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Livestock owners warned of stock theft scam

STATEMENT
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE

DATE: 20 December 2018

SUBJECT: LIVESTOCK OWNERS WARNED OF STOCK THEFT SCAM

The SAPS Stock Theft Unit in KwaZulu-Natal is warning livestock owners to be aware of the
modus operandi used by the stock thieves. Criminals are targeting livestock owners who had fallen prey to the stock thieves by informing them that they had found and recovered their stolen livestock. They pretend to be police officers from Stock Theft
Unit from other province investigating their cases. They would inform the victim that their livestock has been recovered at another province but they have to deposit a certain amount of cash so that their livestock can be transported back home.

Criminals are demanding amounts from R2000,00 upwards. Police are cautioning livestock owners not to fall prey to this scam. Please beware that police will never request cash from
a victim. Stock Theft Investigators will in fact assist victims and would transport them to view the recovered livestock. Criminals are targeting victims who are close to the borders in areas such as Bulwer, Impendle, Bergville. All the victims of stock theft
are advised to make contact with their investigating officers as soon as they have opened a stock theft case. If they have been contacted by these criminals, they are advised to immediately contact the nearest police station or their investigating officer.
Familiarise yourselves with detectives investigating your cases and do not fall prey to these fraudsters. When receiving such calls or text messages, please ask the caller for the brand mark of your recovered livestock as well as their contact details and
then contact police immediately.

This guidance has been issued to prevent such incidents in future. Below are the tips that will help minimise the chances of being the victim of this scam:

§
The SAPS will never ask or inform complainants to deposit any money into any account.

§
The Stock Theft Investigators will in fact assist complainants and would drive complainants by State vehicles to view the alleged recovered livestock if photos could not be obtained.
It is advised that the members of the public or livestock owners, should in such instances gather as much information as possible and report it directly to the
Stock Theft Commander serving their respective areas. Information such as the following could assist to identify fraudsters:-

§
The cell number of the person who called.

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The date and time of the call.

§
The name and surname of the person who called.

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An address where the livestock could be viewed.

§
The account number of the account into which the money should be paid and the account holder name.

§
An e-mail address or other cell number where confirmation of payment should be forwarded.
We would also like to warn all livestock owners to be cautious and very careful during this time of year, as these scams are once again active in the Province, especially during
the festive season.

Ends/

Media Contact:
Colonel Thembeka Mbele
082 462 9870
KwaZulu-Natal: Media Centre
South African Police Service
Corporate Communication and Marketing
031 325 6083/6084/6085
kzn.mediacentre@saps.gov.za