innovations
Lady in an expensive car. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

There are a lot of innovations happening all over the world and one of them and most important is technological advancements. Other than the fact that it has brought a lot of efficiency and convenience to our lives, it has also caused some problems and flaws that were not the case before that. One of the most common is scamming, and it may happen in different industries, which means that people are deceived by some offers on the internet and make actions that cause them some financial problems or security troubles. Lately, it appears that South Africa was especially vulnerable to the scams and it is important to review how they happen and how people can spot the possible fraudulent activities.

1. My Life Change 24/7 or ‘MLC 24/7’

This is a kind of “Ponzi scheme” in which community managers collect willing first-time buyers and ask them to donate various amounts of money in the hopes of earning a higher return than commercial banks or investment houses would deliver. For example, you might put R5,000 into someone’s account directly. The person you’re paying has waited the specified amount of time and is now “withdrawing” their funds.

As a result, you will have to wait a few weeks also known as “your “term” for someone to pay their initial deposit into your bank account, which will act as “your withdrawal.” This process lasts until anyone is left unpaid. Alternatively, the managers will have enough money in their pot to vanish.

2. Fake Real Estate Agents

Suspects pick on victims who have no knowledge of the real estate industry and are unfamiliar with the method of purchasing or selling a home. Fake agents pretend to be in the process of facilitating the whole transaction; after that, the perpetrator will prepare forged contracts and ask the customer to deposit substantial amounts of money as a security deposit for the house. The perpetrator is not heard from again until the deposit is made.

3.  “Overnight” online brokers

With the popularity of forex trading and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the internet at an all-time high, a slew of new traders has sprung up overnight. Finding a good brokerage company is always difficult even though there are a lot of them and you can easily find South African brokers reviewed, however, sometimes those reviews do not reflect the exact reality. Due to South Africa’s strict tax and financial rules, most brokers do not register their businesses in the country, leaving you vulnerable to financial loss if they abandon ship.

4. The deflective deposit – buying online

Fraudulent sales are on the rise as more online marketplaces open their doors. When a customer requests to meet and pick up the order, this is a popular way for sellers to be duped online. After that, the buyer accepts the price and makes a “deposit” in the seller’s account. The funds do not appear in the seller’s account, but they do get a pop-up message from a customer who claims to be the seller. The purchaser is left with none after the sale is finished when the buyer’s payment is found to be fraudulent and the money does not arrive.

5. WhatsApp gifting groups

The MLC 24/7 operates in a similar manner, albeit with a more community-based approach. The WhatsApp gifting community brings together a group of five people who plan to put money into an account, wait a certain amount of time, and then hopefully withdraw their earnings. Participants will also make money by marketing their concept to strangers who will be added to a party via an invitation connection. Many people mistook the gifting party for a stokvel, but it was really a scheme with no defined guidelines or regulations.

6. Online Love Scams

Although life in South Africa may be hectic, we all know that everybody is looking for that special someone. Scammers are looking for single women on dating apps, and this is just what they want. Suspects strike up a dialogue with their naive victims, gaining their confidence to the point that they share “everything.” They normally hit their victims at this time. These con artists usually live very far away, and their hearts ache to see the love of their lives, but they lack the financial means to do so.

These long-term scams typically begin tiny, with requests for money for data or airtime, but over time, they manage to defraud their victims of thousands of rands.

7. Vehicles

Purchasing a car is undoubtedly one of the most stressful investments one can make; moreover, first-time buyers who need advice are often victims of this con. Vehicles are often sold in advertisements, web forums, and social media accounts, but shoppers often end up purchasing a shattered piece of scrap. The cost of repairing the car would be higher than you spent, or the loss would be irreversible.

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