Eastern Cape police warn that scammers are using child protection unit to extort money from public

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The Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) at Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape is warning communities against an alleged scam, in which criminals use the unit’s name to extort money from the public.

The unit received at least five complaints in the past year from people who allege that a ‘police officer’ from the specialised unit telephonically contacts people and inform them that they are suspects of rape and sexual offences cases.

The bogus officer would then request payments varying from R5000 to R7000.

Only on one occasion, an account number was given by the scammer. The caller would also indicate that the money is shared between himself and the prosecutor.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said the public should accept any numbers provided by the caller to return their call.

Naidu says, “We are warning people not to allow scammers to abuse them, instead they should be vigilant, investigative offices should focus on doing their jobs, scamsters are something that is not acceptable in South Africa. When receiving calls, they should inform the relevant unit before panicking or accepting numbers.”