Writes Mr Lee
Nearly two minutes after accepting Lesego Beauty’s request on Facebook, she never wasted time, said:
“My dear, I want to ask you something, but I’m afraid. My dear, I’m asking money to buy my kids food.
“I’m a single mom of two kids. Their father passed away in 2014.”
Beauty says she’s from Mashashane in Limpopo and I told her I’m from Malamulele.
I told her that in order to be able to help, I wanted to verify the following:
1. I needed her next of kin’ numbers.
2. I wanted to know who the leaders of her community were.
3. I wanted the names of her late husband and his identification number, so that I would verify with the department of Home Affairs if the man existed or really died.
When I asked for those details and when she declined, I indicated that I was a journalist who wrote articles on scams and did not want to be a victim.
I guaranteed her that if she gave me the info, I would help her.
When she saw that my curiosity was persistent she was no longer interested in my help.
When she blocked me or deleted her Facebook, I had already uploaded her photos. But I can’t verify whether the photos show her real identity or she used somebody’s photos and names.
This is what her Facebook looks likes:
She also gave me her contact number and asked me to contact her.
Unfortunately, I was just interested in the details that would lead me to the facts and chose not to call her.
As a journalist, I have no problem discussing anything privately or publicly with anyone.
But it gets extremely annoying if someone attempts to rip me off.
This are some of our chat history:
In fact, this article is aimed at discouraging fraudsters while the primary purpose is to alert readers to be always conscious and mindful of requests on social media.
(Mr Lee is the Chief Executive Officer of Mashamba Media and Alex Reporter. He is part of the Giyani View Management. He is also Layout Artist / editor-in-chief at Greater Alex Today. ) www.alexreporter.co.za