June 21, 2011

South Africa based private investigators and law enforcement agencies in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria recently announced a disturbing trend in Africa’s most advanced and developed nation. The great country of South Africa is suffering from a re-emergence of scam and fraud activity via the internet, and government officials and South Africa based businesses are concerned this could be a sign of worse times ahead. The developing and seemingly modern economy of South Africa had a serious problem with criminal operations conducting internet fraud in the past, but law enforcement and government agencies were aware of the damage being done to the country’s image, and criminal activity conducting internet fraud and scams were essentially shut down. South Africa private investigators say many of the new case of internet crime are actually being conducted by immigrants, which are often undocumented aliens from Nigeria or refugees from other crime ridden nations of Africa. The county hopes to stop the trend before it’s too late.

When a country gains international attention for its crime and scams via the internet, such as Nigeria of the Philippines, for example, there are serious economic repercussions. The damage done to a country’s image from internet fraud activity can be costly to both businesses and residents. If people associate a country with internet scams and fraud, tourism decreases. Foreign investment drops. People around the world begin to think poorly of the nation’s citizens, which is truly unfair. Such criminal operations are often worked as small gangs using internet cafes or proxy servers from a fixed location, and they typically represent a very small part of the national population. Government agencies, being directed from the offices of President Jacob Zuma himself, have been instructed to tackle this growing problem before it’s too late. Time will tell if law enforcement and private investigators are able to deal with the problem effectively.

The high risk levels for internet scams and fraud in South Africa have a surprising and global ripple effect. How could this affect you? After all, you might reside in the United States, the U.K., Canada or Australia, and you’ve never even been to South Africa. The truth is, if you’re an internet user, South Africa scams can impact you. The more criminal operations conducting romance scams, advance fee fraud, investment scams, gold scams, and identity theft on the internet means the internet itself becomes more risky. South Africa criminals can target online dating and social networking sites, and assume identities from someone in the U.S. or U.K. or Canada. Their goal is to gain your trust, win your heart or friendship, and then steal your money and/or identity. Professional criminals care little about the damage they do.

The objective of scammers is your money. Experts recommend a South Africa background check to verify new relationships pertaining to South Africa, especially those relationships begun via the internet. Online relations are especially susceptible to fraud and scam, so investigators advise to remain skeptical, be cautious about revealing personal data, and when in doubt, consider a background check or due diligence investigation to verify your contact’s identity and background in South Africa.

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch

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