DO NOT hand out cash because you “have won” something. It is “Advance Fee Fraud”.

AN SMS and WhatsApp scam circulating in Nelson Mandela Bay has already duped at least three people who between them have lost about R20 000 in recent weeks.
Eight cases of fraud linked to the scam are under investigation by various police stations across the Bay.
Fears that more residents could fall victim to the scam have prompted police to warn residents not to be conned into believing that they have won money in a lucky draw competition.
Three cases in the Uitenhage and Despatch area have been reported since the beginning of March.
And an additional five have been reported to the Gelvandale police station .
Police spokesman Warrant Officer Basil Seekoei said in all the cases the message, received via SMS or WhatsApp claimed the victims’ cellphone numbers had randomly been selected in a lucky draw.
The victims are then told to deposit money to claim their “winnings”, which vary between R300 000 and R400 000.
“Once they respond to the message it is followed by another stating that various amounts in the thousands of rands need to be deposited for their winnings to be released.
“In two cases, the victims phoned the number and spoke to an ‘agent’, who stated they had to deposit the money as soon as possible before their winnings incurred penalty costs and were forfeited.
“In one of the cases, the victim paid close to R13 000 in several separate transactions to the scam artists.”
Seekoei said this modus operandi was similar to another scam between 2010 and 2013 which saw three men each sentenced to 15 years in jail.
He said the fear of more unsuspecting residents being swindled out of money was a concern.
“At this stage, we are not sure if it is a single group or several groups conducting this scam. We can confirm, however, that efforts are under way to track and arrest these con artists.”
-Gareth Wilson

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