Be aware of these scams encountered by Junk Mail users! Recently there have been two reports in the media about users being scammed.
A Junk Mail user was caught by a Wendy House Scam. He was contacted by a person offering a wendy house of 5 meters x 8 meters for only R3500. The person claimed to be Ben Malan from Malan Stoetery, Plaas Mooidrift (near Welkom). He used 076 3247235 as his contact telephone number.
The Junk Mail user suggested to Mr. Malan that he would pay him R500 deposit /cash on delivery, because he was willing to bring it to Pretoria all the way from Welkom. Mr Malan claimed he needed to fill up his truck with diesel and requested half of the amount for this purpose. The Junk Mail user paid Mr Malan R1750 and he’s still waiting for his wendy house to arrive.
The Junk Mail user was able to contact Mr. Malan but he claimed that his truck had been in an accident and made different excuses. When he tried phoning Ben again, his phone was off and he had made off with R1750 New Year’s Eve bonus for himself.
Another Junk Mail user paid a person a holding deposit for a property that doesn’t exist six months ago. The scammer placed an advert for a property to let in Lyttleton Manor in Centurion and demanded that the potential tenant pay him a deposit to secure the house. The user never got to see the house and the scammer made off with the deposit. This same scammer changed his telephone number and advertised a holiday unit last year. He requested a deposit to secure the holiday unit and defrauded another Junk Mail user.
Don’t get caught by scams! When you’re phoning someone who is offering a wendy house, insist that you pay them cash on delivery and ONLY once you’re 100% sure that the wendy house is stable and suitable for use. When your phoning someone about a property that is being advertised, make sure that property exists and that you can inspect it. If someone insists on a deposit before viewing the property, don’t pay them because you are desperate for a new place to live. View and inspect the property before you part with ANY cash. The same goes for holiday accommodation scams.
These wendy house scams, holiday accommodation scams and property scams are variations of holding deposit scams. We have posted warnings about this on the Junk Mail blog to warn people over the last few years. The main way to avoid these scams is to avoid paying someone for something that does not exist, plain and simple.
Scammers like advertising items on Junk Mail (and other classifieds sites like Gumtree and OLX) for ridiculous prices. They do this to lure potential buyers. Don’t get caught just because you’re looking for the cheapest car / wendy / property / cell phone that is being advertised.
If the person you’re dealing is using a web based e-mail account (like @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, @yahoo.com) be vigilant. These accounts can be created in under 5 minutes online by ANYONE using the internet. If you’re unsure if the person is a scammer, do a Google search for their details (e-mail address, physical address, company name / person’s name) before you part with your hard-earned cash.
The key is to be pro-active, vigilant and savvy when it comes to using classifieds. Remember: If something sounds too good to be true, it’s false. Rather be safe than sorry afterwards. Trust your gut. If you do all of this you won’t get caught by scammers.
If you encounter any Wendy House Scams or any one fraudulent activity whilst using Junk Mail, please report it to our Customer Care department via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically on 012-3423840 x2295 (during office hours).