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Park Village Auctions Warns of Escalating Auction Scams

JOHANNESBURG – Park Village Auctions (PVA) is sounding the alarm on the rising tide of
sophisticated auction scams targeting unsuspecting buyers. These fraudulent schemes,
which have plagued the industry for years, are becoming increasingly elaborate and difficult
to detect.
“We’re seeing an alarming escalation in auction-related fraud,” says Clive Lazarus of PVA.
“Scammers are employing advanced social engineering tactics to prey on vulnerable
individuals, often those desperately seeking affordable vehicles.”
Lazarus emphasises, “It’s crucial to understand that ‘auction’ is the operative word here.
Legitimate auctions don’t have pre-sales or reserves. The only payment required upfront is a
refundable deposit to participate in the auction itself. This is precisely where people must be
extremely vigilant and take all necessary measures to ensure they’re dealing with the real
auction house.”
Key features of these scams include:
 Fake social media advertisements, particularly on Facebook and Instagram
 Fraudulent websites mimicking legitimate auction houses
 High-pressure tactics to push for upfront payments
 Elaborate backstories and impersonation of auction house staff
 False promises of employment to recruit unwitting accomplices
 Deceptive claims of “pre-auction” sales or guaranteed reserves
“The sophistication of these operations is truly concerning,” Lazarus notes. “Scammers are
now tailoring their approach to match the demographic profile of their targets, making their
schemes even more convincing. We’ve even seen cases where fraudsters are ’employing’
victims, promising full-time positions once they’ve sold a certain number of cars. These fake
job offers are just another way to lure people into their scams.”
PVA urges the public to exercise extreme caution and offers the following advice:

  1. Always insist on inspecting vehicles in person before engaging with any auction
    house.
  2. Be wary of auctions advertised primarily through social media.
  3. Report and block suspicious profiles on social platforms.
  4. Verify the legitimacy of auction houses through official channels.
  5. Never feel pressured into making hasty payments or decisions.
  6. Remember that legitimate auctions only require a refundable deposit for participation.
  7. Be sceptical of unsolicited job offers related to selling auction vehicles.
    “Education and public awareness are our best defences,” Lazarus emphasises. “We’re
    committed to aggressively pursuing takedown notices for fraudulent websites to combat
    these crimes.”
    PVA encourages anyone who encounters suspicious auction activity to report it immediately.
    The company also reminds the public that legitimate auctions follow strict protocols and
    never pressure buyers into quick decisions or upfront payments without proper verification.
    For more information on protecting yourself from auction fraud, visit PVA’s official website at
    www.parkvillageauctions.co.za.

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