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Crime syndicates target car-tracking customers in repair scam


JOHANNESBURG, October 2020 – A syndicate of criminals posing as employees of vehicle-tracking companies is targeting these companies’ customers in a car-theft scam. The criminals claim that customers’ tracking devices need repairing, then set up appointments, where they attempt to steal vehicles.

The syndicate is targeting high-value vehicles from all major tracking providers. 

Leading vehicle-tracking and fleet-management organisation Netstar has launched a multi-pronged strategy to combat the threat. Alerts have been sent to customers, staff and fitment centres, and investigations are underway.

“We are conducting an inquiry to ensure customer information remains protected and to help apprehend suspects so that justice is served.” said Netstar’s Operations Executive Charles Morgan. “We have alerted customers of the situation, warning them to be vigilant, as several attempts have been thwarted by alert customers.”

Customers have been advised to ask that anyone calling to make a booking quote their Netstar account numbers to confirm the validity of the call.

“All Netstar customer information is secured by strict access-control protocols.” said Morgan. “Our investigations indicate that customer information was not compromised by Netstar itself, and that the criminals acquired customer telephone and vehicle details via other means.”

Netstar is sharing all relevant evidence with the SA Police Service. A joint working group has also been established with the industry stakeholders to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. 

“Protecting customer information is a fundamental part of our operations,” said Netstar MD Pierre Bruwer. “While our internal processes are secure, we are working to ensure that customers are protected at all times and that all stakeholders are aligned on maintaining the information integrity of our industry.”  

Netstar customers are advised to ask anyone making a booking to quote their account number as a security check and to call Netstar Customer Service on 0860 12 24 36 to confirm any booking appointments. Netstar customers are also urged to use the Netstar online buying platform to make fitment bookings for increased security.

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