NATIONAL NEWS - Thirty women appeared at the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of fraud. The women were allegedly undeserving Sassa beneficiaries who were applying for government grants.
One of the suspects, a 41-year-old woman, would allegedly pretend to be a doctor’s personal assistant and approach unsuspecting victims and issue them with a fake doctor’s referral letter stating that they qualified to apply for social grants.
“She would allegedly charge them any amount ranging from R200 for the service. Various fraudulent documents and stamps were found at her house. It is alleged that this woman made [an] unsuspecting victim to believe that she was a doctor’s assistant who was authorised with performing these duties while the doctor was on leave,” said the SAPS.
In another incident, 15 suspects were arrested early this month on charges of fraud, theft, forgery, contravention of the Identification Act and contravention of the Electronic Communication and Transactions Act. The syndicate were facing more than 84,000 charges.
“The current investigation operating as ‘Boiler Room project’ made the first arrest of syndicate members in June/July 2016 after a cash withdrawal of R40,000 from a banking institution in Nigel. Several types of equipment (sic) including electronic storage devices, computers and cellular phones were seized where 85,000 people’s profiles were found.
“The syndicate will obtain a profile from a source and ensure that the person has a good credit score. A runner to be used will then be identified and several fraudulent documentation will be sourced from an Internet shop. Once the target has been identified, a purchase will be made. The items will then be handed over the handler/syndicate and sold, the runner will then be paid and the rest of the money will be shared between the syndicate operatives.”
They were denied bail.