Many fall for new, slick 419 scams

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - SHAUN SMILLIE

A LU­CRA­TIVE job of­fer landed in Paul’s in­box, a po­si­tion as a con­tract ad­min­is­tra­tor at Zenith Con­struc­tion and Min­ing Crusher in Ac­cra, Ghana.

The perks in­cluded a per­sonal driver and a 36- hour week, and when Paul (not his real name) asked if they could up the salary of­fer, they did, sub­stan­tially.

But soon re­quests for money came.

He had to pay a courier fee of $180 (R2 387). Then they asked for a re­fund­able fee of $1 000, re­quired just in case he failed to show up for the job. Paul paid. Ev­ery­thing ap­peared le­git­i­mate.

“They even sent me a plane ticket. How did they get that?

“It was a KLM flight, busi­ness class,” says Paul.

Then there were also of­fi­cial- look­ing bank­ing doc­u­ments he had to fill out and sign, and re­ceipts for the money he had paid.

Paul didn’t know it at the time, but he was be­ing drawn into a new- look 419 scam, which are harder to spot than the old ones and far more slick.

“In the past you could spot them a mile away,” says Bri­gadier Piet Pi­eterse, sec­tion head of the Hawks’ cy­ber crime unit. “Now it is a qual­ity ap­proach; they are much more

‘In the past you

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.