Scam Warning: Fake Deposit / Proof of Payment Scam

Fraudulent buyers usually operate by depositing fake or stolen cheques into the seller’s account or sending through fake proof of payment / EFT to the seller’s e-mail account or via fax. We have posted warnings about this on the Avoid Scams section of the Junk Mail website.

However, this scam has recently entered the digital age. Potential buyers respond via e-mail and claim that they are in a foreign country or in a different city than the seller. They request the seller’s banking details and claim that they will making payment for the item via the Bank of America, Barclays, Western Union, Moneygram (or another international financial institution). Once they send through the fake proof payment they request that the seller courier the item to them.

Users who sell items via Junk Mail should note the following:

  • When a buyer seems almost too keen to purchase items and appears to want to buy whatever you have for sale, without regard for the price or condition of the goods you are most likely dealing with a potential fraudster.
  • Immediate requests for your bank account details to deposit money even before the items have been seen should be considered suspicious, especially when linked to a demand that the transaction be concluded immediately and goods collected / delivered within a few hours.
  • The more complicated the deal becomes, the more likely that it is a scam.
  • If the e-mail you receive from the potential buyer is sent from a web based e-mail address (like “@gmail.com” “@yahoo.com”, “@yahoo.co.uk”, “@hotmail.com”, “@live.com”, “@msn.com” or “@live.co.za” be very vigilant. E-mail addresses like these take literally 5 minutes to set up online and are often used by fraudsters.
  • If the e-mail you receive from the potential buyer contains broken English or contains a story of a person claiming to be in another country working at a missionary or wanting the item for one of their relatives as a birthday present, be vigilant.
  • If you suspect that you’re dealing with a potential fraudster do an internet search for the person’s e-mail address or phone number. Victims of these criminals post warnings about this on online forums which will be picked up by your search.
  • Do not courier the item to the potential buyer unless you’re 100% certain that payment has been received for it.
  • If you suspect that the potential buyer has sent you a fake proof of payment check with the bank they are a using to make sure that the payment is genuine.

REMEMBER: Sell your item on your terms. Do not drive great distances to meet the potential buyer or go to great lengths to enable them to make the purchase (such as buying airtime for them, depositing money into their account for petrol to be able to drive to your designated meeting spot and so on). Be Smart! Be Savvy! Be Safe!

If you have been a victim of scam or if you want to report a scam please e-mail us at ccc@junkmail.co.za and provide us with an account of your experience. Include the phone number / e-mail address of the persons involved if possible.

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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53 Responses

  1. Bridgette Louw says:

    Yes, recently, after my advertising to sell a used cellphone online, two respondents both wanted my bank account details & that I send the “gift” item to a relative after respondents make “provable” deposits. Once I insisted on cash payment, no further contact was made 🙂 I have reported the telephone number & email address to various authorities immediately.

  2. Cheryl says:

    EFT scammers beware!
    Yip. Same thing just happened to me. I also will report the name and number to Junkmail.

    He wanted to do an EFT Sat afternoon and have his “girlfriend” to pick if up today as she was returning to Brits tomorrow. As soon as I said Cash only, he hng up.

  3. Johan says:

    I was contacted via SMS by ‘Wayne’ who wanted me to deliver goods I advertised (stove and oven). I received a (fake, it turned out) Nedbank payment confirmation (from a W. Khoza), and ‘Wayne’ wanted immediate delivery. However, before delivering I waited for the money to appear in MY account, which of course never happened. The number he is using is +27 780302622, and he wanted delivery to Number 2 Houghton Mansions, c/o Louis Botha and Bond st.
    A few minutes on Google confirmed that this has been going on for more than a year (at least since January 2011) – the phone number changes, but the MO stays the same (buying goods unseen, no negotiation, fake Nedbank confirmation, Houghton address, immediate delivery).
    It would be interesting to know how it is possible to run such a scam for so long. Us law-abiding people are subject to RICA, for starters, so it should be easy find them and to shut them down, except that it is clearly not happening.
    Any proposals regarding ways of making the lives of such parasites a misery will be appreciated – I did not lose anything, but it would be wrong just to shrug and walk away, as they clearly require something more aggressive to make them see the error of their ways.

  4. Evan says:

    Hi all

    Same people from Johan’s post on the 25th of May and the new number they are using is 0730147427.

    What a bunch of idiots. Will be pursuing this with the cops.

  5. Nikki says:

    Hi all. This idiot is still operating, he has just tried to scam me of my apple mac, something just didn’t ring true with regards to this. He is now operating from number 078 865 6728. Just beware. Just thought it was fishy when he was adamant he wanted to do a transfer because it was safer!!!!!

  6. Catherine says:

    I was just scammed last week Thursday by this person (Theo). I wish I had read this earlier. The person is using the following number: 07810655039 and asked for the phone to be delivered on corner bond and Louis Botha. And deposited a cheque. i cant believe people in this world are so heartless wow!

  7. Rod says:

    Hello all. I was contacted yesterday by a Mitchell Brown. wanted to purchase my tablets I am selling. send me proof of payment through Citi Bank but the goods must be sent first,so I called Citi Bank in UK and reported the matter and forward them the mail. It was suppose to be a gift for his wife in Nigeria but the spelling put me off.

  8. Dee says:

    MIKE.PINNER SCAM
    His details 1st cell 071 078 0690. Thomas Cell 073 415 8568
    Goods delivered to 29 Louie Botha/ Bedford Houghton.

    Other cells +2783456755510673

    PLEASE BEWARE

    • Henno Kruger says:

      Hi Dee – Thanks for sharing these details with us. Please forward this information to our Customer Care department as well. You can reach them via ccc@junkmail.co.za

    • Carolyn says:

      MIKE PINNER SCAM

      R 5000 laptop took from me sending through fake EFT Deposit

      His details 0746320367
      His Driver Brian 0847465837

      • Henno Kruger says:

        Sorry to hear about your experience Carolyn. Thanks for sharing these details with us. Please e-mail our Customer Care Department via ccc@junkmail.co.za and give us a full report of this incident.

    • Stadler says:

      MIKE PINNER SCAM WARNING!!!!!!!!!!

      Also got caught by these scum-bags!!! Received fake EFT Transfer SMS Notification. Like a smuck even went and delivered the goods to them at Bruma Lake.

  9. Fehmida says:

    MIKE PINNER SCAM

    Hi ,we advertised a hardly used cell phone on gumtree / within about 20 mins. a Dr. from Charlotte Maxeke hospital contacted us, needed the phone asap because his daughter was leaving for P.E. His “driver” Thabo collected. The proof of payment with FNB letterhead, tracing no etc was mailed to me by a certain Valerie Govender.Mike Pinner’s id was also mailed to me. I was even sent an FNB sms with a smiley face! his driver called me the next day saying we’ve been conned and wanted to meet to drop off the phone(prob to con me further!)He called me incessantly throughout the day.
    The contact no’s used:0717375827; 0737711358; 0780332673
    Please beware

  10. Jesica Nkosi says:

    I have also been scamed of R5000 worth of goods feel so stupid right now….His number is 081 823 9893 Michael Scofield is his account Manager who sent the Fake Standard bank email….please be aware of these people

  11. Kwetsima says:

    Just got two in a space of a week. One from my OLX ad and the other from my Gumtree ad. Broken English and all and both of them wanted me to send the package to Nigeria.

  12. Cajenkins says:

    Advertised two cell phones, got a guy supposedly from Houghton wanting to deposit money, he sent a Nedbank proof of payment via sms and email, with a copy of someone’s id and drivers license, all fake. In a hurry to get items said he will send his driver to collect at 8am next day. I decided I wasn’t happy with that and made it 9:30 so as I could verify payment on Nedbanks site. Naturally a non existent payment. He got cross and wanted his invisible payment back lol. His number is 0761779425 junkmail, if he is registered with you please take action. The fake id and drivers was in the name of n diko

  13. Melissa says:

    Be safe with this number 0730808620 his name is France my ad is excepted on gumtree and olx and most likely later today it will be on Junkmail, this person can afford my entire game collection with consoles etc for R15,000 but he cant even call he only send sms’s saying i should send him my details and then he will pay via Eft and send proof of payment, i then decided to call him and as soon as i mention that i will have to wait for the money to be cleared and be able to withdraw he to hung up and never send another sms.

    (If you are selling goods that costs thousands of Rands the person that can afford that will call not Sms thats already the first indicator of a possible fraudster.

  14. Christo says:

    Unfortunately I fell victim to the same scam yesterday to goods valued at R4000. Wish I read this post earlier. Feel really stupid about it now. I was contacted by Nelson +27783547435 who requested my bank details. Received proof of payment from Nedbank, which seemed legit. He send his driver Thabo to collect the phone who arrived in a metered taxi. Luckily did not provide my correct home address and met in public place in view of CCTV cameras. Unfortunately my phone is gone and I have to live with it. Please be careful of these scammers!

  15. Tim says:

    Also got scammed. Luckily I didn’t deliver the goods.
    Stupid idiot called himself Brent Boynes: brentboynes929@gmail.com
    Phone call came from: 0844944147

    • Hi Tim, thanks for reporting this to us.

    • Nico says:

      Yeah Brent attempted to scam me, I got as close to the meetup point before seeing all these posts, once I saw them and others on facebook about Brent Boynes, I waited for his driver, once he arrived he got his fair share of justice, thanks for the warnings guys, Brent now opporates usings the number
      +27 65 876 1229

      • Jani Grey says:

        Hi Nico,

        Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience. We appreciate it and hope it benefits others.

        Thank you for using Junk Mail.

  16. Jean Oberholzer says:

    I believe I have just been scammed out of R3000. The person in question called himself Godfrey Mabogo, and said his student “Jacob” will collect it and he will pay for it. He is from the Vanderbijlpark area. The number he used was 0833560154 and Jacobs number is 078 2717036

    He sent a proof of payment SMS from a Standard Bank account and the account holders are Graig & Partners Attorneys. According to Godfrey the money will show up in my account by midnight and he will send the proof of payment email tomorrow by 08:30. I doubt this will happen.

    I feel like an idiot for this happening to me again, and somewhat embarassed and humiliated.

    Hopefully others can learn from this mistake and not accept ANY payment method apart from cash.

  17. mpho says:

    we received proof of payment R67000 from same guy brentbones929@gmail.com
    for cables luckily we didn’t deliver the goods

  18. Janine says:

    I advertised my fridge for sale on gumtree. I Received a call on 03/07/2017 from an interested buyer named STEVE KHUMALO. On 04/07/2017 He said he will pay me the sum i requested for my fridge. i received what seemed to me as a legit sms from standard bank stating that he paid over the full amount. He called me and said that he wants to collect the fridge and he will send his driver. He then asked for my email address and sent me a proof of payment with every detail correct from standard bank, however i know now that it is fake. i gave him the address, stupid of me i know. His driver collected it and now i didn’t receive payment and he doesn’t answer his phone. BE CAREFUL GUYS
    i called the driver and i asked him where he dropped the fridge, he told me in Glen Road JHB. only after i threatened him with the cops.

  19. Dagan says:

    Hi everyone,
    Just thought i would add to the above, Godfrey just tried to scam me in the same manner like Jean, sorry to hear man, not cool.
    I googled his name and came across your comments, i told him i wasnt going to hand over the item untill i recieved payment, after a few mins of discussion he then said he would buy from somebody else and wants me to refund him his money tomorrow morning. He sent me his banking details and a certified copy of his ID.
    Really hope he doesn’t scam anybody else.

  20. Pierre says:

    Also just “received” payment from Godfrey (including “his” ID as some sort of proof) – I didn’t release the item – my old iPhone – (he was very adamant that his student would need the phone tonight as he would be travelling).

    I refused until the amount clears plus informed him that his “law firm” isn’t listed as a Law Society of SA’s registered firm – herewith his sms for future referece:

    Standard Bank Payment: Graig & Partners Attorneys has paid R7,000.00 into Absa Bank Acc*** on 27/07/2017 @ 20:07:18 Ref:Godfrey/Standard Bank. Helpline 0860123000

  21. Christiaan says:

    The same person tried to scam me yesterday.
    He transferred R4900 into my account before he even had a look at my camera lens.

    This time he called himself Piet Malepa (083 439 0084) His student would have come today to pick up the item and he is called Kieth (083 346 8624).

    I checked this morning with ABSA to confirm the payment and I realized the proof of payment letter did not have any reference number. I then discovered this page and wgat is busy happening to me.

    I checked Facebook and he is impersonating somone else.

    Can someone please do something

  22. Alberto Nothnagel says:

    wanted to buy a PC from me – “SMS” from Standard bank – the student Keith and whole 9 yards…
    smiled and said he can pick it up when the money clears – so he calls to arrange for his accountant to call me and confirm payment as it takes a day or 2 to clear – said no problem after it clears or you bring the cash, you get it…he even sent me his ID!
    So I sent him a sms asking about his popularity on the scam page….
    Guess I won’t be hearing from him again ;~)

  23. Danielle says:

    I sold my PSP to Pieter Malepa on Friday, payment went into my account and then all of a sudden it just dissapeared. His ‘son’ came to fetch the PSP, in such an arrogant way. An Uber taxi dropped him off where I was. His son studies at Unisa, according to him. He wanted me to drop off the PSP there, but I was unable to. I spoke on the phone with him multiple times on Friday. I was silly to actually believe that I was going to receive the money. It saddens me that there is awful people like that here in the world. I’ve got both his number and his ‘son’s number. They answered when I called just now and said they’ll call back in 30 minutes. I called again, and they both blocked my number.

    Bank they use: Standardbank
    Pieter: +2785474888
    Son: 0717277881
    Company: Craig & Partners Attorneys

  24. Chris Gouws says:

    I advertised a lens today and he also phoned. His cellphone number is 079 623 2156.

    ( I am glad I saw your post.)

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