Fraudsters hack woman's phone and Facebook account

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Nomsa Kiefer is a victim of fraud.
Nomsa Kiefer is a victim of fraud.

Nomsa Kiefer, 40, of Honeydew, is spending sleepless nights after her Facebook account was hacked and used to defraud desperate consumers who are in need of quick loans.

Kiefer is also accusing the Honeydew police of doing nothing to stop the fraudulent activity since she alerted them of this in January.

The mother of two said the unsuspecting consumers have paid almost more than R20,000 into a First National Bank account belonging to the fraudsters.

"Since the lockdown, two more people have fallen victims and I'm scared for my life as I have been getting threatening messages from friends who paid their money into this account as they believed it was a legitimate loan service I'm supposedly offering," said Kiefer.

The "loans" are offered to blacklisted victims and to qualify you are required to pay certain amounts of money upfront, Kiefer said.

For the loans to be approved, the applicants are required to submit a copy of their identity document, a bank statement, latest payslip, but "we can still assist you without payslip", reads their advert.

Under qualification, it further states that no credit check is conducted, those under debt review or have a court order against them can apply and other countries can also apply.

The fraudsters, Loan Express, offers loan from R10, 000 to R300,000 with 3% interest rate, depending on the applicants salary and ability to repay.

"What is strange is that the applicants signed a loan offered by Robert Anderson, who's a director and the loan's approval department at Loan Express and when they do their follow-ups, they contact me," Kiefer said.

She said around January, her phone number was fraudulently ported from Cell C to MTN by the criminals.

"It was on a Friday and I contacted Cell C to report this and was advised to contact MTN who could only help me on the following Monday as port department is closed on weekends", Kiefer said.

She said by the time her number was reversed to Cell C, a few of her friends had already been asked for money.

Two of them are Juliana Legesse of Orange Grove and Bukelwa Tyaliphi of Khayelitsha who paid R10,000 and R1,800 respectively, Kiefer said.

"This could have been avoided had the police acted swiftly," she said.

Kiefer said after porting her number, the criminals also changed details on her Facebook profile and continued to scam people by advertising all sorts of financial services they were offering.

"I went to Honeydew police station to report and lay charges because people kept phoning me."

At first, the police officer who assisted her did not take a statement or asked her to write an affidavit, let alone give her a case number for her case, she said.

It was only last month that she was given a case number for her case after more people have been defrauded, she said.

"The officer assigned to investigate this case has done nothing as he views this as not a life-threatening matter," Kiefer said.

She said on April 9 she was attacked by Legesse at a shopping centre, claiming that "I scammed her R10,000 which I know nothing about".

Kiefer said she also accompanied Legesse to the same police station and her case was also not registered.

Legesse said she wanted R150,000 for her upholstery business when she came across Kiefer's Facebook account. She paid the R4,500 which was a security fee and later R5,500 to "enable" Loan Express to release the R150, 000 she qualified for, she said.

"I believed it was Nomsa, , but was shattered when she told me her account was hacked in order to defraud people," she said.

Col C Kwena of the SAPS communications department had not responded to these allegations at the time of going to print.

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