Women robbed in new scam

2015-11-26 06:00

VERULAM police have warned residents to be vigilant after a woman was defrauded of R18 000 in a new scam which emerged at the weekend.

According to police, the 30-year-old victim was in the Verulam CBD drawing money from the ATM to buy stock for her tuck shop when she was approached by another woman who informed her she could get her cigarettes at a cheaper price.

Verulam SAPS communications officer, Warrant Officer Mark Prakasim said the woman, after some convincing, was interested in the offer and was informed by the suspect to follow her.

“While following the female suspect, the victim noticed that the suspect picked up a bank packet containing several hundred rands in notes,” said Prakasim.

“She then told the victim to follow her onto Thompson Avenue in the CBD so that they could share the money which was found.”

Prakasim said the victim obliged and followed the con artist, excited by the prospect of sharing the money which was found.

“While on Thompson Avenue a white Toyota Fortuner came alongside the victim and two African males jumped out of the vehicle with firearms,” said Prakasim.

“They then took [the victim] inside the vehicle and drove towards the Amoutana area where they robbed her off her [valuables] and the R18 000.” The suspects left the victim in the area and fled.

Prakasim said the con artist who lured the victim is being investigated along with the two men as it appears this is a new scam to lure people with the prospect of cheaper goods and monetary gain after they have made a withdrawal at the bank.

“We have different cases of people being conned for money, but this is the first with this modus operandi and we are urging people to be vigilant. If someone you don’t know offers you a chance to make more money or to get items at very cheap prices you have to be cautious,” said Prakasim.

The community has also been urged to be cautious when withdrawing large sums of money and using the bank in general.

Prakasim urged residents to keep all transactions confidential especially when visiting the bank.

“It’s common for people to request assistance at the bank for withdrawals, but this is unnecessary because the guards or bank staff are there to assist. If you ask them for help and something goes wrong you will at least be able to identify the perpetrator,” said Prakasim.

“People need to also avoid keeping to the same routines especially if you are a business person, you need to change the dates on which you buy stock or deposit money at the bank as a set routine makes you vulnerable.”

To report suspicious activity contact the Verulam SAPS on 0325415222.

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