Ferrari and luxury car owners beware.
South Africa is currently dealing with a group of "fraudsters" running a scam to steal Ferraris and other high-end luxury vehicles directly from owners' homes. More precisely, the crooks are enticing owners to freely hand over the keys to their most treasured possession.
Ferrari's official South Africa Facebook page recently issued a warning to its customers making them aware of a scam that's currently doing the rounds. Here's how that scam works: a group of criminals is impersonating Ferrari dealers and calling customers personally to inform them of an urgent recall campaign that affects their car. Owners, assuming it's the official Ferrari dealer and importer on the phone, then fall into the trap.
The next day, a flatbed truck arrives at their homes and the driver dons professional-looking branded clothing. It's easy to assume everything is normal at this point. The driver then presents professional-looking paperwork for the owner to read and sign. The Ferrari is then loaded up and that's it. Crime completed. Typically, owners had been calling the Ferrari dealership within a day or two requesting a follow-up. Much to their surprise, the dealer had no clue what they were talking about. By this time, the stolen vehicles were long gone, typically sent across the border or stripped for valuable parts. The thieves also disable the vehicle's GPS locator.
A Ferrari 812 Superfast was reportedly one of the stolen vehicles and it crossed the border into neighboring Mozambique and stripped of its V12.
"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."
Ferrari isn't the only automaker being targeted here. Reports claim Audi and Toyota owners have also been contacted by the same or similar criminal groups. Audi previously posted a warning to owners on its own South African Facebook page but, oddly enough, it has since been removed.