Luxury car owners told to beware of fraudsters in South Africa.
Fraudsters in South Africa are running a nifty scam to entice unsuspecting owners to readily hand over the keys of their Ferraris and other high-end luxury vehicles – and it is happening right under their noses too.
Owners are being tricked into giving up their most prized possessions resulting in the Italian carmaker’s official South Africa Facebook page to issue a warning in a bid to raise awareness of the con currently doing the rounds.
The group of criminals act as Ferrari dealers and call customers personally informing them of an urgent recall campaign which affects their car. Assuming it is the official Ferrari dealer and importer on the phone, owners fall into the trap and the next day a flatbed truck arrives at their home. The driver, impersonating the Ferrari dealer, then presents professional looking paperwork which the owner reads and signs and the car is loaded up and driven away – but rather than be taken to an official service centre, the thieves disable the vehicle’s GPS locator and either send it across the border into neighboring Mozambique or strip it of all of its valuable parts such as its engine and transmission.
When the owner calls the dealer to check up on the car and is informed that it is not with them, realization hits. And it hits hard we would imagine.
A 812 Superfast is one of the stolen vehicles where it was stripped of its V12 and aside from Ferrari other carmakers have been targeted with reports claiming both Audi and Toyota owners were contacted by the same criminals. Audi had posted a warning to owners on its own South African Facebook page but it has now taken it down.
“Should there be a recall of Ferrari vehicles, or service campaigns of any kind, Ferrari headquarters will never call you directly requesting the collection of your car,” the Facebook posts states warning owners of the situation. “If you get a call from someone you believe is falsely claiming to be a Ferrari employee, please contact the dealership in question directly to validate the information.”