Dubious scam artists prey on unsuspecting victims, using an array of techniques to con people out of their hard-earned money.
However, it seems there is an increase of scam activity, following a warning issued by the Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications.
“The Newcastle SAPS Corporate Communications Department is strongly warning students and job seekers not to fall prey to money-making scams, as such acts are rife during this time of the year,” says Newcastle SAPS spokesperson Captain Jabulani Ncube.
Describing scams as malicious in nature, Captain Ncube says scam artists are now using a technique which focuses on people’s desire for tertiary education.
“During this time of the year, parents do whatever they can and put all their resources, including money, to ensure their children are registered at institutions of higher learning. However, this is also a period where criminals use such an opportunity to lure their victims to get cash from them.”
Captain Ncube explains there are individuals who are posing as representatives from tertiary institutions. These scam artists convince their victims to deposit cash in a bank account, for them to be registered.
“After depositing money, the victim will never hear anything from the so-called “bogus representatives”. These are just criminals who are taking advantage of people who are desperate and who might lack information. The police, therefore, caution the public about this trend and advise people to enquire thoroughly about schools.”
Newcastle SAPS is also warning the community to desist from paying money to individuals who promise them employment.
Captain Ncube emphasizes that companies will not request potential employees to make payment in order to secure a vacancy.
“Legitimate vacancies are advertised through the media (print and electronic) as well as on the relevant business’s websites,” says Captain Ncube.
With fraudsters luring in victims with the hope of employment and securing a spot in a tertiary education institute, Newcastle SAPS is urging the community to be vigilant and seek clarity from the said tertiary institutions, as well as companies to confirm the legitimacy of such offers in future.
Captain Ncube adds that the police condemns these scam artists, describing their behaviour as evil.
He says at times, these scams take the last money a particular family has, a family who had hoped to better their lives by securing employment or a place in a tertiary education institution.
“We also sensitize students who will be registering for the first time at institutions of higher learning to be wary of bogus schools,” says Captain Ncube.
With con artists preying on unsuspecting individuals, Captain Ncube concludes by encouraging victims of scams to report the incident to the SAPS, in order for the perpetrators to be brought to book.