Gumtree is encouraging users to communicate via the site’s messaging system when advertising after several people were caught up in fraud and robberies.
Earlier this month a Mitchell’s Plain man was robbed by men posing as buyers responding to his Gumtree ad.
Nazmie Lakay says he was held at gunpoint by four men.
It happened while he was trying to sell his car on Gumtree.
Lakay says when he met up with a potential buyer in Goodwood, he was told he needed to drive to N1 City Mall where he would get the money for the car.
But once at the mall, Lakay was held at gun point and forced to drive to the Tyger Valley where he was forced to withdraw money from an ATM.
“We went to the ATM and they said we must travel from there to Boston Pick ‘n Pay, from there we drove to Tyger Valley and they forced me to withdraw all my money.”
Lakay says the robbers later left him with his car and made off with R17,000.
Gumtree spokesperson Claire Cobbledick says they are aware of such incidents and have invested in additional software to trace the numbers of people using the site.
“Even if they are not logged in, we can track that communication. We always encourage people to use the messaging system on the platform.”
The South African Police Service has confirmed that the matter has been reported.