Beware of online scams

A Newholmes businessman was conned out of R500 by a man claiming to be a pastor raising funds for his church.
The businessman, who has an electronics business in Church Street, responded to an advert on social media in which five Samsung 55-inch curve TVs were advertised. The TVs were advertised at R5700, excluded the R200 delivery charge, were in sealed boxes and came with a 24 month warranty.
The conman, who went by the name Neville Naidoo, claimed he worked for the Samsung Smart Care Centre in Durban, and that the TVs were given to his church in Peacevale and were being sold for a fundraising project.
The businessman, who wished remain anonymous, said, “I was very interested and I messaged the pastor. I was under the assumption that I knew him because two years ago I fitted air conditioners for a pastor in Pietermaritzburg by the same name. When I asked if I did his air cons a few years ago, he said yes. So I trusted him and what he advertised. I made the deposit via an E-Wallet form my wife’s bank account.”
The pastor then said he had another 65-inch TV at R7000. The unsuspecting businessman agreed to buy that as well. They made arrangements on social media for delivery and Naidoo had also confirmed that he received the deposit of R500. Naidoo further claimed he had an NPO certificate for his church.
“He was so convincing but kept asking for money to be deposited. He said his delivery guy was charging him a lot. I told him I will give him the rest of on delivery. Then I started to become suspicious and refused to make more deposits. When I checked the social media site again to check his profile, I was blocked. I called Samsung in Durban and was told no such person works for them. I hope other people don’t fall prey to this man. I am in the process of opening a case.”
In a separate incident, a woman was phoned allegedly by an employee from Vodacom in Randburg. She was asked several questions and informed that somebody was trying
to do a SIM swop on her number. She was then advised to switch her phone off. When she switched the phone on, she saw that money had been taken from her bank account.
Captain Gay Ebrahim, spokesperson for Mountain Rise Police, said, “We urge the community not to offer personal information on social media or on the telephone. No bank or service provider will ask you for your PIN code or any other numbers. Any suspicious calls or messages received should be checked with the necessary organisation that the caller pretends to be calling from.”

  AUTHOR
Keroshini Paltu

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