Scammers are targeting salaried workers and attempting to take advantage of people who may be struggling financially.
These unscrupulous individuals call and send text messages promising loans at affordable rates and promising to coach individuals to secure loans for a fee.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office has in recent times received a number of complaints from salaried workers who have fallen victim to these individuals.
MODE OF OPERATION
Scammers call and persuade salaried workers to secure loans or propose to assist them to secure loans. This is done in the hope of retrieving their locked up funds at Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD). These unscrupulous individuals pose as staff of (CAGD), thus, assure unsuspecting victims that they could secure a loan from any financial Institution. They further tell their victims the amount of money to procure after checking their affordability. This is supposedly to help ease the process of retrieving the locked up funds owned the victim. The scammer will promise that CAGD will pay the lump sum to the financial institution where the loan was acquired, after the loan is secured, the scammer takes a percentage of the total sum.
In other instances, they persuade salaried workers and take their passport pictures and identity cards with the hope of securing the loan on their behalf. The worker receives the loan, pays the agreed percentage to the scammer; but ends up paying double the amount that was previously agreed on.
Once the victim realises they have been scammed, all efforts to reach the scammer proves futile.
There are many red flags that salaried workers should be on the lookout for, including but not limited to: a demand for payment upfront or after, instructions to submit personal details to a third party, persistent calls, messages to convince you to go for a loan.
To prevent this from happening, there are steps that can be taken to ensure a safe and educated choice is made:
- Do it yourself (DIY): Contact the financial institution directly, make enquires and request for the loan amount you need.
- Contact your institution/company’s Finance Department for information about your eligibility for loans and other requirements.
- Work with a legitimate, licensed and qualified person or company.
- If you have any locked up funds with Controller and Accountant General’s Department, write to them through your institution to request for your money.
- Do not under any circumstance engage an unknown third party to retrieve unpaid or locked up salaries with CAGD.
- Do not handover your personal details, staff ID numbers and password to third parties.
The Economic and Organised Crime Office in line with its mandate to prevent and detect organised crime will continue to monitor these developments with the aim to ensure that citizens are protected from scammers and fraudsters.
FOR: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR