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WARNING: Some creative ways fraudsters are using to steal money from people

Dec 4, 2019
WARNING: Some creative ways fraudsters are using to steal money from people

Port Alfred -  The Port Alfred Commercial crime unit has been kept busy with several cases of fraud being reported even before the 2019 festive season gets into full gear.

"Despite several arrests being made, fraudsters continue to find inventive ways of defrauding innocent and unsuspecting victims which is a grave concern," said police spokesperson, Captain Mali Govender.

The Unit has shared a few examples and modus operandi’s that criminals use to defraud their victims.

Sim swop and porting of sim cards:

Captain Govender explained that the fraudster approaches you and pretends to be working for a cellular network and offers to port your cell number to another network. 

"The fraudster requests for the sim card. The unsuspecting victim hands over the sim card to the fraudster who then puts it into a cell phone," she described.

"The fraudster then inserts the sim card into a cell phone.

"During this time, does bank transactions from the victim's account."

Lending bank card:

"In this instance, the fraudster will act desperate and approach the victim and state that they had forgotten their bank card at home," Captain Govender said. 

"The suspect will request to use your bank card to have funds deposited into it. The suspect will convince the victim of the urgency to get the cash, and the victim agrees and trusts the suspect. 

"Cash is then deposited into the victims’ account, which is then drawn out and handed to the suspect. The money deposited is from a scam that is committed.

"I investigations of reported fraud cases that often lead the investigator to the unsuspecting 'suspect' , who claims that their bank card was used by an unknown individual."

She warned community members not to lend their bank accounts to unknown people.

Bargain hunting:

Captain Govender said victims discover absurdly low bargains on Facebook, namely electronic equipment, vehicles,  power tools, beauty products including hair weaves, wigs etc.

"The advertisement requires a deposit and sometimes immediate and full payment, which the victim complies with, only to find that the account has been closed and no delivery is received." 

Application for a loan: 

A week ago, the victim responded to an advertisement on a pamphlet.

"The advert states that you can be given an instant loan even if you have been blacklisted. All that needs to be done is email your payslip and identity document and you would qualify for a loan with a very low interest rate.

"The victim in this case gathered all the required documents and emailed it as required," Captain Govender explained. 

"A response was received that all documents were in order; however an amount of R3 000 needs to be paid in for tax. The victim then deposited the amount an amount of R3 000.

"Another message was received by the victim that a further amount of R4 000 was required to register the loan. At this stage the complainant became suspicious and did not deposit any cash further."

Facebook messenger:

Captain Govender said that the complainant receives a message from one of their friends/contacts on Facebook messenger stating that, 'You have won an amount of R15m on facebook lotto. Your name appears on the attached list'.

“In one reported incident, the victim paid an amount of R538 000 for 'tax'," she added. 

"Following investigations, it was established that scammers hack onto face book accounts and use the details of 'friends'.”

Captain Govender further said that in approximately four cases, whilst at an ATM, as the victim is busy, a suspect will interrupt the victim and state that he/she has forgotten the bank slip. 

"A few minutes later whilst the victim is still busy at the ATM, he/she will receive an SMS, that money has been drawn from their bank account," she said.

"The community are urged to be vigilant at all times and not give into temptation."

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