Taken for a ride

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July 4, 2017
Taken for a ride

AFRAID: Samantha Graham, 29, says she may have been scammed by a 'car hire company'

Vrou fears she was conned out of R7800 by a ‘car hire firm’

A Parklands woman fears she has been taken for an expensive ride after she paid duisende rande to a car hire company operating on Gumtree.
Mom of one Samantha Graham, 29, transferred R7800 and has been waiting since Friday to take delivery of the VW Polo.

  SCAM? Castle Cars Cape Town ad on Gumtree

And now the owner of the company, an Australian named Mike, is refusing to take her calls.

Samantha, who works in the hospitality industry, says all she wants is her money back.

She says she hired the car from Castle Cars Cape Town in Hout Bay after her vehicle broke down three weeks ago.

The company advertises Polos for hire at a rate of R300 per weekend, R1000 per week, R1800 for two weeks and R3500 per month.

There’s currently a “winter special” of a 25% discount.

The ad reads: “We Need: * Identity Doc or Passport * Driver’s Licence (Foreign Nationals Welcome).

“Lisa or Mike 084 828 5591 castlecarscpt@gmail.com.”

Samantha says a friend referred her to the company, which appears to only advertise on Gumtree.

“Last week, I liaised with the owner, Mike, via phone and email. He was Australian and said his wife was South African,” says Samantha.

“He was extremely helpful and genuine and even told me his wife Lisa was going to Australia with their kids for the school holidays.

“I completed all the paperwork and payments by EFT totalling R7800 and he was due to deliver the vehicle to my work at the Waterfront on Friday.

“The car was to be delivered by 1.30pm, it was getting late and I got worried and called him.

“I could hear he was on the road and he said he was busy changing the tyre.

“I called again and spoke to a man who sounded like a cop, he told me Mike had been hit by a car on the M5 at the Pinelands turn-off.

“He explained Mike was seriously hurt and rushed to Groote Schuur Hospital.”

She also spoke to an “Andrew”, Mike’s father-in-law, who kept her updated.

“He told me Mike went into surgery, but reassured me my car would be delivered. I waited until 2am the next day. I called back but the numbers were on voicemail.

“I went to look for Mike at Groote Schuur, I went to police stations to hear of any record about the accident but alas, I did not have a last name so nothing came from it.

“I haven’t made any criminal charges yet. I was hopeful it wasn’t a scam.

“These guys were so good, professional; I’ve come across scams but none like this,” she added.

The Daily Voice tried contacting Mike, Lisa and Andrew on the number provided on the Gumtree advert.

The phones rang but all calls went to voicemail. The email address appears to have been deactivated.

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