting the Tracker call centre on 0860 60 50 40 or Netstar on 0860 12 24 36 and select the Customer Service option.