A Reminder About Holding Deposit Scams

A while ago the Junk Mail team told you all about a fake vehicle scam that has been doing its rounds. It seems that scammers are renewing their efforts in an attempt to steal money from many Junk Mail users and this has prompted us to remind you about holding deposit scams.

A syndicate of scammers are posting classifieds adverts for vehicles for under market value on our website. They are doing so to attract the maximum amount of users. These persons claim to be living in Mpumalanga (in Witbank / Emahleni and Nelspruit). Junk Mail users that are living in Gauteng are mostly targeted by these scammers.

So, you might be asking “how do holding deposit scams work?”. Well, the scammers claim that the vehicle that they’re advertising at a ridiculously low price is still available. Next they’ll ask potential buyers for a holding deposit or document registration fee so they can supposedly reserve the vehicle for them. The scammers will shoot down any requests from the potential buyer to view the vehicle with made-up excuses. Once they’ve received money from the potential buyers for this, they become illusive and ignore the potential buyers attempts to contact them.

To avoid this scam, you should take note of the following:

  • Remember one of the golden rules when it comes to scams: If something sounds to good to be true, it’s usually false. If you spot a vehicle that’s advertised for way under the market value, be cautious. The vehicle doesn’t exist in 99.99% of these cases.
  • If you’re unsure about a vehicle’s market value, check the amount of views on the advert on Junk Mail. If it has more than 100 or 200 views, chances are that that the pricing on the vehicle is wrong or that you’re dealing with a fraudulent or fake car advert.
  • If the advertiser is refusing that you view or inspect the product before buying it, be cautious. Don’t pay for something that you haven’t even seen or inspected yet.
  • Don’t travel long distances to view an item that you might be interested in. Check if the address that the person is giving you actually exists. An easy way of doing is by using Google Maps. Get a friend to call the same person from a different number. If the same advertiser claims that the item is located in a different town or region, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
  • If you receive a reply from a web based e-mail address (@gmail, @yahoo, @hotmail, @live, @rocketmail and @ymail) be vigilant. These addresses can be created in a few minutes online and scammers love to use them.

We trust that you’ll find these guidelines useful. If you stumble upon some holding deposit scams on the Junk Mail website, please report the advert via the function provided on the Junk Mail website or report the advertiser to our Customer Care Department via ccc@junkmail.co.za or telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours). Incl phone numbers and e-mail addresses that the suspected scammers use in your report.

For more scam warnings like this one, check out the Safety & Security Tips page on the Junk Mail help site, there are links posted to some pretty useful information.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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36 Responses

  1. Babalwa says:

    I’d also like to know what can they do with my documents cos I faxed the payslips proof of adress and an ID.

  2. Annelize says:

    There are stacks of these ads. We are currently looking for vehicle and after just about every third ad you phone the guy wants a deposit to keep the vehicle for you. I immediately flag them as a scam. Number used today 0824746583 for an Opel Corsa. I always google the numbers given before I phone, but they not always listed where you can find them. Wish everyone will list these scamsters cell numbers somewhere where you can find it when you google it… Know of a website where you can do that if it will help…

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Annelize – We are not aware of such a website, but if we find one or are made aware of one we will inform you ASAP

  3. Zweni says:

    Hi Henno

    Looks like the “Mike” guy has moved from junkmail to OLX. I found an advert for a Toyota Quantum for R100 000. They claim to be in Centurion at FieldMotors, 626 Prichardt Street. When you google the address and the phone number: 071 992 2287, u find the scam here. Good job on posting those details, otherwise I wouldn’t have known.



  4. Marissa says:

    I never thought this would ever happen to me!!!!!! I responded to the ad32657453 for a Venter trailer. Paid R1500 for an holding deposit via e-wallet and needless to say that after I made the payment, his cell has been turned off. I feel like a total idiot.

  1. October 17, 2013

    […] Scammers love luring victims by only allowing them to respond only via e-mail. If the response you receive is accompanied by a story in broken English (about someone who is divorced or living in the UK or someone who is a photographer for National Geographic in some foreign country), it’s most likely a scam. If you are able to contact the user telephonically be vigilant and don’t pay them a holding deposit if they ask you for one. […]

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