Beware of making online purchases

Police have advised the public to take basic precautions when making online purchases.

Kirstenhof police spokeswoman, Sergeant Deidre Solomons, says detectives have noticed a spike in complaints about online-related fraud and have tips on how the public can protect themselves.

1. When buying or selling property, meet the person at a police station or the nearest safe public place. Don’t invite them to your home.

2. Fraudsters can send fake bank SMSes “confirming” payment, so check with your bank that the funds have been deposited before parting with your property.

3.Use a reputable estate agency when renting property and never deposit money before personally viewing the property and confirming it is for rent.

4. Never accept a cheque as payment unless you can confirm the funds have cleared.

5.Only use PayPal or Skrill if you know how they work, as they are easily used for fraudulent payments.

6. Don’t buy a vehicle in a rush. Wait three days and then confirm with the traffic department or
SAPS whether it has been reported stolen.

7. Avoid accepting EFT payments on Fridays or weekends rather wait until Monday.

8. The golden rule is to always make sure you have cash in your
hand before finalising any online deal.