Be alert to these scams, cops advise

2013-02-08 00:00

YOU can’t win a prize in a competition you haven’t entered.

That’s the reminder from police following the proliferation of various scams in Pietermaritzburg.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said the fraudsters usually relied on e-mail and text messages. They include:

• Receiving an e-mail or SMS informing you that you have won a large sum of money in a competition or an international lottery. When the recipient contacts the sender, he or she is asked to pay an administration fee before the prize can be released.

“Firstly, you cannot win a prize in a competition if you have not entered. And secondly, no legitimate organisation will request you to pay an admin fee to claim a prize,” said Jeevan.

• Others try to get your personal information or banking details. “Never respond to these SMSes or e-mails. Contact the bank or company concerned immediately to verify the authenticity of such correspondence. Delete them immediately when you receive them.”

Jeevan said some crooks approached their targets in the street. “Sometimes, victims are followed by a woman on the street after they have withdrawn money from an ATM or inside the bank. A short while later, an accomplice walks past and pours an unknown liquid on the victim’s clothes.

“The woman will then tell the victim the liquid is muthi that will make all the money in their bank account disappear. To reverse the muthi, the victim must place all his or her belongings and money in an envelope and open it again in an hour.

“When the envelope is opened, blank papers are found inside.

“There are also criminals milling around clothing shops informing would-be shoppers that they can get the clothing at a cheaper price. They must just leave their bag with them at the entrance of the shop and go to select the clothing that they want to buy. When the victim returns, the criminals are nowhere to be found,” Jeevan said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.