South African Email Scams

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

South African Email Scams

Prepared by : Independent 
Article Classification: Ways Scammers reach You
Image courtesy: SAPAC Professionals and Contractors


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Areas: Southern AfricaNorthern Cape, Western Cape, Cape Winelands, Free State, Gauteng, North West Province, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Natal 

South African Email Scams

Warning signs it might be a scam

Stop and think. There's a good chance it's a scam if the email:

  • Contains a link or attachment that asks you to log on to an online service with your username and password or to provide other personal information
  • Requests a payment but the bank account and Business details are new or have changed since the last payment you made
  • Claims to be from a well-known organization or business entity or government agency but is sent from a free webmail address (for example,,

Steps you can take to avoid email scams

These simple steps can help prevent loss of money or your personal information to scams:

Check that the email is real 

  • Check on the SAPAC open source live scams list if the email is listed there yet.
  • Contact the organization or person using details you have found yourself (on their website or in the phone book) to check if the email was real
  • Access the organizations' secure, authenticated portal or app directly (never via a link)

Learn how to protect your email account

  • Use unique passwords for different accounts and consider using a password manager so you don’t need to remember every single password you use.
  • Use multi-factor authentication when you can. This provides an extra layer of protection and means a scammer has to correctly guess your email password and a pin number sent to your phone to gain access to your email account.

SAPAC list live scams in real time and has procedural steps on how to report and list scams.

Be scam aware

Watch out for scams and immediately block contact with anyone who tries to threaten or intimidate you. Open up a CAS number with the SAPS at once and complete an affidavit to the effect. Attach proof of the email.  

Never give personal details or payment to anyone offering compensation or help you recover from a previous scam or data breach or winnings, prizes or an inheritance.

Think you've been scammed?

1. Act fast to stop any further losses

Contact your bank or card provider immediately to report the scam. Ask them to stop any transactions.

Change passwords on all your devices and online accounts like email, banking, government sites and shopping sites. 

2. Report the Scam

Once you have had the opportunity to have secured your details, you should open up a SAPS Case number, you can help us to try and stop the scammers or to warn other by reporting the scam to us. Depending on the nature of the scam site with a case number it can be listed. 

3. Get help to recover

With your case number visit your nearest Department of Home Affairs and provide them with the information of your case including your signed affidavit. They should be able to capture the fact that your personal details may have been stolen and may be used for criminal activities. Visit their Website and make an appointment

Common Email scam types


South African Impersonation scams

Identity theft is on the rise and is a type of fraud that involves using someone else`s identity to gain benefits or to steal money


South African Unexpected Money Scams

Do not be fooled and lured by a surprise win. These scams try to deceive you into giving money upfront or your personal information in order to receive a prize from a lottery or competition that you never have entered. Or from a supposedly diseased relative.



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