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Scams on the rise in Mpumalanga as festive season approaches

A marked police van

THE SAPS in Mpumalanga has warned community members to avoid paying for items sold online without authenticating the deal as numerous people have fallen victim to online scams. File Picture

Published Nov 11, 2021


PRETORIA – With the festive season approaching, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Mpumalanga has expressed concern over rising cases of fraud and online scams.

The SAPS in Mpumalanga said fraudsters continue to defraud unsuspecting victims by posting advertisements on social media.

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“Police have received several reports in the past week where fraudsters defrauded people by posting advertisements for car sales on Facebook. The fraudsters convince the unsuspecting people who are interested in buying the car to deposit a certain amount of money before the car can be delivered,” said SAPS Mpumalanga spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

The fraudsters will then withdraw the money and disappear without delivering the car.

In some other incidents, fraudsters convince the unsuspecting victims to join a “lucrative” investment scheme by depositing some cash, which they promise greater or double returns on the investment.

“Sometimes the victims are offered cash loans but they are told to deposit some money before the loan cash is released. This trend has been seen around Nelspruit,” Mohlala said.

Mpumalanga police have warned community members to work with reputable car dealerships when they want to purchase vehicles.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela has appealed to community members not to send money for items advertised online or on social media before verifying the authenticity of the deal.

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"We request the community to be vigilant, do proper research and not to rely on social media posts or advertisements when they want to buy a car or any other item. Most importantly, people are requested not to deposit or send money to people that they have never met,” Manamela said.


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SAPSCrime and courts