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Police are investigating a death threat sent to a Parow woman by scammers trying to extort money from her.
The 41-year-old woman received an SMS on Thursday saying she would be killed if she didn’t deposit money into a foreign bank account.
She told the Cape Argus of her experience but did not want to be identified, saying she feared for her life.
According to her, the SMS read: “Attention: We were paid to kill you. And if you want to live you must contact this number to arrange settlement. If you want to stay alive then don’t tell anyone.”
Alarmed, the woman asked a male colleague to call the number from a landline phone, but when he did, the person on the other end of the line initially refused to speak.
Seconds later, however, the colleague heard a voice which said: “I am coming to kill your wife.”
“Initially I thought it was a joke, but when my colleague called the person and he said ‘we have pictures of you and where you live’, I became scared,” the woman said.
She notified the police, and the incident is being investigated, police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut confirmed.
“No one has been arrested. We have reason to believe that the threat is nothing more than a scam.
“However, a threat on a person’s life is not taken lightly. We would like to encourage recipients of these type of messages to report it to the police so that it can be investigated,” Traut said.
SA Banking Risk Information Centre spokesman Bongani Diako said they were aware of the 419-type scam.
“It’s the same scam, but the modus operandi changes to make it sound more real to the victim. People should always be on the lookout for scams of this nature.
“For example, if it’s Sars’s e-filing time, scammers will create such scams. If you’re uncertain, speak to the police or contact your bank and verify the facts instead of acting on your own intuition,” Diako said.