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Cybercrime | News24 | #cybercrime | #computerhacker

Be vigilant, avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. PHOTO: supplied

Kensington Police Station appeals to residents to be vigilant when purchasing items online and avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. Between 15 and 20 cyber-related cases have been reported at the station since April this year.

All cases are currently under investigation and no arrests have yet been made.

WO David Stemmet, Kensington police communications officer, says recently a resident was defrauded of over R40 000.

“We are seeing an increase in these cyber-related and fraud cases. We receive at least one or two cases per week. Young people are also being tricked into investing money in cryptocurrency and other money schemes.

“Large amounts of money are promised but this never materialise.”

Parents are encouraged to be aware of who their children interact with on social media.

“Many young girls and women are being exploited by unscrupulous people. The females are asked to send semi- and naked pictures, and once they have been sent they (victims) are exploited for money or other distasteful things.”

Reabetso Mhumhi, a Kensington resident, says she was scammed and lost over R5 000 via a social media sale.

Mhumhi explains that her husband advertised their computer on Facebook for R5 500.

She says on Sunday 13 August her husband, who is currently overseas, informed her that he found a buyer for the computer.

“My husband sent me the number for the buyer and we (the buyer and I) started communicating. The guy (buyer) told me he would come and collect the computer at about 18:00. At 18:00 I was not ready, because I still had to remove all my information from there. The buyer didn’t come to my house himself; he sent an e-hailing driver to collect on his behalf. I was under pressure because e-hailing drivers are impatient. Now that I think about it, that was a clever tactic he used.

“I was talking on the phone with the buyer, liaising with the driver waiting outside.

Mhumhi says she did not suspect anything suspicious because she received an SMS stating that an immediate payment of R5 500 had been made into her bank account.

“The SMS stated the money would reflect in my account within a few hours. It looked legit. The buyer on the other end was pressuring me and saying he was paying for the e-haling taxi and the longer I took the more he ended up paying.”

She explains that having removed all her information from the computer she parted with it.

“At about 22:00 I checked my phone again to see if there were any other notifications from the bank stating the money had been paid into my account. But there was nothing. I called the buyer to inquire and he assured me everything was fine. He even sent me a photo of the banking app indicating that he did transfer the money.”

Mhumhi says at this stage she still didn’t suspect anything.

“On Monday I went to work. I decided to call the bank number that appears on the SMS. I spoke to a consultant at the bank and explained my situation. The consultant said if it was an immediate payment, it should have reflected within a few minutes.”

Mhumhi says at this point she contacted the buyer again and he assured her everything was above board. She says later that day the buyer contacted her again requesting that she retransfer the money to him because the computer he bought is apparently “not working”.

“I told him I still didn’t receive the money. He said I should wait until 18:00 because it takes about 24 hours to reflect. By 20:00 there was still nothing.

“I told him I wanted the computer back and he told me I should collect it. He lives in Somerset West.

“I contacted the same driver who collected the computer and he said he would go and collect it.”

She explains that on Wednesday 16 August the e-hailing went to Somerset West to collect the computer but when he arrived at the location, the buyer was nowhere to be found.

According to Mhumhi, she opened a case at Kensington Police Station on Thursday 17 August.

Lt Col Delmore Manuel, station commander, says if something seems too good to be true, it’s best to avoid it.

“If you haven’t seen the product then don’t pay for it. Ask important questions, don’t just buy things. When purchasing a car, make sure it’s from a reputable company or dealership.

“Avoid social media adverts as scammers are often on the prowl there.”

Manuel encouraged people who have become a victim to lay a formal complaint at the station.

“This is not something we can police. So, when you report the case, we can investigate. In this way, you can prevent someone else from becoming a victim and making the same mistake.”


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