South African Product and Service Scams

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

South African Product and Service Scams

Prepared by : Independent 
Article Classification: Types of Scams
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 Product and Service Scams

Scammers pose as buyers or sellers to steal your money.

Always check that you are paying the correct people or businesses when buying or selling products and services online.

Scammers set up fake websites or profiles on actual retailer sites. They then offer products or services at prices that are too good to be true. They also post fake ads and fake reviews. They will use stolen logos, a . domain name and stolen or outdated Business Number (CIPC). These scams are hard to spot.

Scammers also pose as businesses that you know and trust. Then they send you fake bills or by changing the payee details on an invoice you are expecting.

Warning signs it might be a scam

  • A seller offers products at an unbelievably low price. They claim they have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true.
  • An online seller doesn’t have any terms and conditions, or privacy policy on their website. However it has been noted that they have caught on and are doing this now.
  • A buyer willing to buy an expensive product you are selling without viewing it in person.
  • A buyer sending a cheque or proof of payment that is more than the agreed price. Then they ask you to refund the overpaid amount.
  • Getting an invoice for a product or service you haven’t bought.
  • You are told that you must pay by money order, pre-loaded card or pay to several different Pay Ids or accounts.
  • The payment to the person or business you think you are paying, doesn’t match the identity of the account holder.   

Steps you can take to protect yourself

  • Stop and check you are buying from a real store and not a fake website.
  • Look and verify with SAPAC to check if they are with SAPAC in the verify or search bar.
  • Be careful of social media stores that are new and selling products at very low prices.
  • Be careful for WhatsApp and Telegram groups.
  • Send a driver to the business or contact SAPAC as a means to check for you. Also look on the live scam database with SAPAC.

Check the details

  • Search for the official site of the organization. Don’t assume that the first search result that comes up in an internet search is the real website. Check if there is a website that is named the same.
  • Double check invoices are from suppliers you trust and that the bank details are correct before actioning payment and sending proof of payment.
  • When using EFT or bank transfer make sure the name matches the person you think you’re paying. Some banks will confirm the payee details match when doing a bank transfer.

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

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