B&Bs point fingers at ‘sweet talking’ scamster

2016-08-01 10:00
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Pietermaritzburg - A woman accused of scamming people by allegedly promising them government jobs and state vehicles has been fingered for also allegedly duping local bed and breakfast establishments.

Now police are calling for more people or businesses who may have been scammed by her to come forward.

The 32-year-old woman has been arrested and charged so far with nine counts of fraud arising from the alleged “jobs” scam.

She is expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow for a possible bail application.

Meanwhile, two Scottsville B&B establishments have reported being scammed by a woman fitting her description. The manager of one local B&B, who asked not to be named, said the woman owes them more than R15 000 for a two-week stay earlier this month.

She said the woman claimed she was a member of the South African Police Services and used the name “Jackie Singh”.

“She paid upfront for two nights and said the SAPS would pay for the balance of her stay. It is not usually in our policy to allow people to stay without paying, but she is such a sweet talker that we let her stay,” the manager said.

She said a man, believed to be the woman’s husband, also stayed over at the B&B.

The manager alleged that after the woman checked out, she sent at least four copies of deposit slips as “proof of payment”; however, the money never reflected in their business bank account. “We asked for our money so many times and she would always say that she was in a meeting and would make the payment. I feel like such a sucker for falling for her sweet talk,” said the manager.

Another well-known B&B reported being duped out of R4 800 by a woman who stayed there for eight nights. The manager said the woman claimed to be an accountant conducting audits of local schools.

She said she had stayed at the same B&B last month but paid for her three-night stay.

She returned to the B&B two weeks ago.

“She befriended us during her last stay so we trusted her. She said she would do an electronic payment, but the money never came,” the manager alleged. She alleged the woman sent proof of payment to them, but they realised something was wrong when the money never reflected in their bank account. “We had been trying to get hold of her until Friday, and then her phone was switched off. I guess that was when she was arrested,” she said.

The manager said she then called other businesses and found that others had also been scammed.

Police are calling on anyone who may have been scammed by the woman to come forward and contact Warrant Officer Sydney Reddy at 073 206 2424.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  accommodation  |  scam

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