Info@NationalCyberSecurity
Info@NationalCyberSecurity

Man arrested in Parklands for alleged romance scam of R24 million | #DatingScams | #LoveScams | #RomanceScans


A man(42) was recently arrested at a premises in Charing Crescent in Parklands for allegedly scamming a woman out of R24 million.

Police officers attached to the commercial crime investigation unit led a multidisciplinary operation on Tuesday 5 March which resulted in the arrest of the foreign national.

Reports suggested that the complainant, a Canadian citizen, reported a romance scam in 2022 in which she indicated that she met an unknown person on social media, known as Raymond Butler. The suspect befriended her and they started chatting via a known website and later privately. The digital relationship expanded to the extent that the suspect convinced the complainant to invest R24 million in a project abroad.

Police spokesperson WO Joseph Swartbooi says the investigating officer ensured a breakthrough.

The suspect is expected to make a court appearance in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court once charged with fraud.

“Women in particular are advised to remain vigilant not to fall prey to scammers who want to enter their lives with the promise of love, to defraud them out of their money,” Swartbooi says.

m out of their money,” Swartbooi says.

Online scams on the rise

TygerBurger recently spoke to a fraud investigator, Sgt Warda Christians, at the Table View Police Station who is concerned about the rise in online scams. She said they receive about 10 to 20 fraud dockets per day (depending on the time of the month) from incidents within the precinct, Milnerton, and surrounding areas.

The top-two fraud incidents are animal and investment fraud, Christians pointed out.

Recent reports reveal this concerning fraud trend is spiking to unprecedented levels. From sophisticated cyber scams to traditional confidence tricks, deceitful tactics have proliferated, leaving a trail of financial loss, reputational damage, and emotional distress in their wake.

“The community should be vigilant when purchasing anything online, especially via Facebook marketplace,” Christians warns, saying these trends are not only subject to the Table View area but happen everywhere.

“For example, a victim will see a particular car or house, make a deposit to secure his or her spot, only to find out later that not one existed. Either it is a stolen car or the house is not up for lease,” she says.

Christians also warned of romance scams which occur when scammers create fake personas and then reach out to you online and try to start a romantic relationship.

“These scams take days or even weeks to play out, but the consequences can be devastating.”

Tips

The following can hel you identify possible dating scammers:

  • They look and sound very caring and responsible.
  • They always come up with business proposals.
  • They do not want their pictures taken.
  • They do not want to meet with you in a public place.
  • They always hide their identification documents.
  • They do not introduce you to their families.
  • They want to own everything in a relationship.
  • They do not take you to their real house.
  • They always come up with contradictory stories.



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