New scam uses rape charge as bait

RECEIVING an SMS last Wednesday morning from an anonymous sender alleging I raped her, made me weak in the knees.

I feared the worst – being thrown into prison on false accusations.

These things happen.

What transpired was another clever scam, people posing as the police and putting innocent people in panic mode before asking them to pay R1 000 to make the case disappear.

When I received the text message from 060 6969001, I took it with a pinch of salt at first, angrily calling the number. Nobody answered.

Not knowing more was still to come, I deleted the message.

Forty-five minutes later I received a call from 081 8821301, the caller identifying himself ‘Sergeant Mthembu’ of the eSikhawini police, saying he is on his way to Pongola police station to meet with a woman called Sizakele Dlamini, who opened a rape case against me at eSikhawini SAPS about three weeks prior.

When I told him I had no idea what he was talking about, he promised to call back as he was waiting for the woman to tell him the whole story.

Fifteen minutes later he phoned back, saying he believed my assumption that someone was trying to frame me. He would speak to his partner about the situation and make the docket disappear.

I mentioned I would seek legal advice as I have heard about people being thrown into prison on false accusations.

Calling me for the 6th time, he asked whether I had R1 000 so they could squash the case.

After more ‘negotiations’ he said I must transfer the money through the supermarket money market system because they were in Pongola.

Knowing it can’t be correct for police to ask for bribes to make cases disappear, I told him I’m going to wait for them to return from Pongola and then hand over the money in person at the eSikhawini police station.

Realising I almost became another scam victim, I decided to head straight to eSikhawini SAPS while ‘Sergeant Mthembu’ called me three more times.

I ignored them – and that was the end of it.


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Steven Makhanya

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