MXit 'an easy route to crime'

2008-08-01 09:21

Pretoria - Criminals often obtain personal information about their victims on MXit, an instant messaging service for cellphones and computers.

Mike Bolhuis, an investigator who specialises in serious violent and economic crimes, said that most of the criminals who obtained their victims' details on MXit were young men between 20 and 30.

A statement issued by MXit said they often warned people of the dangers related to providing personal information in chat rooms.

"MXit has helped authorities track down criminals on several occasions. The amount of enquiries we get from criminals is nothing compared to the number of users we have.

Don't give out personal information

"The only way a criminal can get personal information, is if a person gives it to them themselves. The only way to stop this, is if users listen to warnings."

Bolhuis said he had discovered at least 20 cases this year in which men found their victims through MXit.

In about 80% of these cases, the men stole money to fund their drug habits, he said.

He also found cases where houses were robbed based on information received over MXit, girls were raped and several people had run off or had gone missing after meeting someone over MXit.

Bolhuis said he received between one and two cases per day where MXit was involved.

Bolhuis's most recent case was a 16-year-old girl from Pretoria who has been missing for six days.

A man was arrested earlier this week after breaking into a house in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria. He had met his victim on MXit and got hold of her address.

Fake identities

A great worry is that criminals use fake identities on MXit. The more the criminals speak to their victims, the more personal information the victims provide.

According to MXit, about nine million people use the messaging service.

"On MXit you can only receive messages from people you have accepted as your contacts.

"Criminals will use anything to commit crime. It is basically impossible to stop them. We can't determine the true identity and age of users as they register over the internet and may have many SIM cards. That is one of our biggest problems," the statement claims.

What do police say?

MXit is extremely dangerous, said police spokesperson Superintendent Leon Engelbrecht.

He said Nigerian syndicates and paedophiles used MXit to find their victims.

"Children, especially girls, use MXit to meet someone. The Nigerians and paedophiles abuse this. They introduce the children to drugs. It has happened that children were raped. Others were kidnapped and used as prostitutes."

Engelbrecht said people had to be very sure about the people they were communicating with.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9380

The first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touch screen Stay connected...

From R1799.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.