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Bogus pension fund windfalls and cheap house sales — don't fall for it!

KwaZulu-Natal police this week made arrests in two cases of fraud, involving gullible people being tricked into handing over cash.
KwaZulu-Natal police this week made arrests in two cases of fraud, involving gullible people being tricked into handing over cash.
Image: 123RF/Le Moal Olivier

Police in KwaZulu-Natal are warning people not to hand over cash in dubious transactions, after making arrests in connection with two cases this week.

The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team arrested a 72-year-old woman for alleged fraud amounting to R10m.

She is an employee of a pension fund tracing company in Vryheid.

Capt Simphiwe Mhlongo said: “The accused allegedly lured the victims to provide cash and open files in order to receive unclaimed surplus pension funds from government departments and ex employers.

“The Hawks investigation revealed that none of the victims received any pension fund, as a result, the accused defrauded the victims.”

The company owner had already been arrested for fraud in February last year, and the company had been ordered to stop their operation.

In a separate case, the eThekwini District Task Team arrested a man who allegedly posed as an estate agent.

Capt Nqobile Gwala said he is accused of posting houses for sale in Umlazi and the greater Durban area on social media.

The investigation revealed that the suspect would make the unsuspecting clients sign an offer to purchase agreement on houses, by showing them pictures, said Gwala.

The price of the house that was about to be fraudulently sold to different people — without the owners knowledge — was R220,000.

The 47-year-old man was placed under arrest at his rented office in Windermere on a charge of fraud. His laptop, cellphone and documents were seized by police.

“We would like to caution the members of the community not to fall prey to such housing scams. The community is advised to verify the identity of estate agents and to conduct more research on the homes offered for sale before they sign any documents,” said Gwala.

TimesLIVE

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