Pinetown police issue fraud warning

2018-06-19 06:01

PINETOWN police appeal to the community at large to be wary of fraudsters following an increase in the number of fraud cases that have been opened at the Pinetown Police Station in recent months.

Apart from ATM fraud, Pinetown police have received complaints from different people who have been defrauded, especially over the phone.

Most complainants have reported that they would receive a phone call from someone who poses as an agent from a cellphone network provider, calling to alert the user about someone who is trying to do a SIM-swap on their number. The caller would then promise to assist the user and request their details.

A few minutes after the call, users would receive a message on their cellphone alerting them that a sum of money has been withdrawn from their bank account.

In another incident, a cellphone user received a phone call from a women who said she was calling from a network provider in order to congratulate the user on winning a competition. The caller indicated that the terms and conditions of the competion required the winner to first load airtime to the value of R60 before they could claim the prize.
When the user had done so, she received another call from the same caller asking her to switch off her phone for a few minutes before switching it back on. By the time the user had switched the phone back on it had no signal. She was later alerted about transactions on her bank account.

Another modus operandi used by the fraudsters is advertising goods for sale on social media or newspapers. When a buyer shows interest in buying whatever is being advertised, the scammer would ask for payment beforehand. Once the payment is made, the seller merely disappears or gives endless excuses.

The escalating number of these cases is a cause for concern and the police would like to appeal to the community to be alert.

Anyone with information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of these people can contact Lieutenant Colonel Mwelase on 079 500 0402 or Sergeant Babalwa Mqedlana on 072 193 8718.

- Supplied

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