The results of my analysis on the reported scams/issues on this site are as follows;
ALL requests and/or email communications from suppliers/contractors, was initiated from pseudo addresses i.e. GMail, Yahoo etc.
Telephone communications from cellular technology only
NEVER NEVER blindly trust nor take for granted ANYBODY who communicates with you from a pseudo [in other words, untraceable or non verifiable] E-Mail address, UNLESS you know them personally or have vetted them previously or in person.
This is the start and end of ALL/MOST scams in the world today. I can register a "valid" email address with Google, yahoo and many other instances without ANY proof of identification or vetting. I can register 1000 E-Mail addresses in this way. You will not be able to trace me nor come close to even identify the origin of my communication [Country, city/town etc]. Banking Scams are the most evident and successful scams of this nature.
If you are going to pay money OR provide a service for money, then the best practice would be to insist on a landline number [which you can trace or call] or a valid street address [which you can verify by visiting or by sending someone [even the SAPS] to verify. The best way of verifying this would be to contact the local municipality and ask for the business name or owners name of the property [some municipalities do NOT allow this]. Cellular numbers, although they are supposed to be "RICA'D" is the most unsafe manner of communications available, especially if money is involved.
It is not all doom and gloom however and a bit of effort from your side can easily prevent fraud/scams in the long run.
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