Fraudsters are tricking would-be buyers to part with huge amounts of money in deposits in order to reserve vehicles that are mostly unrealistically priced, and in reality, do not even exist.

While social media platforms such as Facebook have become a powerful tool in modern-day auctioneers’ marketing arsenals, it has also opened an all-new field of attack for the scammers who have become adept at copying well-known auctioneers’ corporate identities and swindling well-meaning buyers out of their hard-earned money.

In response to the recent spate of incidents recorded across the country the South African Institute of Auctioneers has issued a caution to its members to be vigilant of the new scam and warned online bidders to verify auctioneers’ details before interacting or making online payments to them.

The organisation’s Sonja Styger said unfortunately it was a growing trend due to the exploding popularity of online auctions driven largely by the…

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