Ricochet News

Fake money syndicate targets desperate residents in PE townships

By Asavela Fekema - May 24, 2016
Fake money syndicate targets desperate residents in PE townships

Three men, often seen driving a Citi Golf in Port Elizabeth’s New Brighton township, have allegedly been going around the area promising residents that they can guarantee them a R150 000 return  if they make a R50 000 short-term investment.

The men are allegedly targeting street vendors and other vulnerable community members and several people have already fallen victim to the scam as they were handed back fake R100 to R200 notes after they made their investments.

One of the people, who were approached by these men, described to this journalist that the men are almost always three in the car and do meticulous background checks on their victims before approaching them.

Apparently, the men also use another modas operandi where they claim that they are staying at a nearby Bed and Breakfast (BnB) and want to keep their “supposed” money safe – and in the process lure their victims by claiming there was even more money where they came from.

Resident, Nobahle Nyokana, almost fell victim to this.

“These people came into the area and asked us if they could use one of our spots to keep their money as they have R150 000 at a nearby Bed and Breakfast,” she said.

Nyokana said that the men also showed her how her money could be doubled if she invests. She said she was shocked and told the men to get off her property.

Reports have been going around since 2012 in South Africa of the counterfeit of R100 and R200 notes in circulation.

According to the South African Reserve Bank each of these notes contains well established security feature such as the watermark, which is integrated in the paper.

What you should do when receiving a banknote:

  • study the various security features built into our banknotes;
  • make a habit of checking the banknotes you receive for these features; and
  • do not hesitate or feel embarrassed about holding a banknote up to the light, feeling for intaglio printing or flicking the banknote and listening for the characteristic sound.