(South Africa)


Helping you start and build your small business empire

Scam - faxed deposit

If you've been in business for a while, the chances are you've come across persons of debatable moral standing who have tried to steal some of your hard earned money through fraud or con tricks. We will periodically publish examples of these scams on this page in an effort to make you the small business owner aware of them and hopefully prevent you from becoming a victim. The business world is competitive enough without us having our meager profits being stolen by con men. The new scams will be featured in our newsletters so we strongly recommend that you register for the newsletter so that you don't miss any. Information is power.

If you have been a victim of some form of theft or fraud, let us know so that we can warn others.

The "faxed cash sale" fraud.

 If your business sells products that can easily be resold on the general market, then watch out for this scam.

How it works: The con man will phone and want to place a reasonably large order.  The amount will vary depending on the nature of the products.  He'll generally be phoning from a city other than yours.  He'll offer to deposit the cash in to your bank account if you could please get the order ready for him as soon as possible and he'll arrange for them to be collected.  Once the goods are ready, he'll fax you a cash deposit slip for the amount due.  You may even check and see the amount on your bank statement and so release the goods.  Five-seven days later your bank bounces the "cash" deposit slip!  This is because he in fact deposited a cheque (normally stolen or from an old account) and then altered the deposit slip to show it as a cash deposit. On a fax it is often difficult to see alterations. Your goods are gone and all you have to show for them is a bank charge for an RD cheque! 

How to prevent it:  Take the time to phone your bank and ask if it is a cheque or cash deposit whenever you have a suspicious first time sale that follows the above chain of events. Simple, but very effective in saving you frustrating set backs. It is better to wait a few hours or even days to verify this deposit rather than run the risk of losing your money. The con man will inevitably stress the urgency of the order so that the cheque does not have enough time to bounce. Rather risk losing the “sale” than your already hard earned cash as one-two days is not an unreasonable time to wait.


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