Don't fall for these scams: Police

NOVEMBER 5, 2015

It's the festive season and criminals are also out to get a good Christmas holiday, hence the police are urging members of the public to be more vigilant and to protect their ID's and banking information as best as they can - and importantly not to fall for scams.

One is the 'sim swap scam'.

With this scam, a person receives a call over their cell phone where the caller convinces the person that the call is from a cell phone service provider.

The suspects claim that the person’s sim card is problematic and that they require their identity number and other personal details in order to rectify the problem. The person is then warned that while they sort out the problem the sim card will be out of order for a short amount of time.

A short while later the person finds that their cell phone does not work.

What the person only later discovers is that a sim swap has been done and banking transactions have taken place, which they have not authorised.

In some instances the person will later discover that small loans have also been taken out on the person’s name.

Elderly people are at risk. An elderly KZN lady became the latest victim a scam that targets people, who are grieving.

According to the police, the lady was in the Ladysmith CBD when a man brushed past her. Immediately afterwards a woman approached her and told her that the man had rubbed muti on her and that her money in the bank was now unsafe.

The suspect further informed the lady that if she did not react quickly by midnight her money would no longer be available to her. She was advised to immediately remove the money from her bank account and the suspect offered to help her to keep the money safe.

The suspect even convinced the lady that she would ask a police friend to accompany her to the bank where she would do her withdrawal. The lady agreed and was taken by three individuals (a man and two women) to a bank in Bergville where the money was withdrawn.

The lady was then asked to place her bank card and pin number as well as the cash into an envelope so that it could be kept safe, to which she did.

On the way back they left the lady at the entrance to Hambrook area and handed her an envelope. When she reached home she discovered that the envelope contained scrap paper. She found herself out of pocket for R29 000.

In the interest of keeping your money safe, police would like to warn the community to be very vigilant of such scams and not to enter into any conversation over the phone where personal and private information is requested from you, especially with regard to your bank account number and identity number.

Never disclose the fact that you have money in a bank account to a stranger or anyone else and never entrust your money to strangers who approach you on the street.