The Tema Regional Police Command Tuesday cautioned buyers, especially of cars and landed property, to conduct the necessary due diligence in order not to fall prey to fraudsters.
Superintendent Kwabena Otuo Acheampong, the Tema Regional Police Crime Officer, said fraudsters always played on the minds of victims with convincing stories and urged the public to be vigilant.
Supt. Acheampong gave the caution during a meeting with the Ghana News Agency at Tema.
He said fraud was thriving because victims allowed themselves to be deceived as they failed to ask relevant questions pertaining to the transactions.
“You must ask questions during the discussion to ensure that you deal with the rightful person with the authority to sell the said property,” he said.
Supt. Achempong advised online buyers to see the products they ordered and only pay for it at the point of receipt.
“Pay the money at where the item is, do not be persuaded to move away from the property for payment, take custody and pay,” he advised.
He said car fraud, including port clearance fraud, was rife and expressed regret that people contracted freight forwarders to clear their goods without knowing their offices, while others also paid for cars outside the location of the car.
“Importers should go to a designated office to transact business with freight forwarders and clearing agents, you meet so-called agents at hotels and other places at your own peril,” he said.
Supt. Acheampong reminded the public not to be swayed by the appearance of people they transacted business with as many fraudsters deliberately dressed well and rented expensive cars to create a good image of themselves.
He gave the assurance that the police would carry out its mandate of fighting crime, including misdemeanour.
“The principle is that if you can’t deal with minor crimes, then you can’t deal with bigger ones as it is the same criminals who will graduate into hardened ones,” he said.
Mr Francis Ameyibor, the Tema Regional Manager of the GNA, expressed regret that some members of the public were not security conscious and easily fell prey to criminals.
“We see people posting all their private accomplishments on social media including photos of their residence and other personal activities, and some of these become free information for criminals,” he said.
Mr Ameyibor pledged the GNA’s commitment to working with the police to sensitise the public on security issues to ensure their safety.