OVER the festive season, thugs use every trick known to them to scam people.

Thugs claiming to be vehicle dealership representatives have last month alone scammed four vehicle owners in Gauteng into handing over their vehicles as part of a so-called recall exercise.

When the victims contacted the dealerships, they had no knowledge of any such recall being actioned.

South African vehicle tracking company Netstar warned the public after clients notified the company of their stolen cars.

Operations Quality Assurance Manager at Netstar, Koogan Naicker said Netstar is aware of one incident that occurred earlier in the year and four in November, of which three of the vehicles were recovered.

"The criminals claim to be from a vehicle dealership when contacting potential victims, saying there is a factory fault on their vehicle for which they have actioned a recall campaign," Naicker said.

"Following this initial contact, the criminals arrive with a flat-bed truck and the vehicle is towed for so-called repairs," he says.

Naicker says thugs have a massive head start before the client discovers the scam and Netstar is notified of the crime.

"Approach these cases with utmost suspicion and confirm with your vehicle dealership if you receive a call of this nature," he warns.

"Notify the South African Police Service immediately if you suspect the caller may be a fraud," added Naicker.