NATIONAL NEWS - Fraud cases are still a very big concern and are increasing at a rapid rate.
According to the police in George, there has been a drastic increase in fraud-related incidents in the past few months. People have lost thousands of rand to unscrupulous fraudsters who think nothing of defrauding the elderly or the vulnerable.
According to George police communications officer, in most instances people receive either an SMS or email about something that you won. Do not get involved in claiming the money.
Most of these culprits are overseas and it's most probably a scam. Remember, if you don't enter anything, you can't win.
Construction contracts / order equipment
Tshengu says with these scams you will most probably be asked to give a quotation for work to be done or for supplying equipment.
“This will either be for government organizations, guest houses and businesses. After they received your quotation you will be contacted and in most instances you will be asked to increase your tender amount. Thereafter you will be asked to pay an amount into an account for a function or as kickback for receiving the work. You will again be asked to pay in money for various reasons,” she says.
These requests will only stop when you stop payment.
Money can also be paid into your account for equipment ordered. “Do not under any circumstances release the items before the money has been cleared in your account,” she says.
Example: A client will phone to get someone out to do a quotation for a product. They will agree on a time. The site is normally in a rural area. “The client will phone back and request the person that is going to do the quotation to buy airtime and to SMS the number. He promise to pay when he arrives at the site. Unfortunately the particulars of the person as well as the address are false and the money and airtime is gone,” says Tsengu.
Banking details have changed
Example: You will receive a SMS or email stating that a business to whom you must pay an outstanding amount has changed their banking details.
There will be a new account number provided in the message.
Do not pay any money into such an account before you did not contact the business and speak to someone you know to confirm the bank particulars. In most incidents the bank details did not change and you are paying the money into the wrong account. You will still be liable for the account.
Buying items using the internet
Always ensure that the company or person you are dealing with is legit. “The last few months many cases were reported where the articles that were ordered and paid for were not received. The same problem exist for booking and paying deposits for holiday rentals,” said Tsengu.
• Do not pay a deposit if you did not see the house that you want to rent.
• Do not pay for something if you are not 100% satisfied that it does exist and that you are going to receive it.
Banking: Fica particulars
No bank will ask you via the internet or telephone to change your password. Neither will they ask you to supply your Fica information. They will request these particulars to be brought to them at the nearest branch. Do not supply any particulars via the internet, definitely not your Pin number.
Do not save your pin number anywhere.
Do not except any help from anyone who offer to help at the ATM. Be careful when you arrive at an ATM and one or two people are hanging around without withdrawing. If you need help go into the bank and get a bank employee to help you.
Should your card get stuck in the ATM machine report it immediately by phoning the emergency number supplied by your bank.
Please Google search the following:
- How do I stay safe while using Gumtree?
- Buying & selling- top tips for staying safe
- How do I buy/sell safely
- Some tips for a safe, happy deal.
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