Kokstad, scammers ‘paradise’

2015-05-22 06:00
Photo: sourced
Ebhongweni C-max prison, which scammers use as bait for people looking for jobs.

Photo: sourced Ebhongweni C-max prison, which scammers use as bait for people looking for jobs.

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CRIMINALS are coming up with new ways of scamming people out of money as reports of new scams emerge weekly. The Department of Correctional Services in Kokstad last week issued a warning to job seekers advising them not to “buy” jobs. The warning comes after it was discovered that criminals are saying they work for Correctional Services and in exchange for money will get them a job.

“There are people who are selling non-existent posts to people at a cost varying from R1 500 to R3 000, and because of desperation people are falling for these scams,” a source from the prison in Kokstad said.

The source said there are learnership programmes the department is running and the public are submitting their CVs to the medium prison.

“The scammers use the learnership programme to sell posts. The department does not have any vacant posts at the moment and people need to understand that jobs are not for sale - that is an act of corruption in itself,” the source said.

Another scam that is doing the rounds in Kokstad is that people are scammed on WhatsApp­. Sindiswa Mthembu (not her real name) was scammed out of R1 300. She said she received a WhatsApp message with a four-digit code. “I got the message ‘WhatsApp­ 2034’ from a number I donand#039;t know. I was confused because I donand#039;t know the person who sent it. After a short while a person called me and said he had sent the message to me by mistake. He was actually sending it to his phone via computer,” she said. Mthembu then forwarded the message to number given and seconds later her Whats-App was blocked and she couldnand#039;t use it. “I think the guy hacked into my WhatsApp account and started sending people on my contact list messages saying I had been arrested for fraud I committed at work and that I needed money to bail me out of jail immediately­.

“One of my cousins, who the scammer sent the e-mail message to, responded by asking how she could send the money and the guy said if she had an FNB account she must eWallet the money to her, and she sent R1 300 via eWallet. She realised later on that she had been scammed and I had to pay that R1 300 to clear my name because she was convinced she had bailed me out.”

Four other people in Kokstad have reported to being scammed in the same way. The scammers are believed to come from big cities like Durban and Johannesburg.

Kokstad SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Dumisani Ncongo could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

People are advised to call 039 797 2037 or 039 797 2011 with regards to vacancies at the Department of Correctional Services

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