The online predators scammed one woman out of R6 000 while the other was almost raped.
Two Durban woman, looking for friendship on social media, were catfished by men they thought they could trust. This has prompted Prem Balram of Reaction Unit SA, to warn people to be extra cautious when communicating on social media.
He said Rusa responded to a case in Verulam where a 64-year-old woman was allegedly scammed out of R6000 by a man who claimed that he knew her.
“The woman’s children created a Facebook account for her in the hopes of keeping her occupied. When the man approached the woman on Facebook, he told her that they knew each other. At the man’s persistence, the woman believed him and they exchanged messages and photographs,” he said.
Balram said the man told the woman he had a house in Cape Town, which he said she could visit.
“He promised to send her money, a mobile phone and a laptop. The woman was then contacted by a courier company requesting she deposit R2 000 cash into a bank account. The woman paid the money and was again called by the courier service asking for R4 000. She was told that the company had received a fine as they had discovered that they had a box of foreign currency. The woman deposited money into the account. The man contacted the woman and insisted that she must pay R20 000 to release the box which contained US Dollars,” Balram said
The man sent the woman a waybill and when she told him she did not have the monies, the man stopped communicating with her.
Balram said the man’s Facebook account has since been deleted and his cellphone is off. “We traced the bank account to Parow in the Western Cape,” he said.
In a second incident, a 28-year old woman was robbed and almost raped by a man she had befriended on social media.
Balram said the woman had sent the man her Whatsapp contact number and agreed to meet him.
“She met him at a restaurant in uMhlanga and after their meal, he made several sexual advances towards her. When she refused, he became agitated and then apologised. The pair then went for a drive. While sitting in his vehicle at a local beach, the male forced himself on her and attempted to remove her underwear,” he said.
Balram said the man let the woman go after she screamed.
“She then opened the passenger door and alighted from the vehicle. The driver refused to hand over her handbag containing her mobile phone, purse, cash and personal items. He then punched her in the face and drove off,” Balram said.
The woman identified the man as being a good looking man who told her he was self employed.
Balram said they are searching for the man.
“Investigations into both matters are continuing. In recent months several similar cases have been reported by woman in the Durban and surrounding areas,” he said.