Female scammer preys on generous Bryanston women

A woman who has allegedly been scamming Bryanston residents with her story of her son's death. This picture was taken by a resident who had given her R4 000.


South Africans have always had a generous nature and with the wave of female empowerment, the desire for women to help other women is even stronger. A depressing notion is to think that some would abuse this generosity for their own benefit.

A case in point is an elderly woman who has allegedly been scamming women out of thousands of rand for years in the Bryanston area.

A well-known local resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was approached by a woman in May last year, who had a look of complete desperation. “I was told that her son had died in a taxi accident and she was in Johannesburg from Cape Town for his funeral. She did not know where her husband was and had been sleeping near a petrol station.

“She was sobbing profusely and seemed genuinely heartbroken. I am not a woman who is easily misled but, because her focus was on burying her son and not really asking for money, I didn’t doubt her. I decided to take her in my car and drove her to my house near Devonshire Park enclosure.”

After speaking with her husband, the resident withdrew R4 000 and dropped her off in Randburg. She took a photo of the woman, as she wanted to remember and pray for her. In early March, the generous resident received a message on her Bryanston East forum WhatsApp group, informing residents to be vigilant about a woman operating a major scam in the area, with a story similar to the one she had heard.

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“I immediately posted the picture I had of her and was told that it was the same woman and that she had scammed six other Bryanston females. I couldn’t believe it was a scam!”

One of the victims, Jenny Ralph said, “My car was flagged down by this woman last year around winter. She was desperate for help and even pulled out a vest from her bag and asked if I wanted to buy it from her. She said she needed anything, even if it was just R20 as she had nowhere to sleep. I was also told the same story. However, she had said she was from the Eastern Cape, not Cape Town. We are obviously all shocked that this was a lie but also very saddened that someone would abuse another woman’s generosity like that.”

Ward 103 councillor, Vincent Earp said, “Our current economic climate is in a shocking state and we do not want people to resort to crime, however, resorting to scamming other people is unacceptable. She is making money from hard-working individuals who feel sorry for her and is running a very lucrative scam. We urge members of the public to be vigilant of this woman and to rather give help to the many genuine charities out there. Let’s not make this one woman be the reason to stop our generous ways, as there are many people in this country who genuinely need help.”

If anyone has any information about the woman in the picture, please contact Douglasdale Police Station on 011 699 1300.

Have you been involved in a scam and want to warn others about it? Tell us your story on 079 439 5345.

Jessica Knibbs

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