Two arrested in proof of payment scam

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Police have warned business owners of a proof of payment scam following the arrest of two people who nearly got away with goods worth close to R40 000 last weekend.

Two suspects aged 36 and 47 will appear in the Port Alfred Magistrate’s Court early next week following their arrest on the weekend, according to police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender.

It was alleged that the duo placed an order for a consignment of goods valued at over R17 600 last Friday, 18 August.

“The goods were collected the same afternoon by the suspects. The payment had been made via internet and the owner received proof of payment with a bank letterhead,” Govender said.

A repeat order was them placed on Friday for collection early the next day.

“The owner did not have stock for collection; however arrangements were made to acquire it and the order was confirmed.”

On Saturday morning the owner went to the bank to confirm the payment.

“He was then told that the account does not exist and the reference numbers do not exist,” Govender said. “He was informed that he had been scammed and defrauded.”

The business owner alerted the police and, immediately after the pair picked up the goods, the police were alerted.

“Before they could leave Port Alfred, the duo were arrested,” Govender said.

Govender said they pair had been linked to a similar case, a month earlier.

“Business owners areĀ urged not to release any goods unless the bank states that the deposit has been cleared,” Govender said.

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