CSA, Saru targeted by con man

2012-02-06 12:57

Two of South Africa’s largest sport federations have been scammed, seemingly by the same fraudster in Western Cape.

“There is a scam doing the rounds in which somebody makes a booking at a restaurant on behalf of the Proteas, usually using the name of Paul Harris, and then endeavours to get money out of the restaurant by various fraudulent means,” Cricket SA (CSA) said in a statement today.

Last month, the South African Rugby Union (Saru) sent a similar statement, in an attempt to protect itself from the con man, who called himself Craig Adams.

“At least two Cape Town establishments have been approached to take bookings for large groups from someone purporting to be ‘chair, organising committee, Saru’,” the rugby body said.

“In one instance, a Cape Town restaurant received a booking for a meal for 27 people on the strength of an apparently forged ‘proof of payment’. In the other, a booking was made for 36 people.”

Saru said the “proof of payment” was then used to claim overpayment for the forthcoming booking. The fraudster requested reimbursement into his account to ensure his party was able to pay for transport to fulfil the booking.

Saru said it had no employee named Craig Adams, nor did it operate the email domain theboks@therugby.co.za, which the fraudster had apparently used to lend credibility to the scam.

The rugby body said it was making inquiries with a view to referring the matter to the South African Police Service.

Cricket SA spokesperson Michael Owen-Smith said the cricket body had also been targeted by a fraudster in Western Cape, who was believed to be the same person.

“At the moment, the Proteas squad is dispersed around the country and will be leaving at the end of this week for New Zealand, so will not be in a position to make any team bookings,” Owen-Smith said.

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