Airport police says Malawians should refrain from sending money to unknown people claiming to be courier service providers after being cheated on Facebook.
Airport police public relations officer Sapulain Chitonde Lee says with shock it has come to light that some disgruntled people are duping people telling them that their relatives living in UK have sent them a parcel through Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe or Chileka International Airport in Blantyre and that they should send money to clear it.
According to Chitonde , of late KIA police has been receiving calls from victims across the country complaining that they have been duped after they were told to clear the parcel purportedly sent in by their relations abroad.
“These conmen are using local mobile lines to make contacts with unsuspecting individuals. The crooks date their unsuspecting victims through a friend request on Facebook until they win their trust over, ending into an online friendship. Many women are falling victims of this scam,” he said.
According to Chitonde, later the scammers tell the victims that they have sent them a parcel which contains assorted items and even some United States Dollars.
“Then the victims are contacted by phone purported to be a clearing agent at the Airport, demanding money through Mpamba or Airtel money claiming it as a clearing fee,”
“Some of fake messages commonly sent to victims include : ‘I am back from shopping and I bought you an iPhone7, laptop, plus 2 hand bags, 1 travel bag, golden ear rings, 3 pieces of neckless, golden wrist watch, 2 shoes’. Later another message: ‘Babe I put 65,000 US dollars inside the gift parcel for you and the agent airport told me that they will deliver it some hours to your country Malawi okay.'” he said.
He added that the texts bear British numbers and the texts follow instant calls bearing local numbers notifying the victims about the parcel at the airport.
“The most used agent name is DELTA COURIER SERVICE. In Malawi and at KIA or Chileka in particular there is no such name or agent. It’s a sheer scam,”
‘Airport Police strongly warns Facebook users to be extra cautious and not be carried away or lured by unknown persons; as such leaves victims vulnerable to hacking,” he said.
Airport police is doing all it can to trace and prosecute these conmen.