Be Aware Junk Mail users! Scammers are targeting wanted adverts. They’re not just doing this on our website, they’re targeting all major classifieds sites in South Africa.
You’re probably wondering how this scam works. Well, it’s actually quite easy to explain. Unsuspecting advertisers place adverts for items that they’re looking for on a classified website. Scammers see this as on opportunity to defraud them and respond to their adverts. These scammers seem to be focusing on people who are looking for pets, but it’s possible that they’ll respond to ANY wanted advert.
The scammers spin a story about being in a foreign country or in a different city than the user. Some of them will even claim that they’re pet shop owners. They’ll claim that they have the pet that the advertiser is looking for. They will avoid answering any questions that the advertisers has about viewing the pet. They’ll ask advertisers for a holding deposit or payment for a pet that they’ve not seen. Once the advertisers pays them they will become illusive and not keep their promises.
A Junk Mail user notified us of two scammers that contacted him when he placed a wanted advert on Junk Mail for geckos. Here are their details:
Scammer using email@example.com: This person calls himself Wilson Mariposa. He asked for a R600 deposit and the advertiser’s details. He claims to be a pet shop owner and gives the business address as One stop Petshop, 34 Peace Crescent, Pinetown, 3610. The telephone number he uses is 084 3326375. He claims to be a rep for both the branch in Pinetown and the one in Johannesburg. He gave the advertiser banking details for an FNB account to deposit the money into.
Scammer using firstname.lastname@example.org: This person claims to be David Grobbelaar and that he is a Research scientist in Cameroon doing a project. He says “My wife and I are ornithologists and we are working with a project with WWF. We are tracking a rare bird specie called the Bannerman’s turaco here in Cameroon.” He also required the advertiser’s details and needed a deposit for the pets. He told the advertiser that it was illegal to import them into SA and said that he would import using his CITES permit.
He gave the pet transport company’s name who would be doing it: “Gemma Pet Carriers” and gave the advertiser their e-mail address (email@example.com). When the advertiser asked this guy too many questions about the geckos he wanted to buy from him, he got quite aggrevated and said that the advertiser was wasting his time. He also threatened the advertiser, by saying that he had his photo and that that he would make sure that the advertiser doesn’t waste anybody’s time again.
If you find any scammers like these two who are targeting users on the Junk Mail website, please report them to our Customer Care department via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours). For more scam warnings, check out the Junk Mail Safety and Security page.
Watch this space for regular scam warnings on the Junk Mail blog.