Scam season never ends: The South African Post Office (SAPO) has issued an immediate alert to all customers this week, after fraudsters launched a swindle that aims to make people deposit money into a dodgy account.
What is the Post Office ‘parcel scam’?
The offending article is an e-mail, purporting to be from ZA-post office. They inform a recipient that they have a parcel in waiting, but will have to pay ‘customs fees’ in order to pick it up. The scam artists ask for you to click a link and visit a website – something you MUST avoid at all costs. This is what we know so far about the dangerous hustle.
- The e-mails are meant to convince the receiver to pay money into a fraudulent account.
- It includes a parcel number that is not generated by the Post Office.
- Although the sender appears to be “ZA-post office,” the actual email address originates from a server in Germany.
- Members of the public who receive the notice should delete it immediately.
- REMEMBER: No-one has to pay a fee before the time of their collection.
How to avoid these foreign fraudsters
SAPO is scrambling to make as many people as possible aware of the fake communication. They explain that the process to collect a parcel works in an entirely different manner – and they’ve warned clients to ‘stay vigilant’ online.
“The e-mail states that a parcel addressed to them is being retained because customs fees on it are outstanding. The notice entices them to click on a link, which leads them to a website, where they can make a payment to release the fictitious parcel. The post office does not require the payment of any fees before the time of collection.”
“If you receive this e-mail, delete it immediately. The Post Office sends customers an SMS or a collection slip when they have a parcel waiting for collection. This parcel should be collected as soon as possible to make sure it is not returned to the sender. Post Office branches have separate queues for these services.”