The South African Post Office (Sapo) has warned customers about a new scam designed to mislead members of the public to pay money into a fraudulent account and share details of their credit card.
“The emails and SMS messages appear to originate from the post office when in fact they have no connection with the post office,” Sapo said on Friday.
Clicking on the link in the message leads the user to a payment page where they are asked to deposit money into an account to ‘release’ a package. In several instances a form is included asking for the card number and the CVV number on the back.
“The combination of the card number and CVV number are required for online purchases. If you share these details with the scammer, they may be able to use your account to its credit limit,” the post office said.
The post office has advised customers to note the following characteristics on emails and messages to confirm if the communication sent is legitimate.
- The post office never asks for import duties or clearance fees in advance. If there are customs fees payable on a parcel from abroad, the client pays the fees when they collect the parcel from the post office counter or when delivered by a post office driver.
- The post office never requests your bank account number or an online payment for customs duties.
- The tracking number on the message is invalid when entered into the postal tracking website, or refers to a parcel that was collected years ago.
- The customer should land on the secure Sapo website after clicking on a link.
The post office said it sends customers an SMS or a collection slip when they have a parcel waiting for collection at a post office branch.
“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 different transactions, so if you collect a parcel you will go into a shorter, faster queue. An identity document is required to make sure the rightful owner collects the parcel,” Sapo said.
Any information about postal crimes, can be reported to the post office’s toll-free crime buster hotline on 0800 020 070.