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Someone is letting your house!

It's an elegant scam.

In September 2005, the South African actuality programme Carte Blanche ran a story about squattors moving into empty properties and taking up residence, without the landowners knowledge or permission.

The squattors usually get there through bogus "letting agents". These people somehow gain keys to the vacant property, and then place an advert in the local newspaper, advertising for interested tenants. Tenants duly arrive, and pay a deposit and rent to the "agent", never to be seen again.

This last week a would be scammer tried that on my property in Cape Town. The trouble was, not only did the neighbour send email to warn that people were being shown around the property, but the real letting agents, Trafalgar Property Management, saw the fraudster's advert for the property in the newspaper.

Posing as an interested potential tenant, the real letting agent made an appointment with the fake letting agent to be shown around the house. When the fraudster arrived, they were promptly arrested by police and are currently in jail awaiting trial for fraud.



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About a week ago some guys tried to steal my old car which my brother now drives. They took their time to break the lock on the door, the steering lock, the ignition, hotwired the car, sawed through the steering wheel to remove the steering....thing he bolted on. And started to drive off with the car.

Sadly, only after they had reversed into the middle of a busy road did they realise they had missed the gear lock. Now, standing in the middle of the road with a stolen car is hardly inconspicuous.

So they jumped out and ran away. My brother soon got a call from the cops asking him to come move his car out of the road.

I wish this story would end with their asses in jail, but it doesn't. Such is life. At least we still have the car.

If they weren't so STUPID, they would have had the car. So, in both these cases, stupidity actually worked to our advantage... maybe it's not ALWAYS a bad thing?

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