Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I just saw your column in The Voice and I was shocked.

I am worried sick about my husband’s bank account because of these people X-FOREX, they are calling me everyday. I started communicating with them last week Tuesday and they asked me to give them the last 3 digit at the back of my ATM card and I told them that I don’t use Visa card, then he asked me if my husband doesn’t have a visa card. I told him yes he does and he said its okay because we use the same surname. I gave him the last three digits and the other long numbers in my husband's card. Immediately after 5 minutes he called and told me that there is no money and asked when he can check the money.

I was so shocked how he managed to access the account and tell me there is no money. Now he is been trying to call me since yesterday even today, but I have not taken his calls. Please help me because maybe they will try the account until they get something. I haven't told my husband yet. I am afraid.

I called this reader as soon as I received this message and my advice was simple. She must call her bank IMMEDIATELY and warn them that husband’s card had been compromised. She then has to have a frank conversation with her husband and tell him what she’s done.

I mentioned XForex a couple of weeks ago. They claim to be able to help people make fortunes by trading foreign exchange but that facts are simple. It’s simply not possible.

Their behavior in this case is further evidence that they can’t be trusted. Please stay far, far away from XForex and anyone who says you can make loads of quick money either with Forex or the stock market.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

We heard about another fake loan company this week. This time a company calling itself “Campion Financial Service (Pty) Ltd” wrote to a reader offering a fantastic loan opportunity. They claimed that they had “offered Loans in excess of R50,000,000.00 in our 9years of existence”. They said that our reader could borrow anything from R10,000 to R5 million over periods varying from 6 months to 10 years “at incredible interest rate of 2.5% per annum”.

Incredible indeed. It’s incredible for a number of reasons. Firstly real lenders don’t send out emails blindly offering to lend money to total strangers. Real lenders don’t do everything by email and have proper email addresses, not ones that are based in Thailand. Real lenders have landlines, not just cellphones. Real lenders don’t lend millions to people at a mere 2.5% interest per year.

It’s obviously an advance fee scam but this particular scammer is as clever as the one we featured last week in The Voice. There really is a company called Campion Financial Services in South Africa, a genuine lender that’s a real company, with a real office and phone lines and is even registered with the necessary regulatory bodies. But this letter is nothing to do with the real company. I know because I called the real company and asked.

Just for fun I called the scammer on his cellphone. Like all scammers I’ve spoken to it took him a while to realise that didn’t believe a word he was saying. He seemed genuinely confused when I suggested that he was a liar and a cheat. When I pointed out that I’d spoken to the real Campion Financial Services he just hung up.

So the lesson is simple. Don’t ever trust anyone who approaches you out of the blue offering money. But I think you knew that already, didn’t you?

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