Why are we not be­ing pro­tected from scam­mers?

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Sindi Sikhakhane

I WAS ap­proached by a debt re­viewer in 2015. When I asked how they got my num­bers, they said they checked on the na­tional credit data­base.

At the time, I didn’t know about debt re­view. I asked them how it worked, and they said it was to help peo­ple get a bit of cash and also to cut some ex­tra in­ter­est that we en­ter into when mak­ing credit.

I signed up with them, and they deb­ited the money at the end of the month. Then they called me a few days later, claim­ing not to have re­ceived the money.

I con­tacted my bank, ask­ing whether it was pos­si­ble that the debit had not gone through, although it showed on my side that it had. The bank said it was not and showed me the proof of pay­ment.

These peo­ple called me again, mak­ing the same claim. They sug­gested I re­verse the pay­ment and de­posit it to an­other ac­count num­ber that did not even have the com­pany’s name.

When I queried it, they said the ac­count be­longed to the owner of the com­pany.

So I de­posited the money – which was R3 000 – to that ac­count. I still have proof of that.

Two days later, an­other woman called me say­ing they hadn’t got the money. I told her some­one from her com­pany had al­ready called me, told me I need to re­verse and re-de­posit into an­other ac­count.

She said the per­son used to work with them, but had left. That’s when I re­alised I was be­ing taken for a ride here, and I asked her how she got hold of my de­tails if she wasn’t work­ing there any­more, and she didn’t know.

I told them I needed a re­fund and that I wanted to be re­moved from debt re­view, but they said they couldn’t as I needed to pay all my cred­i­tors in full for that to hap­pen.

That’s how I got my­self into such a mess. I can­not get credit any­where be­cause I am un­der debt re­view. As a re­sult I got my­self into more trou­ble as I needed R1 000 and I did the fol­low­ing: I was look­ing for a short-term loan and I found Loan Con­nec­tor SA on the in­ter­net. They claim that black-listed peo­ple are wel­come, with no credit check.

They are now de­mand­ing that I pay them a huge amount of money for what they claim were “para­le­gal” ser­vices ren­dered to me.

They are busy ha­rass­ing me with mes­sages and are now say­ing that they’re get­ting a sum­mons is­sued. What can I do? Or, per­haps, what can be done so that oth­ers won’t fall for this scam. The gov­ern­ment should be pro­tect­ing us from them.

Such ad­ver­tis­ing should be banned and they must be stopped from op­er­at­ing and tak­ing peo­ple’s money.

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