Cape Town - Police are investigating a man who allegedly conned 10 people out of R20 000 - after promising each of them the rental of the same property.
The man, whose identity is known to the Daily Voice, posted an advertisement on classified website Gumtree, offering to rent out a one-bedroom granny flat in Fairways.
It is believed the 25-year-old showcased the home to 10 families, taking a R2 000 deposit from each.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut says the investigation is at a sensitive stage.
“No information can be disclosed at this stage as it could jeopardise our investigation,” says Traut.
Mother of two Roxy Rose, 27, responded to the Gumtree ad and contacted a man who called himself Andrew Adams.
“I met with him on April 30,” say Roxy.
She says she immediately liked the cosy home and was willing to pay the deposit.
Then she received a “steamy” text message from Andrew.
“He said in the message ‘U such a good looking girl, hw about u dnt pay a deposit n we have sum fun once off! it is included’,” Roxy says.
“I told him I am in a committed relationship and that I would rather pay.”
Roxy met Andrew at a garage in Claremont in early May where he provided a receipt for her deposit.
“He said I would only be able to move in on May 20, as the other people were still in the house.”
Roxy got suspicious when he kept making excuses about handing over the key.
“When I didn’t have the key by May 31, I went to the house,” she says.
“I said [to the tenants] I’m sorry I am supposed to move in here today. And they said I was scammed like another man who also showed up at the house the day before.”
A furious Roxy went to Grassy Park Police Station where she met another victim.
“There was a man there also opening up a case against an Andrew Adams, but that was an alias,” she says.
She learnt Andrew had been a tenant at the same property but had stopped paying rent.
The actual property owner, who asked not to be identified, says she was unaware of the ongoing con.
The Daily Voice was unable to reach “Andrew” on two numbers provided by duped victims but did track down his father.
“He is estranged to the family. I heard the police are looking for him,” the father said.