Malvern police are cautioning residents against inheritance scams after an elderly local woman received an email informing her that she was a beneficiary in a will for a substantial amount of money, last week.
Communications officer of Malvern SAPS, W/O Radhika Marimuthu , said the woman sent a return email and was asked to deposit a sum of R12, 000 into the account in order for the process to be facilitated.
The benefactor was allegedly from America.
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“Once the funds had been deposited, the woman tried to contact the individual via email but received no response after several emails having been sent,” added W/O Marimuthu.
A case of fraud has been registered and is being investigated at the local police station.
“Members of the community are urged to display caution when scanning items for purchase on websites and when answering adverts. Caution should immediately be raised when money transfer, deposits and bank particulars are requested. Also, never part with your money unless the correct item advertised has been exchanged. Always cross-check the person selling an item and rather visit his/ her purported business before going ahead with the deal,” she warned.
W/O Marimuthu provided tips to recognise a scam in other related instances:
It is advisable to meet face to face with the buyer in a busy public place, with CCTV footage, where the goods and money can be exchanged simultaneously. Take a friend or family member with you and always tell someone where you are going and why. Give them all the details before you leave.
The seller should never send items upfront to the buyer before receiving the money.
If you are using a secure payment method, make sure that the credit amount shows as cleared funds.
If something sounds too good to be true, then it is certainly not true. It is probably a scam waiting to unfold. Be aware of these scam warning signs, and if in doubt about a buyer, simply do not go into the deal.
The email requester asks for bank account information, credit card numbers, driver’s licence number, passport number, information about members of your family, and other personal information.
The email advises that you have won a prize – even though you are not aware of having entered any competition run by the prize promoters.
The email may be personally addressed to you but it has been posted using bulk mail sending facilities to many others locally and internationally.
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Check the wording of the letter. You may notice spelling errors and exaggerations, which should alert you to the offer being too good to be true.
Logos of the organisations mentioned in the letter (such as the prize-givers) may not seem correct or professionally drafted.
The names of persons used as senders of the emails are common.
Station commander of Malvern SAPS, Lt Col Valarine Reddy, advises the community, especially the elderly, to heed the hints that can prevent loss of money.
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