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2023/10/05      |  Written By:  Colonel A Myburg   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: 5 October 2023 – Police would like to sensitise the community about the escalating cases of fraud in various parts of the Province. Taking into consideration the approaching festive season period, which is normally characterised by criminality, it is vital that consumers and the general public exercise caution to safeguard themselves and their property including their hard earned cash.

The current identified hotspots include Rustenburg, Wolmaransstad, Jouberton, Klerksdorp, Hartbeespoortdam and Brits, among others. Types of fraud committed include card cloning, online, petrol card and asset based or vehicle sales. Regarding the asset based fraud, fraudsters physically visit car dealerships with fraudulent documents, then make applications for purchase. The dealers will only become aware of the fraud after collection of the cars.  

With online or social media, especially Facebook, swindlers would advertise and display vehicles that are for sale. Upon response, unsuspecting victims would be lured to secluded places and eventually robbed of their cash and other personal belongings.

In some instances, suspects use social media to advertise various products and victims would then be given account numbers to make payments, but no deliveries will be made. The victims will realise upon following up that they were conned.

Members of the community are therefore urged to apply the following safety tips:

  • Be wary if you lose your Identity Document and you must report to your nearest police station
  • Ensure that the company you are dealing with is legitimate
  • Avoid isolated ATMs and using them late at night
  • Never accept help from strangers when using ATM
  • When you receive suspicious emails or sms with links, DO NOT CLICK as they will redirect you to malicious portals that will harvest your information.
  • Never leave your mobile phone unattended in social gatherings, as this will cause fraudsters to easily lock you out of your social media accounts (Facebook/WhatsApp) by using OTP sent to your phone.
  • Never share your personal life on Social media as Fraudsters use available platforms to approach unsuspecting victims online.
  • If you are a victim of social media crime, always keep screenshots of the profile of the suspect as well as screenshots of how your conversations started and ended, as this will assist Cyber Crime investigators in gathering evidence.
  • Avoid sharing intimate pictures with strangers on social media as this will lead to Cyber extortion and Cyberbullying.
  • In business transactions, do not pay money into accounts that are received via email, changing known account numbers to new ones without verifying with the company you are doing business with.
  • In crypto currency, never allow anyone to trade on your behalf as this platforms (BITCOIN), DO NOT require third parties to trade on your behalf, as you will lose a lot of money that may never be recovered.