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How shopper was duped into parting with cash

May 20 2016 15:53
Allison Jeftha

Cape Town - A shopper who has been duped by fraudsters to part with her hard-earned cash, bank card and pin has come forward to warn other shoppers of a "discount voucher" scam.

Fin24 user Zinhle*, who was responding to a warning from the Post Office of a new big money scam, said the incident happened last Sunday at the Mr Price Home store in Church Street in Pretoria Central.

She described her fraudsters, supposed staff members of Mr Price Home, as "so good and so professional".

She relates: "As I walked into the store I was approached by a young man who told me he could get everything I wanted in the shop at half price. The man said he work at the back of the shop where they receive stock and along with one of the cashiers they could give me a R5 000 voucher which I could use to buy items in the store as well as airtime and data.

"For them to redeem the voucher, I had to give them a certain amount of money, my bank card and pin, which they would use to fake a transaction and give me a till slip."

Zinhle said at first she was apprehensive, but when he convinced another "customer" of the offer and returned his belongings, she thought why not.

"I was gullible and convinced because when I was in the shop, another guy who was apparently a client like me joined our conversation and also wanted things at half price. He gave them his belongings [money, bank card and pin] and the man brought it back, so I gave mine and never saw both guys again."

It turned out the two were working together, "acting like total strangers to con me".

Zinhle said she reported it to the SA Police Service, but also wanted to warn others to be wary of scams. "This thing apparently happens to many people and it would be very good if more people were warned about these crooks."

She said the SAPS could not do anything because according to them it did not constitute theft or robbery as it happened with her consent.

You will also be held liable for fraud

Legal and compliance officer at the Mr Price Group Taryn Moore said the matter, which does not involve Mr Price employees, was being investigated by the SAPS.

She said the Mr Price Group was grateful to the customer for highlighting the alleged scam taking place in its Pretoria store, but warned shoppers to be cautious of anyone offering similar deals at any of their stores.

She also warned that this would amount to fraud on the part of both parties involved.

Gwarega Mangozhe, CEO of the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa, said the CGCSA has not been made aware of the scam.

“In general, the CGCSA members abide by strict trading policies that do not condone any behaviour by their staff that will bring their business into disrepute.” he added.

* Names have been changed to protect the identity of the shopper.

*Have you been  victim to a scam? Help others and Let us know

mr price  |  fraud  |  scam  |  retail  |  myfin24
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