A liquor licensing scam is operating in the Pretoria area, the trade and industry department warned on Wednesday.
Applicants who went to see consultants were promised registration certificates within two days or a week after paying a huge amount of cash, spokesman Sidwell Medupe said.
"The consultants would however provide the prospective registrant with a fraudulent registration certificate."
He said there were standard fees for applications and the minimum waiting period to receive a registration was 120 working days.
"Legitimate registration certificates issued by the [dti's] national liquor authority have security features and are easily identifiable."
If an applicant had used the services of a consultant, he or she was expected to be in possession of the original copy of the registration certificate. Registration forms and a fee structure were available on the dti's website www.thedti.gov.za.
Applicants could also call 0861-843-384 for help and information. Traders in doubt of the validity of their certificates were urged to contact the national liquor authority on 012-394-1654.