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Thread: Holiday apartment deposit scam

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Holiday apartment deposit scam

    This scam involves advertising a holiday apartment to rent for holiday accomodation. Of course you need to pay a deposit, but sometimes it's all a scam.

    Happily Darren Simpson has been putting his whacky talents to good use and seems to be on the track of a serial scam artist.
    Radio presenter Darren "Wackhead" Simpson has taken his famous prankster skills a step further -- this time by helping police trace an alleged scam artist.

    According to Eyewitness News, the scammer is wanted on 85 different criminal complaints related to a holiday-accommodation scam. It's understood the man puts up advertisements displaying images of rooms and views in the classifieds. He then asks for a sizeable deposit.

    "He was posting ads on gumtree.co.za, renting holiday apartments. I called all the various adverts under the different names over a period of two months, and every time it was the exact same guy," Simpson told the M&G Online on Thursday.

    "I knew I had been scammed, because when I paid the deposit and the guy stopped answering my calls, a couple of days later the number would not even connect -- he obviously ditched the sim card. "

    The scam has been running for years and has robbed hundreds of their money.

    Simpson and the police have made and recorded numerous calls with the scammer and have managed to trace his whereabouts.

    They have traced him to Paarl and have an image of a man who they believe can help with the investigation.

    The police are asking anyone with information to SMS Crime Line's anonymous tip-off line, 3 22 11.

    full story from M&G here
    So, have you seen this man?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    This could be anyone. Pics a bit too hazy.

    I think that the banks should be roped in as they should have the guys banking details from the deposits made.

    Imagine paying a huge deposit and then arriving with family at the seaside annual holidays only to find the place does not exist or does not do accommodation.

    This one character single-handedly (ok there may be a few others as well) gives all accommodation places a bad name and is the reason that people do not like to pay upfront deposits to reserve anything in advance.

    I think that when he is caught, he should be tortured and shot at dawn. If you dont like that idea then thats fine, he could be shot at dusk. Either way a fraud charge that he could wangle out of just doesnt seem to cut it.
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    he should be tortured and shot at dawn. If you dont like that idea then thats fine, he could be shot at dusk.
    I'll bring my 2 friends, Smith & Wesson??????

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    I think that the banks should be roped in as they should have the guys banking details from the deposits made.
    What I heard is that ABSA have a "cashsend" facility where you deposit cash then the recipient is smsed a reference number. They go to an ATM punch in the reference number without any bank card and get the cash. A great product for cash transfers for the unbanked but it is being abused here.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    That cashsend facility does a remarkable job of defeating the purposes of FICA
    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    If you dont like that idea then thats fine, he could be shot at dusk.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanF View Post
    A great product for cash transfers for the unbanked but it is being abused here.
    Not sure how one would scam with this system? The bank account holder must set up the transfer on this system. Would it not set off some warning bell if you are sending cash via this method to a guy who is going to offer a service or a product in the future? Or are folk just too gullible out there?
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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marq View Post
    Or are folk just too gullible out there?
    Short answer yes.
    Guys desperate to get peak time holidays fall for this.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    why is it proving so difficult to catch this guy. He's been scamming people since last year on gumtree (or longer).

    There's been numerous newspaper reports about this, and the scam ads continue to appear. (they fairly easy to spot)

    Does our police not have any IT investigative capabilities any more?

    No-one using any technology (and specially a cellphone and the Internet) is invisible... we all leave tracks.

    Would it really be that difficult to trap him?

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    Hi

    To be on the safe side and avoid scams, just try to make plans and reservations early enough. Also stick with well known hotels and accommodations. Visit their website and if it is not a very well known accommodation, try to find reviews and contact people that have previously stayed there. You can never be too careful. People are very weary of Johannesburg because it is known for crime, but you should still be careful when choosing Durban and Cape Town accommodation too.

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    Wouldn't the banks have some way of tracing these transactions?

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