Malawi Police Service have warned women in the country to refrain from giving out personal information to strangers, dating on social media and making payments through Airtel Money or Mpamba.
Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) Police Spokesperson, Inspector Sapulain Chitonde Lee said police have observed that many women and girls fall victims of such scams.
“We have been receiving calls from victims across the country, complaining that they have been duped by scammers who told them to send money via Airtel Money or Mpamba to clear their parcels at our airports allegedly sent in by their relations abroad,” he said.
He explained that others reached a point of hiring a taxi together with security officers to protect them when they would be collecting their parcel ‘containing millions of Pounds and Dollars’ which turned out to be a scam.
According to the spokesperson, the scammers use local mobile lines to make contacts with unsuspecting individuals and victims through a friend request on social media until they win their trust which ends into an online friendship.
“Later the scammers tell their innocent victims that they have sent them a parcel which contains assorted items such as United States Dollars as well as British Pounds,” he said.
Chitonde Lee said some of the 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 necklace, golden wrist watch, 2 shoes.”
Another message reads: “Babe I put 65,000 Pounds inside the gift parcel for you and the airport agent told me that they will deliver it some hours to your country Malawi okay.”
The police said the texts bear British numbers and follow instant calls (less than 24 hours) that bear local numbers notifying unsuspecting victims about the parcel at the Airport.
Lee said the most used agent name is Delta Courier Services, but said there is no such name or agent at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe or Chileka in Blantyre