As you are all aware, we are in the festive month of December, which attracts a lot of activities, including thanksgiving and family get togethers, holidays, travelling,wedding/baptism parties, shopping and other business transactions. All these activities give opportunity to criminals to steal, cheat, rob, and even scam or con members of the public, of their hard earned incomes or commodities.
We have received complaints from people who are receiving calls or SMS texts, from fraudsters who claim to be their employers, with fake offers to travel on holidays, or claims of a Christmas gift or package. For instance, a few security personnel have been conned, after a fraudster used a landline, and conned them over a purported leader ship training course in Switzerland.
Other reports revolve around the buying and selling of commodities online, where people pay for goods which they do not receive or supply goods and commodities, and do not receive the payment. There are also questionable deals from alleged sales agents and other get-rich quick fraudsters. The public should further avoid misleading social media scams, with items for sale from small businesses, because they can receive items as counterfeit or much different from the one advertised.
The festive season also comes with pop-up holiday events/virtual events, where scammers are creating fake event pages, social media posts and emails. Also be wary of look-alike websites, especially for utility services, which offer very attractive rates for services. Scammers create these to make dead-end purchases and steal private information from clients. If you are not certain about the email, do not click any of the links. The same applies with temporary holiday jobs aimed at stealing money through fees for jobs applications.
For business persons, there is an increase in the number of notifications about shipping details from retailers and carriers. Those making purchases online, should watch out for fake shipping scams.
We want to emphasize that no matter how good or profitable, a deal or transaction may be, it is important to conduct sufficient due diligence or double check, whom you are buying or selling to. Therefore, avoid making immediate payments via mobile money or other cashless transactions, always verify the transaction and guard your personal information. And where a meeting is arranged, look for an established place or offices, if not, avoid meeting people at their places of choice.
CP Enanga Fred
13th December 2021