KZN SAPS warns SMMEs of tender scams

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The South African Police Service in KwaZulu-Natal has urged the public not to fall victim to tender fraud scams making its rounds.

Provincial spokesperson, Lieutenant, Colonel Nqobile Gwala said a trend has been detected where fraudsters would make contact with small business owners and mislead them into believing that they have been awarded tenders from government departments.

“Fraudulent letter heads and email addresses are used to request these businesses to supply a specific product or unusual product,” she said.

To source the products, she said the small business owners would search on the internet and identify a specific supplier who is also part of the scam.

“After paying an amount of cash to the alleged supplier to order the items, the victims realised that they were scammed. The scam has been in existence since 2015 and slowed down by 2020 after previous warnings from police. Approximately 68 cases were reported where the suspects have reverted to using the same modus operandi.

“In a case that was reported in 2016 at Richards Bay, the complainant alleged that during September he received a quotation from one of the government departments. In a letter, they requested 100 dyroc cylinder gases. After the money was deposited to the supplier, he realised that it was a scam.”

She said the scammers were targeting desperate small business owners who are still cementing their feet in their industries.

“We are appealing to community members to be aware of these ongoing scams and verify with the relevant governments department if they receive such requests,” she said. –