Vision Tactical Warns of Increased Marketplace Scams

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Vision Tactical Warns of Increased Marketplace Scams

Johannesburg, 16th January 2024

Vision Tactical, is issuing a critical public safety alert regarding a significant rise in criminal activities targeting individuals through online marketplaces, particularly Facebook Marketplace.

Yaseen Theba, spokesperson for Vision Tactical, reports a disturbing trend in Johannesburg and surrounding areas, where criminals are using social media platforms as a tool for orchestrating violent robberies. “We have observed a notable increase in incidents where individuals are lured to secluded places under the pretence of buying or selling goods, only to find themselves victims of armed robbery,” said Theba.

The company has gathered data from victim debriefs indicating a pattern: a syndicate advertises fictitious products on social media, arranges meetings with potential buyers at isolated locations, and then commits armed robbery. These criminals often work in groups, with some members responsible for withdrawing money while others hold the victim at gunpoint.

Theba highlights the risks associated with e-commerce, has inadvertently opened avenues for such criminal activities. “This new era of digital commerce brings with it new challenges in personal safety, particularly for users of e-hailing services, digital banking and those active on online buying and selling platforms,” he added.

Vision Tactical strongly urges the public to be extremely cautious and vigilant when engaging in transactions on social media marketplaces. The company recommends meeting in public, well-lit areas, verifying the authenticity of products and sellers, and, where possible, using secure payment methods that do not require physical cash exchange.

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