POTRAZ today issued a statement warning Zimbabweans to look out for fraudster using mobile phones to con people. Such fraud is on the increase they say. Here’s the full statement:
The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) would like to advise the public of the increase in cases of members of the public falling victim to cyber criminals posing as purchasing officers of large corporations.
POTRAZ has noticed an increase in the number of people seeking assistance from the Authority to recover money lost in purchasing deals involving syndicates masquerading as buyers of large corporations, especially mining companies. Members of the public are urged to report to the police, any calls from unknown people masquerading as buyers of large corporations wanting to place orders, especially for mining equipment.
The syndicates target unsuspecting ordinary citizens whom they suspect to have a lot of money, and it all starts with a phone call, for a big order of mining equipment, from the purchasing officer of a big company, who actually introduce themselves with the correct name of the buyer at the stated company. The fraudster then offers to send the victim an email with details of the requested order. The email will also suggest a possible supplier of the products in case the victim does not know of any. Once contacted by the victim, the suggested supplier will confirm their ability to supply the required goods, and provides the victim with details of the bank account in which payment should be effected before delivery can be made. Once payment is made, the victim will not hear from the fraudsters again or may receive a parcel with worthless items.
Members of the public are therefore urged to avoid entertaining any calls from unknown people seeking to place orders for products that they do not usually deal in. If in doubt please phone the company the caller claimed to be calling from and ask to speak to the person in whose name the caller identified themselves. Always use the company’s official landline numbers to call. Do not call using the phone numbers quoted on the email received from the caller.