Police warn Swakopmund residents

The Namibian Police in the Erongo region warned all residents in the region to be extra cautious and remain vigilant against swindlers and bank related scams after five cases of this nature were reported at police stations over the past month.

The Police Commander for Community Affairs in the Erongo region Inspector Ileni Shapumba said five cases of theft under false pretences were registered at the Police station in Swakopmund.
According to Inspector Shapumba the modus operandi of the fraudsters is to call the victims pretending to be interested in buying advertised goods.
Inspector Shapumba said “The fraudster will tell the victim that he cannot view the items himself and would send someone on his behalf. This person would then view the item or items and then call the fraudster and inform him that he is satisfied with the goods.”
“The fraudster will then inform the victim that will transfer the money via E-Wallet, BlueWallet or Easy Wallet.”
With the BlueWallet facility from Standard Bank a pin and voucher number can be sent from an ordinary cell phone number to withdraw funds sent to that specific cell phone number whilst the victim can access the pin to with-draw the money via E-Wallet from First National Bank and via Easy Wallet from Bank Windhoek.
Inspector Shapumba said “After receiving the fake electronic means, most victims tend to hand over the properties without first checking that the money was actually sent.”
Shapumba said that the victims who fell prey to this scheme are majorly from the German-speaking community in Swakopmund.
“In many cases the fraudster speaks German with the victims. The items conned from the victims include television sets and laptops. Therefore, the community needs to be alert and double-check if money transferred via electronic means are actually available” Inspector Shapumba said.

Inspector Shapumba added that on some occasion the scammers targeted residents of Mondesa in Swakopmund and that one such scam involves a caller telling their victim that they qualify for a Covid-19 relief package.
Scammers also target Banks and MTC and claim to be from these institutions.
Inspector Shapumba said advice all residents to rather pay a visit to the institution the person claims to be from and ask whether they are truly involved in the activities the scammer pretends to be orchestrating and that the public also needs to remember that if it seems too good to be true it most probably isn’t true.”

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