I've been scammed
We are sorry to hear that you've been scammed. It is extremely important that you read the information below and act as quickly as possible. In doing so you may prevent more people being needlessly scammed. Hopefully you might also provide some information that may lead to the apprehension of the fraudsters, but time is of an essence.
Try to stay as unemotional as possible; we all know these scammers are vermin and more, but reporting them as vermin may only confuse the issue. Try to think of what would be needed to trace the scammers.
Important: Do not delete any emails, SMS messages or telephone call logs. Also retain deposit slips.
Report at SAPS Immediately
Collate a report on your system detailing important pieces of information. It may be easiest to create a new word processing document for this, following the steps below, saving it and then printing it out to take along with you when you report the fraud at your nearest SAPS station. This preparation may save you a lot of time.
Initial Contact Details
How did you find out about the pet/item/service? If in an online classified advertisement, record the URL (web address) of the advertisement into the new document you started.
Also make a screen snapshot of the advertisement. The advert may be removed if someone else reports it and a crucial piece of evidence may be lost. Try and fit all the important pieces of information like telephone numbers, email addresses and/or images into the snapshot. If need be, move the window down and make a second snapshot.
Resources on how to make a screen snapshot:
Hint: Save in the PNG format if possible as this will result in a smaller image on your disk and for later usage. However, most importantly - secure an image of that page.
Copy this image into the the document as well, below the URL (web address) you saved.
Emails from the Scammers
There are quite a few aspects to emails. Obviously the email as such is important, it shows the sender email address and details of the communication, also the intent to defraud.
However there is a bit more information hidden in emails normally not visible and which may lead right back to the scammer; extended email headers also known as long headers or full headers. See our section on Email Headers and how to access them on your system.
Copy the email headers and the email into the document you started, below the advertisement snapshot you made which is mentioned above.
Once you have done this, copy the body of the email into the document. The easiest is selecting forward on the email and then copying everything in the message window into the word document you are building.
Repeat these steps for each email you received in date order, starting from the first to the last email.
You should now have a trail of fraud by the scammer and all the resources they used to defraud you.
If the scammer(s) sent you any SMS messages, record these in date order as well.
Use the following format for each email message:
- Date and time
- From (sending number)
Hint: Many cellular phones allow you to transfer content from your phone to your system. Normally this requires a software package you received with your cellular phone. This may save you a bit of typing and includes all the details required.
Retrieve a log of all calls from the scammer from your phone if possible. This may not be possible if they phoned you on a land line. However, still record the details to the best of your knowledge.
- Caller number
- Date and time
- Name given by caller
- Conversation summary including all relevant information.
- Observations: Background noises? Accent of caller? Different people sounding the same?
Do this for each call you received. Copy all this information into the the document you are preparing.
Bank Account Details
Record any bank accounts r money transfer mechanisms that were offered by the scammers for paying monies into.
- Bank Name
- Bank Branch
- Bank Account Number
- Account Holder's Name
- Deposit Date and Time
- Deposit Amount
- Where the monies were paid in (bank/branch)
Repeat this for each bank account in your document.
If you have access to a scanner, scan your deposit slips and also paste these as evidence into the document you are preparing. If not, a photocopy of each should suffice. However, hold on to the original deposit slips. You would need to take along to the police station so that your copies can be verified as authentic.
If there are any relevant details not covered under the above topics, clearly and concisely record these details in the document.
Print out the document you have prepared in duplicate.
It is extremely important that you report this incident at your nearest SAPS police station immediately and obtain a case number. This is not a civil issue, but fraud as defined under South African law and is a crime. Additionally such instances of fraud may lead to other charges such as money laundering etc.
Report the Incident To Us
Please report the incident at ScamPup. We collate info on scammers and case numbers pertaining to these parties. You may have lost R5,000. We may have information showing the same scammers to be linked to numerous instances of smallish losses which add up rather quickly. We ourselves also research issues and collate our own reports to SAPS.
We also report your case to:
- SAPS - with our own report, linking incidents where possible.
- South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC)
Report the case to us.
(Do not scrape/publish this email address as it changes from time to time. Unfortunately many South African businesses have not heard of POPIA and/or just resort to clearly unethical marketing practices.)