Naming & Shaming – Furniture Removal Con Artists

EDITED TO ADD: I’ve been contacted by someone who wants to do an exposé on the company I wrote this blog post about, and they’ve asked me to see if I can find anyone else who’s had a bad experience with them, to build up some case studies. Please share widely, and get in touch with me via the comments on this post if you have any info. Thanks!


In the hope that someone else can avoid being scammed out of their hard earned money, here’s the tale of a couple of con artists to avoid.

It begins on the 26th of December, when I contacted a few advertisers on Gumtree enquiring about furniture removal prices and availability. One of them was a company called Removals RSA which responded on the 28th with the best price, which of course we are all inclined to immediately accept. I replied to “Lindi” that I would confirm with her the following week, but she immediately texted me asking for my details so that the move could be booked and confirmed, as it was a load share – hence the good quote – but I would lose out if I didn’t book straight away. “Lindi” emailed me the confirmation and her banking details, asking for a 50% deposit, which I duly paid on the 29th. I then needed to postpone my move due to personal circumstances, and that’s when the fun really began…

I texted “Lindi” on the 2nd or 3rd of January explaining this, that I would need my deposit back, and that when I was ready for the move I would contact her again. No reply. On Monday the 5th I emailed asking if she’d received my text, to which she replied she hadn’t. So I replied on email with the details, also providing my bank details for the return of my deposit.

By the 9th I had still not had not heard anything so I emailed her again. On the 10th she replied that she would be sending me the “paperwork to complete for the deposit” within 24 hours – which of course she did not do. It finally came through on the 12th, because apparently she “was on leave as well for a couple of days”. Now this form was interesting… I hadn’t needed to sign anything to confirm my booking, but I did have to sign to cancel, and my deposit would be returned to me “within 30 days” of my signature. Bear in mind that 10 days had already passed since I’d notified her of my cancellation, so in essence this now became 40 days.

I naturally kicked up a bit of a fuss, but it was to no avail, so I resigned myself to the fact that I would simply have to wait. And wait I did…

On the 12th of February I sent an email with a “gentle reminder” that this was day 30 since I had signed the cancellation, and I received a reply that “Lindi” had received my email and sent it on to the bookkeeper to remind her about the payment, and that she would send me proof of payment once it was done.

Let me just say: HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, that was clearly a joke.

From that point on, “Lindi” no longer answered my phone calls nor my emails. On the 19th a friend called her from his phone, and she promised the payment would be done by the end of the week (which was the following day, Friday the 20th).

Guess what? Yup. Nothing.

So the following week, we dusted off our best sleuthing caps and got to work. The only information we had was “Lindi’s” name (no surname), the company name, her cell number, and two cell numbers which I had previously got off their website (which has been “under construction” for a couple of weeks now).

We first Googled Removals RSA, which brought up a number of their ads on Gumtree, OLX and JunkMail. It also brought up two complaints on Hello Peter, here and here. So now I had no doubt about their scamminess, and we also had another name – Jaco.

We then Googled the three cell numbers we had, and oh boy, this is where things really started getting interesting. These folk have been advertising on the above three platforms, and others, from about July 2014 as far as I can tell, under the following company names…

Removals RSA
Removals South Africa
Eden Furniture Removals
Nationwide Courier Services
CTS Budget Furniture Removals
Southern Peninsula Furniture Removals
Muizenberg Furniture Removals and Storage
Kwa Zulu Natal Furniture Removals
Jakaranda Furniture Removals
Freestate Furniture Movers
Removals Express

…using the following cell numbers…

072 078 8125
079 787 9011
071 513 7732
072 456 5880
071 513 7625

…and the following email addresses…

info@removalsrsa
milnertenquote@removalsexpress.co.za
ctsmovers@yahoo.co.za
pretoriafurnitureremovals@yahoo.co.za

We then did a Whois lookup on the domain name removalsrsa.co.za, from where we got the web host’s name and cell number. I called the guy and asked if he knew “Lindi’s” surname, and he told me he doesn’t know who that is, he deals with the owner, one Elize Theron. I asked if he could give me her number, and blow me down if it wasn’t the same one used by “Lindi”, 072 078 8125.

Wow, the lengths people will go to! At this point I was ready to lay a criminal charge against Elize Theron, but first, I shared the above information with Gumtree, OLX and JunkMail. OLX have so far been the only ones to respond, saying they have blocked all the phone numbers, email addresses and IP addresses from advertising on their site, and would provide said IP information to the police if required to do so.

I’m guessing that by now Ms Theron and her co-conspirators had got wind of our activities, either via the fact that they can no longer advertise on OLX, and/or the web hosting guy who could well have told her I’d called him making enquiries (I used my name). The only reason I’m making this assumption is that yesterday, finally, one Mr Albrecht Theron AWG transferred my deposit back to me from his Capitec account.

So I got very lucky in this instance, but I almost get goosebumps thinking of the number of other people Elize and Albrecht have ripped off, and who have no recourse because these cons are covering their tracks well enough for the average Joe not to be able to find them.

Please share this far and wide, and let’s shut these guys down. They don’t only operate in my home town of KZN as you can surmise from the company names they’re using – we still aren’t sure where they are even located, but it seems to be either the Western Cape somewhere, or Roodepoort, or possibly between the two.

And to end off, this is yet another reason to be very, very careful when buying and selling online. I’m not talking about trusted sites and brand names, but situations like this where you can’t necessarily verify who you’re dealing with. From a personal perspective going forward, I will gladly pay more than the “best quote” if I am unable to get validation of who the “best quote” provider is.

Good luck out there!

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  1. #1 by Owner on May 5, 2015 - 11:57 am

    ctsmovers@yahoo.co.za was named in your comments on top – please get your facts straight lady – we are in now way affiliated to any of these complaints and we have never had a person by the name of Lindi working for us. I have also made the other email addresses you mentioned aware of this name slaundering that is going on, dragging other companies into your issues with this Removals RSA. Please delete this immediately or we will have to take this matter further.

    • #2 by Liz Laughalot on May 5, 2015 - 12:11 pm

      The information above is based on facts alone, Sir/Madam. 079 787 9011 is a number I got off removalsrsa.co.za when their site was not “under construction”. I just Googled ctsmovers@yahoo.co.za and this same number comes up on the ads under that email address. How then, are you not affiliated?

      • #3 by Rob on July 4, 2018 - 6:51 pm

        We just paid Elize to do a shared load at the end of June but she’s disappeared with our money. 3/7/18 so she is still at it. Impressive web site asked for dimensions photos of goods etc

  2. #4 by Mike on May 11, 2015 - 5:26 pm

    I’m interested to know whats going on here ? How come this cellphone number comes up under all these different company names ? I got a quote from Nationwide with this cellphone number – now how do I know if I can trust them?

    • #5 by Liz Laughalot on May 11, 2015 - 5:40 pm

      I wish I could answer you conclusively, Mike, but all I know is what I found online which is in this blog post. If I were you, I’d stay well away, and find someone who you can verify is legit – based on a proper website, a physical address which is real and verifiable as their premises, other numbers and email addresses you are able to access through their public information, and so on.

  3. #6 by Natasha on June 4, 2015 - 4:11 pm

    Good day , this is Natasha from Nationwide Movers – 0797879011 is affiliated with our company and with email address ctsmovers@yahoo.co.za – (abbreviation for cape town suburbs) we are in now way affiliated with Removals RSA. ctsmovers was not a company name simply an alternative email address used to post an ad in a different region for our company Nationwide. I have tried phoning the cell : 0720788125 as listed in your blog for Removals RSA but with no answer. Please delete all mentions of CTS and Nationwide off your blog as we are in now way affiliated with Removals RSA. Our landline number : 023-0040690

  4. #7 by Melissa on August 24, 2015 - 8:43 am

    Natasha from Nationwide Movers….You guys too are a scam….I have been waiting almost a full month now for you to pay me deposit back after your movers never showed up to my move on 31 July!!!! I have been emailing you and phoning you guys on numerous occasions on the 0797879011 number but have been receiving no responses from you. There are also a number of complaints on Hellopeter about you guys for the same thing!!!!

  5. #8 by Klaudia on September 5, 2016 - 5:00 pm

    Thank you to everyone for posting these – Just avoided the scam from Samantha from Furniture Removals/ 4 Cities Furniture Removals 072 456 5880/ 27 23-004-0523/ info@localfurnitureremovals.co.za/ http://info53187.wixsite.com/localfurniture/ Fax: 0866950477
    same story 50% deposit – Then I guess a no show on the day – Hope this helps!

  6. #9 by chantal on January 18, 2017 - 1:27 pm

    Compliments to 4 Cities Furniture Removals really went out of there way for us !!! Hi there – just wanted to confirm and inform whoever posted on top – that we saw this post on Google after booking a move with 4 Cities Furniture Removals and I can assure you that none of the above comments are relative to the 4 Cities Furniture Removals Company. We were referred to them by friends who moved from Pretoria to Melkbos and we booked our own relocation from Sandton to Somerset West as well as our daughters move to Potch at university through them and really can confirm that this was absolutely the best service we’ve received from a moving company. Please think twice before believing anything you read on the internet these days!!! Made me think – this company really went out of their way to accommodate us, friends and familty and we will recommend them to everyone we know or whomever reads this post. Thank you to all the staff at 4 Cities Furniture Removals.

    • #10 by s on February 3, 2017 - 10:19 am

      Hi, We have booked a move with 4 cities Furniture Removals, and I’m battling to get hold of them on the numbers I have, can you give me the numbers you have. thanks

      • #11 by Marilyn on April 12, 2018 - 4:16 pm

        please assist having the same problem as Chantal.

  7. #12 by Marilyn on April 11, 2018 - 6:19 pm

    Having problems with 4Cities Furniture Removals have to take up the matter with the police.Not getting any response from Elize.She promised to pay the contract company and nothing has been done todate.

  8. #13 by Irene Sumner on April 30, 2018 - 9:07 am

    We have paid the FULL amount for our Removal from Ct to PE – I have been emailing Elize & calling BOTH numbers , but they are BOTH on voicemail.

    • #14 by Susan Buser on October 8, 2018 - 10:27 am

      Oh dear Irene that is terrible. Hope you and my Dad will be happy in P.E . Hope you got my Dads money back

  9. #15 by Hester Fouche on May 1, 2018 - 7:58 am

    We have had only excellent service from 4 cities I doubt the replies on top are relative the correct company – our goods were collected last week Friday and we received in good order on Monday. Thank you to their team for an excellent job.

  10. #16 by Irene on May 2, 2018 - 10:09 am

    Is that why they put the phone down when the Detectives phoned them yesterday ????
    What a laugh – are you for real !!!!!

    • #17 by Naz on July 3, 2018 - 7:25 pm

      I’ve just been scammed as well by 4 Cities. I paid the full amount, Elize called me last Tuesday to say their truck broke down but will collect by today. I called, sent emails & have had no response.
      Their contact numbs 0230041246 &
      0768445534.
      Liz can u please advise how u succeeded in getting your money back
      please from mr Theron.
      The great feedback above obviously have been posted by Elize & her conspirators.
      I’m reporting this to the police.

      • #18 by Liz Laughalot on July 3, 2018 - 9:02 pm

        Sorry that you’ve also been caught by these scammers. I think the only reason they refunded me is because I didn’t give up. Since they weren’t answering my calls I started calling from friends’ numbers which they didn’t know were connected to me, and I also suspect their web hosting guy told them I’d called and made enquiries. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

  11. #19 by 4 Cities on July 8, 2018 - 3:26 pm

    4 Cities Furniture Removals (Pty) Ltd. has a VOIP internet and landline system through a local service provider in the Breede River Valley in the Western Cape – we have been experiencing some technical and connectivity issues during the past couple of months coupled with regular electricity cable theft in our local area in the Breede rivier Valley. We have the following reply to each and every single comment above which was posted as a result of Ms. Liz Laugalot’s wordpress .
    Taking into account that almost 1400 removals has been completed within the past 24 monts, the couple of post on top hardly deserves a reply. Nonetheless
    We will start off with Klaudia: We never had the opportunity to render services or book this customer due to this wordpress article and the customer never confirmed a booking or paid over any deposit to our company. So calling this a scam does not make any sense.
    Then Marilyn: We will ask this customer to post a reply to her last comment as the customer’s single item was delivered in good order – although a bit late due to delays in the share load.
    Irene Sumner booked a move with us and paid in full for her move – but after booking her move she read this post on WordPress and decided she wanted to cancel the move without offering us the opportunity to render the services – after receiving her email for cancellation, we tried phoning her on 0661251913 and emailing her on info@mintcorporate but she refused to take our calls or answer our emails, please contact Annemarie Kluyts on Tel: 0413733000 to confirm that this customer has been refunded in full – although we reserved and booked the share load space for her, she has been refunded in full and our legal representative is taking up this matter of name slandering.
    Andrew’s move – we are only collecting this week – customer could not get hold of us on our tollfree number this week because of the technical difficulties caused by power failure – he has been contacted and he has asked this poster on WordPress to delete his comment with no success.
    Naz – we advised this customer that we will be collecting her item later in the week but she found an alternative service provider.
    We are a registered Pty Ltd with landlines, tollfree number and fica’d business bank accounts – how can a company go through all the trouble of registering for company, creating business bank accounts and paying for website and toll free numbers be a scammer – we have also investigated the allegations of 2015 of other Gumtree users using our company profiles and reported them to Gumtree as some of our ads were copied and used by a company in Johannesburg using both our pictures, company logo’s and wording on our ads – then they just simply changed the wording but the replies from Gumtree from customers went to their email addresses. We are currently consulting with a legal representative to get this post removed from WordPress or contacting the poster. Liz – kindly forward your email address and contact details to : info@4citiesfurnitureremovals.co.za or contact us on our toll free number 0800014994 so that we can resolve this matter.
    We invite our customers to comment on the services received on social media – but being called scammers is ridiculous – if a problem arises with contact numbers, surely this does not mean that the company is a scam artist? Some food for thought. We will be asking all our customers to post their comments to this wordpress blog until we can have it removed from social media.
    We are currently tracking the poster of this WordPress blog down on the internet but trust that she will contact us to have this matter resolved. Although from her blog post it seems that she cancelled a move and was refunded in full – hardly seems irregular business conduct?

    • #20 by Liz Laughalot on July 9, 2018 - 9:58 am

      Hello 4 Cities,

      The entirety of this blog post is something called “freedom of speech” and is based factually on my own experience. Yes, I was refunded – eventually, but still without ANY contact or explanation or apology from Lindi/Elize or anyone else, and only because I continued to pursue the matter once Lindi/Elize and her cohorts stopped answering my calls and replying to my emails. I would hardly call that “regular business conduct.”

      “Andrew’s move … he has been contacted and he has asked this poster on WordPress to delete his comment with no success.” Nobody has contacted me to this effect. All that needs to be done is that he post a (third) comment asking me to do so. UPDATE: Andrew has contacted me and his comments have been deleted as per his request.

      You haven’t addressed the comment from Naz?

  12. #21 by Tanya October on August 14, 2018 - 4:19 pm

    Elize Theron is still at it. I do concur with the initial post, as I myself was very nearing being a victim. It is utterly disgusting how they place the furniture removal company that they sub-contract to in such a position that they have to take the wrap for Elize’s doings. In my instance, it was under their name 4 Cities Furniture Removals. I have had such a miserable experience and if I had not pursued the issue, I would also have lost my money. Elize, you never know what profession people are in, you take it for granted that people will just leave things as it is too much of a hassle to resolve. However, there are people such as myself that is able to utilise resources to resolve a bad situation. It appears the trend is to provide a decent service to a few people and once trust has been gained, do the next lot in until money has been generated to sort someone out. I find Elize extremely unethical, contradictory and just a really sad case. Shame on you for doing people in the way you do. You should always remember that what you sow, you shall reap. You may get away with things for a season, but seasons change. By the way, do not even try to insinuate that this is fabricated as has been done in previous comments, as I have substantial proof in writing.

  13. #22 by Irene on August 23, 2018 - 4:53 pm

    Tanya, I so agree !!! They are clearly still at it .The facts written above concerning our drama with Elize Theron ,are TOTALLY distorted. We had to revert to “Collect a Debt ” to get any money back. …but at a price.

    As for one being careful as to who one is dealing with , sometimes “Elize/ Lindi ” whoever …it may well be the law,

    If you are able to render a professional service , in an open market do so , please dont con people .

  14. #23 by Mohnish Rugnunen on August 29, 2018 - 10:28 am

    Hi, Im not sure that 4Cities is actually linked to the issues thats listed above. I did my research, checked hello peter and checked their website properly, I only found good things. I was then in contact with Elize and I told her about my reservations with regards to things going missing or damaged. She was always in contact with me and answered every question, she would email me and follow up with a call to check if I received the email. Elize has been amazing, I booked my move. They called me to say they would be there to pickup in the next 2 hours, they showed up with professional guys who took great care when loading my stuff. They left and 2 days later called me to say my stuff will be delivered in durban as planned. Again they showed up, professionally offloaded everything. All in order. Well wrapped with their blankets. Very polite and helpful team. All my stuff was in perfect order.

    I really think that there are scammers out there using Elize’s name and 4cities name to scam people. Be careful when making your booking and make sure you are talking to 4cities. Call their toll free number to be sure.

    All in all. I would like to say thanks to Elize, she really did an amazing job in getting our stuff from JHB to DBN and I will be personally referring her.

    • #24 by Ray on September 1, 2018 - 7:39 am

      What a load of hogwash by Mohnish Rugnunen. This is obviously written by 4Cities to put a spin on the cons and scams that they continue to carry out. It sounds just like an advert selling the con which includes their own good comments on Hellopeter.
      There is no doubt that Elize and her associates are scammers or cons or at the least unscrupulous business people who do in honest hard working people. Why doesnt 4 Cities and Elize do business honestly and then they will not need to try and justify their dishonesty with such posts.
      The simple truth is that as Liz has mentioned previously in the blog – everything negative people have posted is true and no amount of trying to color the truth will change the facts. Be honest and your business will grow.
      Instead of responding to Naz’s comments and refunding her, and stop being dishonest and liberal with the truth they would rather Pist comments that are obviously untrue given their track record.
      I am still waiting for a delivery that was fully paid for by someone to be delivered to me earlier this year. After having used another company 4 Cities has still not refunded more than 2 months later. Surely this sounds familiar.

      • #25 by Mohnish Rugnunen on September 3, 2018 - 12:54 pm

        Hi Ray, Im sorry that you had a bad experience with these guys. Maybe I was just lucky, honestly I have had a good experience with 4 cities from the day I made contact with them. I have no affiliation with 4 cities (other than being a happy customer) but if you dont believe my post, i guess thats your right. I hope you get sorted. I will still state that I am happy at the way Elize and her team handled my move .

  15. #26 by Ray on September 4, 2018 - 4:29 pm

    Hi Mohnish, it is fairly obvious that you must be the only person who has not been conned or scammed by Elize, Mr Theron, 4 Cities and there related companies. The people who have commented on this blog are probably only a small percentage of the ones who have been scammed. Their operation is simply one that is dishonest and fraudulent and nothing will change the facts. Unless they refund all the people they have defrauded and those people post that 4 Cities has refunded their deposits or in some cases full payment for services not rendered, they will remain Cons and Scammers – those are the facts. However, karma is a strange thing – it has a habit of paying you back in ways you can never imagine. I see from the update that there are plans to create more awareness and expose 4 Cities with a much broader and hopefully a huge social networking expose.

    • #27 by Mohnish Rugnunen on September 5, 2018 - 10:58 am

      Hi Ray, Im just a customer that was happy and they asked me to have a look at this website. I have expressed my view. If people are getting scammed it is very sad. I hope you guys get sorted… Elize was very easy to deal with for me and I hope she manages to sort out everyone who was scammed..

  16. #28 by quinton on September 14, 2018 - 7:10 pm

    hi i need ur advice 4cities was supposed to refund me within 60days the 60days is ova they not answering the calls and dont reply to my emails how can i get my money back im in port Elizabeth
    thanks

    • #29 by Naz on September 15, 2018 - 8:52 pm

      I’m in exactly the same situation, 60 days ago I emailed my request for the refund & still waiting.
      If they are not answering our calls, how is it possible that they still operating, unless they keep lists of contact details of those they conned, screening their calls?
      “Mohnish” I believe is a name used by the Theron’s, he/she definitely has a vested interest in this business, why would “Mohnish” bother to justify / respond to Ray???

      • #30 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 5, 2018 - 9:46 pm

        Hi, as asked of other people I think we should all talk and formulate a plan of action and our next steps to take agains Elize and her scam.

  17. #31 by Sharlen on October 4, 2018 - 11:45 am

    Sadly my husband and I did not see all these reviews earlier, now we are victims of such scam artists. Elize has been giving us one excuse after another. We paid for delivery of our furniture more than two weeks ago, till today nothing has come yet.

    • #32 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 5, 2018 - 9:44 pm

      In exactly the same situation. Please let’s all et in touch. I am planning to get legal advice to take this matter further.

  18. #33 by bahle on October 5, 2018 - 1:03 pm

    i called the storage company Elize has shipped my goods to after numerous failed attempts to get hold of her, the storage company says that Elize has not paid them for storage for (3 months), mind you I have been depositing money for storage to 4 cities for 2 months now, and because my furniture has been held hostage as we have entered a new month ,i now owe the storage company an additional month. I am so pissed. I don’t know how people like Elize sleep at night knowing how the play with peoples hard earned cash.

    • #34 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 5, 2018 - 9:43 pm

      Bahle let’s talk. I am in the same boat. We need to take legal action and go to the police.

  19. #35 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 5, 2018 - 9:42 pm

    Hi, i am also the latest to have been scammed by Elize and 4 Cities. Have been waiting a week for delivery for my move from JHB to CPT because she said “the person who was supposed to share my load with my cancelled at the last minute”. Since then I she has made an empty promise that my goods will ve delivered tomorrow but when i phoned the moving company they said Elize hasn’t paid them yet and they can also not get hold of her. She is not answering phone calls or responding to mails. I am furious. What can we do?? Perhaps we should all open a case against her at the police – that is my next step – and also to take legal action. This is devastating. Let’s all talk so we can build a case. I want my money back. And most importantly I want my goods. Been living in Cape Town a week without anything. This can not happen to more people. I will not rest until we get justice agains her.

  20. #36 by Naz on October 6, 2018 - 12:16 pm

    U can count me in, they are ruthless & have to close them down

  21. #37 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 6, 2018 - 6:39 pm

    Hi all – Elize did not reply to my email that i am going to the police but only replied to me and the moving company saying “she was out on site visits” and that is why I can’t get hold of her. What lies. I said once again i want my money back or I will go to police and take legal steps after which she conveniently didn’t reply again – how can she not reply if she was an ethical company and someone is asking for their money back / threatens legal action?

    Liz – is there someway we can all arrange a email or whatsapp group together with the person who wants to do an expose and this? I also have some contacts to help us. Should I maybe set up an email account so we can all start talking about next steps.

    • #38 by Liz Laughalot on October 6, 2018 - 6:44 pm

      Hi Marjolein,

      So sorry that you’re in this position. In fact I reached out to someone a couple of days ago because I keep getting comments on this blog post. I have your email address and I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I can with further developments.

      • #39 by Marjolein Rossouw on October 7, 2018 - 8:01 am

        Thank you Liz – I will appreciate this greatly. I am willing to help in any way I can.

      • #40 by Tanya October on October 8, 2018 - 12:03 pm

        Hi Liz

        I do not see this ending any time soon. I have been trying to look up where one can report the company for unethical practice, but so far no such luck.

        Has the expose ever been written? I think the only way in which the public can be alerted is by publishing an article in national newspapers preferably on the front page somewhere. There is sufficient proof and so many people.

        Kind regards

  22. #41 by Ray on October 10, 2018 - 11:41 am

    I suggest that we all comment on hellopeter as well because 4Cities have lots of positive – probably self-placed comments on hellopeter. In the hellopeter review please direct people reading the review to Liz’s blog so that more people can be warned and also get to read the blog, as one only comes across the blog by accident – and usually only after having been scammed or conned out of your money.

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