Online bargains end badly for Richmond women

2014-11-06 00:00

“IT was a big scam,” two Richmond women said yesterday after being conned when ordering goods over the Internet.

Lyla Banard and her friend Sadiyya Khan are distraught after being scammed out of R6 450.

Barnard told The Witness that she visited the “OLX” website looking to buy a television at an affordable price.

She saw an ad on the site where televisions were for sale. “I called the number at first but the call wasn’t answered. Then later I received a phone call from a man who identified himself as Pregashen Naicker from “Smart Electronics”.

She and Khan ended up buying four television sets totalling R10 000, as well as a Samsung S5 cellphone and a Gear watch. They paid a deposit totalling R4 000 into a Capitec and an FNB account.

Barnard added that she was convinced that the deal was legitimate because Naicker said he was an ex-cop and a Christian. However, the friends started to feel uneasy about the deal when Naicker started hanging up on them when they phoned to confirm their deliveries.

“He said to us he was from Estcourt, but his OLX ad location was in Pietermaritzburg, and his invoice came from Ladysmith. We expected King Couriers to deliver our items on Monday only to find out King Couriers did not exist,” said Khan.

Since then they have been unable to reach Naicker.

When they succeeded in reaching one of the cellphone numbers on Whatsapp the woman who initially responded thereafter blocked their messages.

Attempts by The Witness to call the numbers given on the ad also elicited no reply.

The friends said they have bought items before on the same website and it came as a shock to discover they were scammed. They have reported the matter to police.

Police spokesperson, Thulani Zwane, confirmed that a case was opened and investigation is under way.

Zwane also outlined a few guidelines to online shoppers. “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Never respond to an e-mail, SMS or phone call requiring you to submit your personal information. If buying or selling something, confirm payment with your bank before releasing the goods,” he said.


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