Woman's Tinder boyfriend promises her R400 000 only to scam her out of thousands

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images

  • Nompilo Khumalo* thought she had found love on Tinder, but it was all a scam.
  • Her scammer told her he had shipped gifts and 20 000 pounds (about R407 160) for her to South Africa.
  • She ended up paying R11 500 to supposedly release the gifts from customs and to date, she hasn't laid her eyes on the gifts or her new beau. 

Nompilo Khumalo* thought she had met an ideal partner on Tinder. 

Little did she know that she had fallen prey to a scammer on the controversial dating app. She met a man who supposedly lives overseas, and he told her that he was moving to South Africa soon. He was moving to a house in Cape Town. He had already shipped some of his stuff to the country, he said. 

To make the story somewhat believable, he told her that he had bought her gifts and put 20 000 pounds (about R407 160) in one of the handbags.

Nompilo believed her new man as she had already fallen in love.  

READ MORE | Lessons on dating, love and scammers from The Tinder Swindler

Soon after, she received an email saying her gifts had arrived in the country. She got a call from a woman saying she works for customs at the airport and that a deposit of R3 000 was needed

for clearance. After that call, another call came in from the same woman. She told her that they found money in one of the handbags and she needed to pay a penalty fee of R5 000.

Nompilo deposited all the money into an account number provided. On the same day, she was told to deposit another R3 500 for her gifts to be delivered to her doorstep and again, she did. 

At this point she had deposited R11 500 and she started to realise that she was a victim of a love scam.

It was only when the woman called again to say her delivery didn't arrive because she needed to pay a duty fee of R6 500 that Nompilo realised what was really happening.

READ MORE | 'I tried various dating apps for a month, here's what I learnt'

A recent study by credit rating agency TransUnion shows that 37% of local consumers have been victims of digital fraud. 


You might be reading this and thinking that the people who get scammed are 'stupid'. But the reality is not everyone knows what to look out for when scammers strike. 

Ayanda Ndimande, head of Sanlam Business Development for Retail Credit, shares common red flags.



Match made in heaven? Think again:

The digital world is like the analogue one in that it is rare that someone would just come up to you and make you a generous offer like this. Scepticism costs nothing and could save you a great deal.

READ MORE | 'I was scammed out of R8300 after being seduced on Tinder'


'Send me your details': 

Scammers love knowing everything about you, so asking for your details is a massive red flag! From your ID or passport number and physical address to your bank statements, they will try to glean as much personal information as they can from you. Be very wary about giving your details to anybody.

Too good to be true:

It is very tempting to think that you may be the luckiest person in the world, but if an offer of R500 000 loan at 2% interest finds itself in your inbox, then it's almost certainly too good to be true.


READ MORE | People are getting married less and opting for alternative ways of connecting

'Send money now':

The more time you mull things over, the less likely you will be conned. Don't let yourself be pressured into acting quickly.


Spelling mistakes:

When was the last time your bank sent you correspondence with spelling mistakes? Reputable companies hire people to make sure that doesn't happen. On the other hand, scammers hope that you don't notice. It is also a good idea to check the email address. Don't click it if it is from a Gmail account, Yahoo, or any other free email service.


Phishing/ vishing:

Phishing is especially vicious, as it's a scam correspondence framed like it's from someone you know. For example, you might get an email from your boss asking you to urgently send funds because there's a problem with the company account.

It looks legit, seems to come from an address almost exactly like your boss's email address and is signed with your employer's name.

If you get an email asking for funds, immediately pick up the phone and call the right people to clarify that it comes from the company. It's easy to fall for phishing and vishing (voice fishing for funds via platforms like WhatsApp).

Not her real name*

Additional source: Atmosphere Communications

Have you ever been scammed?  Let us know here.

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