Think Local issued this warning today:
Think Local is working with Agrimark Nartjiefees as media partners again this year. Our offices were contacted this morning by the festival organisers after they uncovered something that is most alarming.
There appears to be a “publication” offered under the Agrimark Nartjiefees brand, which we now know to be a fraudulent offer in its entirety.
The people suspected of being behind the scheme are Esmeralde Bergsma (a.k.a. Anzel Ferreira in the correspondence) and long-time partner Johannes “Wikus” Wells. They appear to have set up shop, including stationery and invoices mimicking the Agrimark brand/company and are using the Agrimark Nartjiefees logo. The business name, address, VAT number, phone number, and the firstname.lastname@example.org email address are either completely fabricated or unrelated to Agrimark (Pty) Ltd, not to mention that the bank account details are the personal accounts of Bergsma and Wells.
The two are apparently selling and invoicing advertising services for what looks like an in-house Agrimark Nartjiefees edition. They promise ‘65 000 copies’ (sic) but it is almost certain no such edition will see the light of day.
Both Agrimark, a national brand with well over 100 branches around South Africa and Namibia, and the Loerie Nartjiefees, hosting its 25th festival on 1 October, are incensed by the fraud. The criminal use of their trusted brands, with the apparent modus operandi of fleecing local businesses of cash, is most upsetting to all concerned. So, please be vigilant if you have been contacted by these people.
To be clear, neither Agrimark (Pty) Ltd nor Nartjiefees are publishing in-house publications this year, except for those endorsed to publish same, including Think Local.
A criminal case is being reported which will no doubt take some time, hence the request that we issue this warning urgently.
Click here to see the fraudulent invoice: Think Local Port Elizabeth
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