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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51 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. mpho says:

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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 ;~)

  8. 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

  9. 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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