South African Website Scams

Posted by SAPAC Reporter on

South African Website 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 Website Scams

Scammers create fake websites to look like well-known brands. They impersonate famous people, Professional Contracting firms or Legal Suppliers and make it look like they recommend the product or service. They can also use fake reviews to make you trust them.

Warning signs it might be a scam

Stop and think. It's probably a scam if the website:

  • sells items at significantly lower prices than usual or compared to other sites or break even with other sites.
  • has something unusual about the payment method, like placing a deposit for delivery and that they only deliver through a courier.
  • Provides their years in experience can also provide only one contact number without a landline number. Sometimes have a landline number. Sometimes have multiple email addresses or only one email address.
  • only includes positive reviews or reviews that are light on detail
  • has an urgent warning or error message that asks you to click a link
  • advertises a way to make quick, easy money with little or no risk or effort

Steps you can take to avoid website scams

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

  • You may contact SAPAC to perform a check on the websites. Do some research on the website organization or person you are dealing with before giving anyone your money or personal information. Do not rush into a buy! Contact SAPAC or look at the current live scams showcased on SAPAC
  • Don’t rely only reviews written on the website itself - search for independent reviews on other sites
  • If an offer appears too good to be true, it probably is. Research any investment opportunity fully before investing money. There are ways to establish if investment opportunities are real or not.
  • If a warning or error message pops up on your screen don’t click on it, instead go to the application it refers to directly to check if it is real.
  • If you have a secure, authenticated way to reach an organization (an app or portal) use these rather than search engine results. 
  • Keep the device you use for online shopping up to date by enabling ‘automatic updates’ for your operating system and apps.
  • Find out how to protect yourself while shopping online by contacting SAPAC
  • Find out how to have safer, more positive online experiences on SAPAC.

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 South African website scams

South African Service delivery and product scams

Scammers prey on consumers and businesses that are selling or buying products and or services. Not every transaction is legitimate 


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



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