My poor Margaret got roundly scammed in the past few days.
As some of you know, she runs two stationery shops and a Cardies store.
On 24th December she received a call from a certain Mark Lyle, ostensibly from Apple i-Store, asking for a quotation for 25 reams of A4 paper. Margaret duly emailed him a quotation, amounting to just over R5,700, which he accepted. He then faxed a proof of an EFT payment from his Capitec bank account, and Margaret went to her ABSA branch to get their assurance that it was legitimate, which they confirmed.
On the strength of the proof of payment, she allowed him to collect the stock from her store. As of yesterday morning, the EFT was not yet reflecting on her ABSA account, but she assumed that it was because the EFT was made from a different bank and the delay was due to the public holidays.
Then, yesterday, she got another call from Mark, asking if he could order another 25 reams of paper. Margaret sent him another quotation, which was slightly less than the first, due to the lower grade of paper, which he again accepted. Once again, a proof of EFT payment was emailed through (see attachment) and he collected the goods later in the morning.
When I checked Margaret's ABSA account last night, I became suspicious when the first EFT payment was still not reflecting. I then looked more carefully at the faxed proof of payment for the first order, and the email relating to the second order and then I became more worried. The faxed proof of payment indicated that it was faxed from an internet cafe, and Mark's email address was firstname.lastname@example.org - very odd indeed.
Telephonic enquiries with the Apple i-Store at Gateway Shopping Centre confirmed that there was no Mark Lyle working for Apple i-Store.
Margaret is paying a visit to the local Capitec branch to ascertain whether or not the proof of payments were genuine (but reversed), or whether they were pure fraudulent documents, and that Mark Lyle did not even have a Capitec account.
Naturally Margaret is beside herself - R11,000 is a lot of money in anyone's language.