Windhoek – Twenty-nine people have fallen victim to a scam requesting them to make an upfront payment in order to claim funeral cover of their late relatives.
The Commercial Fraud Syndicate Unit of the Namibian Police has cautioned the public, particularly newly bereaved families, to avoid making electronic payments to people claiming to be staff or agents of insurance companies.
Police spokesperson Slogan Matheus said victims have paid money ranging from N$100 to N$2 000 without any success for purported funeral policy payouts.
Matheus explained the suspect would call the family after obtaining their contact details through newspaper death notices or social networks and inform them that the deceased had a funeral cover policy, and then request an advance payment of a certain amount of money – claiming it to be an outstanding amount before the funeral policy can apparently be paid out.
Matheus said in order for the scammers to expedite the process to ‘pay out’ the claim they would ask for electronic payment by E-wallet.
The police arrested two suspects in Windhoek in connection with the scam, after they successfully linked them to one case. The suspects are Salomo Namiseb, 33, and Romeo Brandt, 27, who appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on May 16. The suspects were both released on N$3 000 bail each and the case was postponed to July 21.
But Matheus added that while on bail, Brandt was again arrested this past Saturday on suspicion of a similar offence and he appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Brandt was denied bail and remanded in custody.
Whoever has fallen victim to the scam should contact sergeant Gerhard Mumbala on 061-2093111 or 081222942.
The police received eight complaints from Windhoek, four from Outjo, two cases each from Rehoboth, Gobabis, Omaruru, Usakos and Rosh Pinah. One case each was registered at Aranos, Aroab, Henties Bay, Tsumeb and Oranjemund, Omahenge in Omusati Region, and at Otjiwarongo.