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WARNING TO PUBLIC! - INCREASE IN MARKETPLACE "BARGAIN" SCAMS OWING TO THE CHRISTMAS GIFT RUSH

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Mostly everyone has spotted a scammer on at least one online selling platform by now, but not everyone is prepared for the barrage of new or reinvented scams that surface during the festive season.


One specific platform where many people are being targeted daily is on Facebook Marketplace.


The main reason for this because of the large amount of traffic on the platform as well as the amount of information that a fraudster can gather about his intended victim whilst communicating with the victim on the platform. As seen in the breakdown below, Facebook dominates the market when it comes to commerce transactions.

 


As Facebook continues to rise in popularity, fraudsters target more people for their personal data, their account information, and their money.


Just as most other crimes escalate during the festive season, you will certainly see an influx in scams on Facebook Marketplace. Owing to the fact that many people have some extra money to spend, and just like with any other “bargain buy”, everyone wants to get it first.

 

EXAMPLES OF THE MOST COMMON MARKETPLACE SCAMS DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON:

VEHICLE SCAMS:

 

These scams usually have a few points to look out for:

  • The photos are likely to contain a contact number, this is done so the fraudster has a means of maintaining contact with the potential victim even if the social media profile is reported by past victims and is eventually blocked by Facebook.

  • The prices of the vehicles are almost always ridiculously cheap.

  • Fraudsters know this and will tell their intended victims that the vehicle is being sold for school fees or some other heartwarming story that is meant to gain empathy and trust.


 

POPULAR ELECTRONICS:


  • Electronics like mobile phones, computers and gaming consoles are popular Christmas gifts, which is exactly why you will see a large number of fraudulent sale items in this category.

  • Just as with other categories, these items will be advertised at unbelievable prices; some might be sold as bargain bundles, and stock will almost certainly be limited.

  • This tactic creates a sense of urgency, limiting a buyer's time to think about the transaction before engaging in it.

  • In this category, you will usually see the words “unwanted gift” somewhere in the advertisement.

  • The fraudster will use this tactic to justify why the price seems too good to be true.

 

HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM:

  • Never let emotions influence your logic.

  • If something seems too good to be true, it is.

  • Never allow someone to rush you into concluding a deal; take your time, shop around, and investigate the person and the product before you make the purchase.

  • Always meet in a public space where there are other people around.

  • If you have taken all the precautions and you are still unsure, contact a professional to evaluate and investigate the person and the product for you.

  • Prevention is always better (and cheaper) than cure.


 

Specialised Security Services established a cybercrime prevention unit specifically for the purpose of conducting pre-sale evaluations and background investigations with the goal of preventing crime.


Before making an impulsive purchase, it is recommended that you contact us personally for advice.


 

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Specialised Security Services invites the public to the Mike Bolhuis Daily Projects WhatsApp Group. This group is important in delivering insights into the latest crime trends, awareness, warnings and the exposure of criminals.

HOW TO JOIN THE MIKE BOLHUIS DAILY PROJECTS WHATSAPP GROUP:

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CONTACT MR MIKE BOLHUIS FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY MEASURES, PROTECTION, OR AN INVESTIGATION IF NEEDED.

ALL INFORMATION RECEIVED WILL BE TREATED IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENTIALITY AND EVERY IDENTITY WILL BE PROTECTED.
 

Regards,

Mike Bolhuis

Specialist Investigators into

Serious Violent, Serious Economic Crimes & Serious Cybercrimes

PSIRA Reg. 1590364/421949

Mobile: +27 82 447 6116

Fax: 086 585 4924

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EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: All potential clients need to be aware that owing to the nature of our work as specialist investigators there are people who have been caught on the wrong side of the law - who are trying to discredit me - Mike Bolhuis and my organisation Specialised Security Services - to get themselves off the hook. This retaliation happens on social media and creates doubt about our integrity and ability. Doubt created on social media platforms is both unwarranted and untrue. We strongly recommend that you make up your minds concerning me and our organisation only after considering all the factual information - to the exclusion of hearsay and assumptions. Furthermore, you are welcome to address your concerns directly with me should you still be unsatisfied with your conclusions. While the internet provides a lot of valuable information, it is also a platform that distributes a lot of false information. The distribution of false information, fake news, slander and hate speech constitutes a crime that can be prosecuted by law. Your own research discretion and discernment are imperative when choosing what and what not to believe.


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Mike Bolhuis Specialised Security Services

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