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News & Press: 2020 News Items

You better have 2020 vision to detect the latest scams

Saturday, 25 January 2020  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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Scam Alert

Two attempts were made to defraud me during the past fortnight. In both cases someone purporting to be from the ABSA Fraud Division called on my cellphone and said that there was a large transaction that they suspect may be fraudulent and that my card has been blocked. The person who called me yesterday said that the scammers had jammed my cellphone and I would not have received an sms to alert me of the transaction. In order to "re-activate" your card you need to answer some "security" questions.

During the first call I had one of those rare inspirational moments one wishes would happen more often and told the lady that as she had my profile open in front of her, I will be asking her some security questions just to make sure she was from ABSA. She immediately terminated the call. Yesterday, I played the man along and made as if I was hard of hearing (something my wife regularly accuses me of). I said that I was busy driving but would be parked in a better reception area in 30 minutes. He promised to call me back... I am still waiting!

Larry had his laptop stolen out of the locked trunk of his car mid-December last year. He parked at a fast-food outlet to get a quick bite, put his laptop in the boot, then locked and armed his car. On his return to Midrand he discovered that his laptop had been stolen. To make matters even worse, the insurance company refused to pay the full value of the item as there was no sign of forced entry. A review of CCTV footage of the incident revealed that he had been followed into the building by a gentleman who stood close to him and then left the building again. In the meanwhile a small delivery van had reverse-parked next to Larry's car. The next moment his car is disarmed, the person driving the delivery van opens his door and uses it as a shield as he opens Larry's car and pops open the boot. A quick stop behind Larry's car and he leaves with the trunk closed and the laptop stolen. The only logical explanation I could find was at Wired.com in an article about cheap radio gadgets that enable thieves to steal your car. Presented with the CCTV footage the insurers were convinced of the theft and paid out the full amount. How does one prevent this from happening? Apparently it can't happen if you keep your keys in the fridge which will act as a Faraday cage! Others believe that you should wrap your key fob in some foil before pocketing it. Anyone have a bright idea that is smaller than a fridge and less cumbersome than walking around with a sheet of tin foil?

Those of you have recently bought a Toyota, be warned! You may soon receive a phone call supposed to be from your local dealer telling you that a dangerous factory fault was discovered in your model and that you should not drive your car at all. The dealership will dispatch a low bed to come and pick up your car.... and guess what!?

Try to be vigilant and safe in the coming year,

The Editor