Mystical voices in money scam

2013-08-16 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG man who tried to “divorce-proof” his impending marriage has found himself R300 000 in debt after being conned. Another has lost R700 000 in the scam involving mystical “voices” who promise to bring wealth and happiness, but instead bring poverty and despair.

The 45-year-old man who wanted a perfect marriage responded to a pamphlet distributed in the city centre, that guaranteed a perfect marriage, in April this year.

The pamphlet wording promises luck in love or huge returns on investments.

The Witness is aware of two victims who have fallen for these scams and were conned out of close to a million rand. Police are asking other victims to come forward.

A man who asked not to be named, who wanted a perfect wife, told The Witness he made an appointment to see the healer.

“I was directed to a pitch-black room where they burned something and covered my face with a cloth. He behaved like a sangoma. I then heard three voices say that my girlfriend was going to be a perfect wife for me.” He said the other-worldly voices told him that his ancestors wanted to bless him with R1,7 million.

For that to happen, and to safeguard against being accused of illegal activity, he was told he needed to take out a R300 000 bank loan to provide a paper trail to prevent authorities questioning his windfall.

The voices said this money would enable him to build a house, buy a car and live happily ever after.

On hearing this, he took out three bank loans of R100 000 each, which he took back to the room and placed in a box as instructed by the voices. Following further instructions, he left and later returned, only to find the scamsters had disappeared with his money.

He is left having to re-pay these loans each month, and is too ashamed to tell his family.

Another victim of the scam, a 55-year-old Bulwer man, said he was conned out of R700 000 after responding to a similar pamphlet while looking for a cure for a stroke he had suffered.

He said he was given a pamphlet in the CBD last year.

“As a sick person suffering from a stroke, I then contacted the person on the pamphlet and asked for assistance regarding my illness. I made an appointment to meet him at their offices in Theatre Lane in the CBD,” said the man, who also did not want to be named.

During the consultation, the lights were switched off “and voices of two men told me that I must allow this man to help me with medication for my sickness. I was then given some muthi to use. He was a smooth talker.”

During the consultation, he also heard a voice saying he would be blessed with R5 million, but was told to bring some money to them first.

A few months previously he had received his pension, so he withdrew R350 000 and brought it to the men, who then demanded more money. He withdrew another R350 000 and gave it to them too.

“After that he never phoned me the way he used to phone. When I phone he does not answer. I then reported this to the police.” He said this has placed a great strain on his family as they don’t have money to support themselves.

Upon returning to the men’s offices he discovered that the building was empty and the alleged con artists had disappeared.

It is believed that once the con artists successfully defraud a victim, they disappear for weeks and thereafter target other areas.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan warned of the scam and asked victims and anyone with information who can help police arrest these suspects to call them on 033 845 2400 / 2442.

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