I have to admit that I was naive enough to be caught in a scam. Had I not had some other MGCC members (I won’t embarrass them by sharing their names) share similar stories with me I probably would not have admitted to this.
There have been a number of these scams and the modus operandi of the guy or guys is like this- I list these to highlight the dangers :
I placed an advert in Junkmail in the wanted section for some MG parts and had a call from a chap who said he had all the items I was looking for and for a small amount of money- delivery cost only until I was happy, would deliver them to me over a long weekend, needless to say, after I EFT’d the cash into his account he gave me a string of lies. He gave his name as Johan Pienaar from 26 Vermaak Street Smithfield in the Free State – cell 071 903 0715. Hi bank account number 62079943116 code 230 436 checked out although the bank was reluctant give any more details. This chap comes up often with different names and now has an account with Capitec as well.
Shortly after this another club member phoned to tell me that he had placed a wanted advert in Junkmail for some Austin Healey bits and was very happy to report that a chap from Smithfield had phone him and had all these parts. Armed with my warning he strung the guy along and was about to travel down to the Cape and suggested that he call in and see the parts. All communications ceased abruptly.
I scan the various ‘for sale’ adverts on Gumtree, OLX and Junkmail from time to time and every now and again I follow up on one and here is another MO:
An advert came up with pictures of very nice looking MGB’s came up. What was strange, but not all that unusual, was that the registration numbers had been blacked out. I phoned and got through to a chap who said he was in Kimberly (notice all the places are in the sticks!). His story was that he is a priest (honest!) and he had contacts with a transport company that would deliver to Johannes burg and all those nice things but obviously only after the funds were received and cleared etc. This chap has scammed a member of the Natal MGCC and has as recently as last week attempted to scam a CC member in Randburg with the offer of an MGA Coupe.
This weekend an advert for an Austin Healey came up. There are a number of pictures showing a very nice looking car in front of some hangar doors but with an unrealistically low price of R 90,000,00. The registration numbers are blanked out and the car is a LHD. Google has a facility of tracking an image and when Michael did this (he is hankering after an AH!) up comes the same car in a American advert for $25000,00. The chap made some other mistakes in the advert- The Google maps showed the location as Upinton and the advert listed the location in Southrand.
I have had some responses to a wanted add in our very own MGCC website from as far afield as Kansas USA and Belgium that I suspect are scams.
We are not alone with this type of scam with classic cars. John James who writes the Totally T Type2 article every month reported that a chap in Europe was tracked down and sentenced to 4 years for such a scam. I can recommend that everyone with a T Type gets onto his mailing list.
Please everyone if the deal looks too good to be true it probably is. The MGCC (locally and worldwide) has a network of genuine guys who would happily check out any such advert. In fact Cliff Smyth gave me the name of his friend who lives in Smithfield to check Pienaar out