Rondebosch residents have been falling prey to online scams, and the police are warning the public to be alert to the dangers of buying and selling things online.
There has been an increase in people posing as buyers for goods offered online, then stealing them using fake proof of payment, says Rondebosch police spokeman Warrant Officer Lyndon Sisam.
On Tuesday August 25, a 20-year-old UCT student selling his laptop online for R8700 became a victim of this crime.
“After receiving proof of payment in the form of an SMS, he handed the laptop to the person,” said Warrant Officer Sisam. “He later discovered that the proof of payment was fake.”
A 30-year-old Rondebosch woman fell victim when she tried to sell her desktop computer for R7500.
A man WhatsApped her to say he would send someone to collect the computer. “She called him to inform him that she still did not receive proof of payment, and the person then sent proof of payment on her WhatsApp and via email,” said Warrant Officer Sisam.
The woman gave the desktop to an e-hailing driver only to learn later that the proof of payment was fake.
A 76-year-old Rondebosch man was conned by a phoney bank employee who asked him over the phone to change his PIN to stop theft from his account.
The woman gave him a new PIN and asked him to verify all his banking information. “A few minutes later, he received notification that R58 567.32 was withdrawn from his account,” said Warrant Officer Sisam.
Online sellers should check the money was in their account before parting with their goods, and the public should not share banking information with anyone, even if they claimed to be a bank employee, he said.