The Top 10 Scam Types in South Africa

Today I want to inform you about the Top 10 Scam Types in South Africa. Unfortunately scammers don’t rest in this day and age and it’s important that Junk Mail users and the South African public be aware of this.

According to a spokesperson from the Hawks, cyber crime is costing South Africa millions every year, even though the scammers have to work hard to get a “hit”.  Most people will question dodgy communication from scammers, but unfortunately someone will always take the bait – one of the reasons why you will always get scammers looking to make a quick buck.

When it comes to scams remember the following 4 things:

  • If something sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never respond to an e-mail, SMS or phone call requiring you to submit personal information (even if it’s in the form of a threat to your account being suspended due to some third-party interference).
  • Never participate in any “sale of goods”, “survey”, “competition”, “lottery” or “inheritance” scheme requiring any personal information over the phone or the internet.
  • If you’re selling something, confirm payment with your bank before releasing the goods, and if you don’t remember entering a competition or buying a lottery ticket, you haven’t won anything.

Plain and simple, isn’t it? If you live by these 4 rules you should be okay. Check out the list op the top 10 scam types in South Africa below, I’m pretty sure that you’ll find this information useful:

  1. The 419 heartbreaker scam: This latest version of the 419 scam targets online dating sites. A girl or a guy romances someone over the internet for a few weeks and then comes up with a story that he / she been in a submarine accident and had lost all their money. Inevitably he / she asks their new found other half to send a cash advance to them. The 419 heartbreakers correspondence looks authentic and is oozing with charm, but in reality its being generated by criminal syndicates (usually made up of people of different nationalities).
  2. Phishing: Many of you are probably familiar with phishing. Fake E-mails are sent out by scammers. They claim that they’re from a bank (ABSA, Standard Bank or other South African banks) and that you have to do various things online to confirm your details, etc. All this is done in order to gain access to your bank accounts.
  3. Smishing: This is basically the SMS version of Phishing. South Africa has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates in the world and it is a wide open field. Many people have received an SMS message requesting that verify their account or in some cases an alarmist message that you make a call rather than visiting a false link. The person on the other end of the line is a fraudster who is after personal information (include your PIN code).  Remember that no bank will ever ask you for your PIN code over the phone.
  4. False payment confirmations: Junk Mail users knows this scam as the SMS Payment confirmation scam. Basically a hoax payment confirmation SMS is sent out by the scammer to confirm payment and it appears to be from your bank. To best way to avoid being caught is to verify that money has been deposited into your account – always. Never release the goods that you’re selling if you aren’t 100% sure that you’ve received payment.
  5. Unethical app downloads charges: Scammers and unethical developers are now making use of premium-rated SMSes in an attempt to defraud people via the mobile applications they download onto their mobile phones. Google removed 22 applications from the Android cellphone market (now known as Google Play) because they conned people into agreeing to premium SMS charges. The first line of defence against any kind of SMS fraud is to thoroughly check your phone bill for any unusual amounts being deducted. Also Only download the more popular apps to avoid this scam.
  6. SIM Swops: One of the ways that a phishing scam can go is a SIM swop scam. The scammer already has your cellphone number and can get enough additional information to request a SIM swop from your network operator. That way they have access to both your bank account details and the SIM card needed to complete transactions. To prevent this SA mobile operators have increased security surrounding SIM swops and this kind of fraud is declining.
  7. Credit Card Skimming: This is a global problem. Credit Card Skimming usually takes place when a fraudster captures card data on devices similar to those used for legitimate point-of-sale or ATM transactions. These devices fit nicely over the card slot on an ATM and some of them even include a camera to record the PIN code. The main point of compromise in this kind of scam is when you hand your card to someone to do a transaction. Never let your card out of your sight and when entering your PIN, cover the PIN pad.
  8. Unscrupulous subscription services: Cellphone users should take note that unscrupulous wireless application service providers (WASPs) can bill any South African cell number and can even detect and record cell phone numbers if you’re browse their websites using your cellphone. On a mobile device all that is needed to bill you is your cellphone number. Make sure that you check your phone bills looking for charges you did not authorize or ongoing charges for subscription services that you did not realise were not once-offs
  9. Counterfit merchandise: Beware of fakes when you’re buying something expensive. It’s big business and a lot of it’s happening online. Recently police arrested four men who tried to con someone into buying fake gems (which had a value of R250,000). The person who was the mark for this scam set up a sting operation and the men were arrested. The gems turned out nothing more than four pieces of glass covered in the melted silicone tube from a TV set.
  10. Microsoft Scam: Scammers call you on your cellphone or home phone claiming to be working for Microsoft. They tell you that they have found out you have a problem with your home computer. They’ll ask you all sorts of questions and prompt you to do all sorts of things with your computer to sort out the problem. The aim of all of this is to get into your computer remotely so they can access all your private info. You could also be told that you’ve won the Microsoft Lottery and that Microsoft requires credit card information to validate your copy of Windows. Another one is unsolicited e-mails from Microsoft requesting a security update. All scams. Don’t get caught by them.

There you have it, information on the top 10 scam types in South Africa. I trust that you have found this information useful. If you encounter a scam or scammer when using the Junk Mail website, please report them to us. You can contact our Customer Care Department via ccc@junkmail.co.za or telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours). Check out our Safety & Security page for more scam warnings and useful tips.

The original article was posted in The Star on the 4th of October (today).

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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286 Responses

  1. ruwayda says:

    Good day I applied for a loan online and it was approved but they asking for registered fees how do I knw if its legit or not please some advise

    • Hi Ruwayda,

      Google the company name with which you applied for the loan and see if there are any complaints about their services.

      • Andre says:

        You can google them and find it is a good company as they use legitimate companies letterheads but fake phone numbers and e-mail addresses. I get a lot from Wonga Loans (scam and spam), but not from the real company (who ignored warnings from me that scammer use their details). Not a very good answer.

  2. Keasha says:

    Hi has anyone heard of a cash loan named M J R Cadh Loans are they legit? I have googled them but there seems to be no complains

  3. Andile says:

    I got a sms from this company Goldwealth financial services ltd the promising good things,are they legit isn’t a scam. Please help

  4. I have been scammed by a guy named Happy Leqele who claims to be related to popular Dj Ben Dikobe, well I found out that they are indeed but he scammed his family aswel. He ran with my money and furniture and I’m still in search of him. I want to find out if there’s a way I can get his name out there to warn other females from trusting this guy as you cannit find him on any search engine or social media. Plus I opened a case against him and found out that he had pending cases.

  5. Hi Johan, can you please send us more information regarding the specific ad you are referring to, to customercare@junkmail.co.za and we’ll investigate further. Ad ID, contact number etc. Thanks

  6. Hi Johan, we will respond to you as soon as possible. Thanks

  7. jan van der berg says:

    I received an email from eric marius at email ericmore100@yahoo.com who wants to give me 5million rand. This doesnt sound possible. What do you think

  8. Margaret says:

    I googled Point of lay chickens on junk mail and an advert by Fourie uni poultry came up. It was a scam. I do not know the man’s name but I have his contact numbers and those of his counterparts.

  9. Hi…does anyone know of a westcon cashloans?

  10. katula says:

    SEO SPECIALIST Elwyn Dhliwayo is a SCAMMER BE AWARE
    Elywn for www seospecialist co za is a big scam ,I gave him a job one year ago for R3500 he never did my website until today 2017 .He doesn’t even what to refund me so be aware of him . We met at McDonald’s and he doesnt want to give a refund he wont answer my calls

    • Thank you for taking the time to send us a message.

      If you don’t mind, please share some additional details; did he advertise his services on Junk Mail? If yes, please send us his direct contact details.

      If not, thank you for warning the public!

  11. Charlene says:

    Current scam running on Junk Mail – Dr De Villiers – 074 2354992
    ID66941536 / AD TYPE: Private / Add Placed – 22 June 2017
    this guys placed a house on Junk Mail for rent – R4600.00 in Athlone Cape Town. he advise people to pay a deposit in order to get the ADT keys for the alarm. He is apparently a doctor and will meet up with you in Athlone / Gatesville. Once deposit is paid he don’t answer your calls or pitches. he also apparently drives a red BMW with a Western Province Number plate. please be aware

    • Thank you for taking the time to send us a message.

      Please note this advertiser will not be able to place any more adverts with the same details on Junk Mail going forward.

  12. Ashina Govind says:

    Hi I have been trying to get a loan I have applied in a few online applications such as loan hub sa, Max law and loan scout and few more however. I have got no response to date. I tried calling but still no help. Max law is even more disgusting as when I called the receptionist put me through to another customer awaiting to speak to the consultant. Now I get a threathing email from loan hub sa stating I owe them R2000 for a service I did not receive. How do I cancel them or have these people sued.

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Ashina,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. If any of this is connected to Junk Mail, please explain the situation and send all the information you have to scam@junkmail.co.za, who will look into the matter.

      Have a good day.

  13. Zandile says:

    Hi. I would like to find out if Tissa CC is a scam or not?

  14. George says:

    lt’s lottostar a scam or wat

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi George,

      Unfortunately we cannot help with any information on this company, but you can search for complaints on Hellopeter.com.

      Kind regards!

  15. Ray says:

    I want to find out about navela financial services. They have an ncr number. But asking for loan insurance of R 5000 and said that loan will be transferred. And then a further email was send asking for R7800 as transfer fees before the loan is transferred.

    • Jani Grey says:

      Hi Ray,

      Unfortunately we cannot comment on the legitimacy of this company, but want to encourage you to thoroughly investigate them before entering into any agreement with them. Start by doing a google search about them, and be sure to visit hellopeter.com to read up on any reviews other people might have placed.

      Rather be safe than sorry.

      Thank you for using Junk Mail.

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