Moot police recently said there was an increase in the number of fraud cases reported at the station.
These cases included residents being scammed out of cash for property and loans; and winning “prizes” advertised in newspapers and on social media.
“Being the days after the festive season and money being scarce, many people are falling victim to money-making scams,” said police spokesperson Captain Anton Breedt.
Several types of scams were reported to Moot police.
One scam involves customers asked to transfer money upfront, without viewing the goods beforehand, or meeting the owners of a property for sale or rent.
Others scams involved dating platforms on social media, by sending money to someone to buy a present or to “release” it from customs.
In yet another scam, residents are scammed by being informed they won a prize for a competition they never entered.
In one recent case, the victim received a phone call from a “consultant” supposedly from an established bank, informing her that the bank loan she applied for was approved. This was even though the amount approved was much larger than the one she originally applied for.
“She was asked to confirm her personal internet banking details so that the money can be paid into her account.”
Overwhelmed by the “loan” being approved, the victim did not question the call and provided the details to the fraudster.
Breedt cautioned residents to beware of the following scams, also reported at the station:
– Businesses must note when orders are placed and money paid electronically to its account, and make sure that the payment is secure before releasing the purchase. When suspecting a fraudulent company, rather make the transaction cash on delivery.
– When letting or renting a property (especially flats and garden flats), take the time to meet the agent in person or inspect the premises first-hand before any money transfers are made. Many victims were surprised after paying a deposit and preparing to move into the premises, to find that the property was never advertised or was still occupied.
Breedt warned residents to be vigilant and to not give out personal information.
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“These are but a few examples of the scams targeting old and young, rich or poor,” he said.
He asked residents to help the police in their fight against fraud by reporting any suspicious persons or scams to the police.
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