Police in KwaZulu-Natal are looking into a scam ring after nearly 70 small businesses were targeted by fraudsters claiming to be awarding government tenders.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, provincial police spokesperson, fraudsters contacted small business owners and misled them into believing they had been awarded government tenders.

The business owners were instructed to obtain a specific product from a supplier who was involved in the scam. According to Gwala, the business owners paid the supplier, but the goods never arrived.

“To obtain the products, the small business owners would conduct an internet search and locate a specific supplier who was also a part of the scam. The victims realised they had been duped after paying a sum of money to the alleged supplier to order the items “She stated.

The ongoing scam began in 2015.

“These con artists prey on desperate small business owners who are just getting started in their fields. We are urging members of the community to be aware of these ongoing scams and to check with the appropriate government department if they receive such requests “She stated.

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