A man has admitted to trying to scam a small business owner out of almost R90 000 in computer merchandise.
On Tuesday, a man calling himself Emmanuel used a counterfeit order form from the national Department of Agriculture to place an R89 995 order with Budget Computers in Wynberg.
Cyril Petro, the owner and manager of Budget Computers, had received a call from Emmanuel on the previous Friday morning, asking for a quote on the price of laptops.
The man then placed the order on Tuesday, using what appeared to be an official government form.
"On Wednesday, I received a call from a cellphone number," said Petro. "He (Emmanuel) wanted to check that the order was on track."
Using the cellphone number from which Petro received the call, the Cape Argus was able to contact Emmanuel.
He openly stated that he had no intention of paying for the stock and planned to sell it to his brothers for cash.
"I know it's wrong, but I have no job and my daughters need to go to school," he said.
Emmanuel also stated that he used a counterfeit government order form because "it makes them (suppliers) deliver faster".
He would not say how he obtained the form.
When Petro received the order on Tuesday, he noted minor irregularities and phoned the number on the order form.
"I thought something was wrong when he answered the call directly and there was no switchboard operator," he said.
Petro subsequently made contact with a financial services official at the Department of Agriculture and established that the order was fraudulent.
The official, who asked not to be named, said the form contained many incorrect details.
These included the delivery address, supply number and fax number on the "fraudulent" order form.
Petro reported the incident to a public prosecutor as well as the national fraud hotline and was referred to the police.
However, no charges have yet been laid.
from IOL here