Public alerted to sneaky scammers
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – SOUTH AFRICANS have been alerted to devious scammers defrauding people ahead of the festive season.
In a one incident, a woman in Ladysmith, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal Province has lost R29 000.
She was in the city centre 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 if she did not react quickly by midnight her money would no longer be available to her.
The victim was advised to immediately remove the money from her bank account, with the suspect offering to help her to keep the money safe.
She was convinced a police friend of the suspect would accompany her to the bank where she would do her withdrawal.
The victim agreed and a man and two women accompanied her to a bank in Bergville where the money was withdrawn.
The victim 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.
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 the envelope contained scrap paper.
“The suspects tend to focus their efforts on those who are dressed in black and appear to be in mourning,” KZN Police spokesperson, Thulani Zwane, said.
He said another “SIM swap” scam had emerged.
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 warned that while they sort out the problem the SIM card would 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,” Zwane said.
In the interest of keeping money safe police would warned the community to be vigilant of such scams and not to enter into any conversation over the phone where personal and private information is requested from them,
especially with regard to bank account and identity numbers.
“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,” said Zwane.
– CAJ News
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