• September 19th, 2018
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The scourge of advance fee fraud


Staff Reporter Windhoek-Standard Bank has alerted bank clients to be wary of an advance fee fraud scam in which con artists lure unsuspecting business people with promises of non-existent tenders, only to swindle them out of huge amounts of money after they have paid advance fees. “It has come to the attention of Standard Bank that fraudsters are luring some business owners with promises of tenders under the guise of one of the government’s ministries, only to defraud them of thousands of dollars,” reported Standard Bank’s communications manager Surihe Gaomas-Guchu. “… various businesses and individuals have received unsolicited letters – supposedly from senior government officials or the procurement pfficer of the Ministry of Health and Social Services. The letter suggests that the ministry is in search of a surveillance system for various hospitals, and put them in contact with a bogus supplier in South Africa.” She further explained that the bogus company requests for the Namibian businesses to make a payment into their account for the purchase of the surveillance equipment; however, they never receive the equipment or the money back.  “The goal of this scam is to lure targets into thinking that they have been selected to participate in a lucrative arrangement. The target business or individual receives numerous documents with official-looking stamps, seals, and logos, which appear to testify to the authenticity of the proposal. “The bogus supplier would provide false invoices and instruction to transfer funds to an account in South Africa. Once a payment is made, the fraudsters withdraw the funds, generally from ATMs and disappear,” Gaomas-Guchu further explained. This is known as the infamous “advance fee scam” and comes in many forms. The scam occurs when victims pay an advance fee with the expectation of receiving something of value later and then receive nothing in return. Gaomas-Guchu advised that one of the tell-tale signs of the scam is that if it is too good to be true then it is not true, and customers (or prospective suppliers in this case) should not fall for it and should do their research. “If you receive an email or letter such as this one from individuals you do not know, I suggest that you do not enter into any agreement with them and contact the respective official on the landline of the ministry and confirm the existence of the tender,” she advised. It is important that you understand the business arrangement you are about to enter into, reviewing the terms with your lawyer, if they seem too complex for you and make sure that the recipient account is legitimate by contacting your bank to enquire on your behalf before you make any payments.”
2017-11-08 09:15:23 10 months ago
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