Police have warned against scammers and said people “should report them to the police if encountered.” Police say they have received a number of complaints of this nature of late.
In a media statement issued recently Oshana Regional Police Spokesperson Warrant Thomas Aiyambo said these scams were perpetrated by men only in the past, but increasingly women are becoming involved.
Aiyambo described how recent scams would involve women who “try to discourage someone from buying an item from a shop, saying they can offer it to them for cheaper price.” Some scammers also issued fake job application forms to get applicants’ personal information. They also scam them out of money by asking for an “application fee.”
“They will target desperate job seekers especially, because they would grab any job opportunity that comes their way,” Aiyambo said. He urged people to verify any such information, which they are suspicious of with the police, or any law enforcement institution to ensure they are not being scammed.
In one such case, a woman from Ongwediva in the Oshana Region was robbed in December of N$350 000 by conmen. New Era also learned that there are accused people in custody, who allegedly call people interested in buying cars to make deposits and once the deposits are made, they disappear without trace.
First National Bank has also repeatedly warned against scammers. Earlier this year the bank said fraudsters continue to target mourning families to scam them out of their money. FNB Namibia alerted the public to increasing death notice scams, particularly those targeting grieving family members who have advertised death notices or tombstone unveilings in the local newspapers.
Rodney Forbes, area manager of the FNB Namibia far north office, said a family member of his almost fell victim to these convincing and conniving fraudsters recently. “Luckily, I was around and could prevent this from happening by educating and advising the family member targeted,” he said.
Vicky Muranda, manager of corporate communications at FNB, added, “We warned the public about this in April and July last year and still it continues and it saddens us that innocent people continue to lose money because of this.”
Muranda explained the scam: “People who have lost their loved ones will receive a call from a person introducing him/herself to be an employee of a bank. The person would advise that the deceased had a policy with the bank and that he/she is the beneficiary to the policy.”
“The fraudster would then ask for banking details of the beneficiary and identity details apparently for the deposit of the benefit. This is in actual fact just a trick and the person will call back after a while telling them that in order to hasten the payout of the claim, the customer needs to deposit a certain amount to a given account and or e-wallet, for funds to be cleared. This is not an approved bank process and is always a scam.”