It has come to our attention that scammers are targeting small business owners. They operate via SMS. A Junk Mail user (who runs a catering company) recently made us aware of this.
The scammer sent him a SMS to ask for a catering quote. The SMS read as follows:
“Hie send a quotation for catering on the 27/02/2013. Menu for 50 people: Rice beef stew, fried chicken. 2 Salads 2 veggie, 50X100% juice, 50 bottles still water. Fax 0865720745 or email to email@example.com regards george langeni @ OUTLOOK CONSTRUCTION. Venue municipality hall.” The number that the scammer used was 081 5128196.
Mdledle (the Junk Mail User) followed due process and submitted a quote using his company letterheads. The scammer called to say that they’ve received the quote. He asked Mdledle to make the catering preparations as it is going to be needed soon. The scammer asked for their banking details and he provided him with. At the same time Mdledle started receiving various calls from the scammer saying that he had deposited money (and extra money) into his account.
The scammer said that it was meant for transport and insisted that Mdledle should go to the bank and draw money to give back to him. He told him that he would not be able to do it, because it was a Saturday and the banks were closed at the time. The scammer insisted that the money would be in Mdledle’s company’s account by midnight. He asked him to deposit some of it into a Nedbank account. To cut a long story short: there was no such event and Mdledle’s company lost thousands preparing food for nothing. They had to give it away.
It’s sad to see that scammers are targeting small business owners. Be aware of scammers like this one and others who have the same Modus Operandi. If you own a small business, be vigilant. Don’t deposit money into someone’s account to refund them unless you’re 100% sure that the funds they’ve deposited are available for your use in your account. Don’t get suckered into buying scammers airtime either. Run your business on your own terms.
Do yourself and others a favor and spread the word about this scam on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.
If you have been the victim of this small business owners scam or any other scam or if you’ve encountered fraudulent activity on the Junk Mail website, please report it to us via our Customer Care Department. You can reach them telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the Junk Mail Safety and Security Tips Page for more scam warnings.