Cops warn of new 419 scam

Police have warned investors to apply the "too good to be true" motto to avoid falling for the 419 scam, after two businessmen were kidnapped for ransom last week.

Police have warned investors to apply the "too good to be true" motto to avoid falling for the 419 scam, after two businessmen were kidnapped for ransom last week.

"They offer attractive deals and it is important to become suspicious," said Superintendent Andre Neethling yesterday. He was speaking after nine people were arrested last week in connection with the scam.

They were arrested after two businessmen, one from Japan and the other from Sweden, were kidnapped after their arrival in the country, then held captive for ransom.

Neethling said the luring method was the same as the original 419 scam, but that the process of extracting money had changed.

Bulk e-mails were sent to individuals and companies offering an attractive investment opportunity, or this would be advertised on a website.

Neethling said the syndicates realised that their targets had seen through the requirement of a large upfront payment to help transfer a "secret" fund. They had also stopped using hotels. - Sapa

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