IN this article, we want to share with you one of the ways Fraudsters attempt to get you into a conversation so that they get your banking details. It is through the written word.
This week, amidst the uneasiness and anxiety caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, I received an e-mail from an unfamiliar source with the address pointing to the Republic of South Africa (RSA) as the origin. The message in the email was luring me to get into a conversation with a person I did not know. I now reproduce that letter to show you how fraudsters entice people to firstly strike a warm discussion with you and secondly to lead you to disclosing specific details they are looking for-usually your personal banking details.
The letter went like this: –
‘Dear Beloved One,
I am sorry if this message comes to you as a surprise. My name is Ms. Zweli Wendy, the daughter of late Anthony Pieters, a South African citizen. My father died in 2006, he was a very wealthy man and after his death I kept some part of his properties, businesses and much of his funds under my private bank account.
Today I have decided to donate the funds to a charity organization in your country to help Covid 19 pandemic as you are the chosen one after I prayed, and I have confidence in you in willing to donate the sum of US$10,500,000.00 (Ten Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) to the less privileged.
I am willing to offer you (30%) for your time and personal effort while 70% go for charity. If you are willing to take up this responsibility diligently, then you are kindly advised to contact me on my personal email for more details regarding your banking details to enable me to transfer the funds to your country.
I am sure that one of us can relate very well to such a letter. As can be deciphered, this letter is as appealing as it is formidable. It appeals to one’s immediate need-money. Unfortunately, most of us have lost huge sums of money from such letters, whether learned or not, poor, or rich.
Now, before we respond to this letter, let us take some time and examine it. It is the only way we can provide an appropriate response or reaction. Note that the observations below are not conclusive: –
The author is quite learned and properly aware of her environment (COVID 19 pandemic/Poverty/Donor Funds/Existence of Charity Organisations that need funding, etc.).
Provides a lucrative and compelling offer of 30% of USD Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand on the table. This is mouth-watering.
Note the writer purports to be a female and also uses the words ‘beloved’ and ‘pray’ just to soften your heart.
Check now that after softening the heart, she politely invites you to contact her so that she gets your banking details. This is where we lose it.
However, before falling for it, can we ask a few questions?
Why have I been picked for this offer?
Is it reasonable for one to simply release such a huge amount of money to someone they have never met before?
Why would one quickly ask for my banking details before we even chat any further?
What if this person disappeared with my banking details?
The above pattern of verification should surely expose certain aspects that will make you doubt the authenticity of this letter. Our advice therefore is that you should never entertain such letters whatever the circumstances. You should also seek further guidance from your bankers/Lawyers or the Police as the case may be.
All in all, we advise that such a letter does not require any response but outright deletion. Any temptation to the contrary would make you lose your little savings, and the bank may not assist you to recover your money. Our hope is that henceforth we shall not fall prey to such trickery.
As always, your feedback is highly valuable, and this platform offers an opportunity for further engagement with members of the public on matters relating to Commercial Banking. Please share your feedback with us via E-mail: Mirriam.Zimba@baz.co.zm
Fraud Demands Alertness At All Times!!!!!