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WARNING: 65 KZN businesses fell prey to government tender fraud scams, says police

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Dec 2, 2021

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Durban: KwaZulu-Natal police issued a cautionary warning after 65 cases of tender fraud scams were recently reported.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele, a trend has been detected where fraudsters would make contact with small business owners and mislead them into believing that they have been awarded tenders from government departments.

“Fraudulent letterheads and email addresses are used to request these businesses to supply a specific product or unusual product.

“To source the products, the small business owners would search on the internet and identify a specific supplier who is also part of the scam. After paying an amount of cash to the alleged supplier to order the items, the victims realised that they were scammed.”

Mbele said the scam has been in existence since 2015 and slowed down by 2020 after previous warnings from police.

“Recently, 65 cases were reported where the suspects have reverted to using the same modus operandi.

“In a case that was reported in 2016 in Richards Bay, the complainant alleged that during September he received a quotation from one of the government departments. In a letter, they requested100 dyroc cylinders. After the money was deposited to the supplier, he realised that it was a scam.

“These scammers are targeting desperate small business owners who are still cementing their feet in their industries. We are appealing to community members to be aware of these ongoing scams and verify with the relevant government department if they receive such requests.”


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