The South African Post Office (Sapo) has issued a warning about a new scam that tries to convince you to pay money into a fraudulent account to release a parcel addressed to you.
Victims receive an SMS message which even uses their name, stating that a parcel is being retained because customs fees on it are outstanding.
The notice asks you to click on a link that leads to a website where you can make a payment to release the fictitious parcel.
It also includes a “tracking” number that was not generated by the Post Office, and which gives no result when it is entered on the tracking system.
“The Post Office never asks for import duties or clearance fees in advance,” a spokesperson for Sapo said.
“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.”
The Post Office explained that it sends customers an SMS or a collection slip when they have a parcel waiting for collection at a branch.
Parcels should be collected as soon as possible to make sure it is not returned to the sender, the Post Office said.
“Post Office branches have separate queues, so if you collect a parcel you will not have to queue with customers collecting a social grant.”
It advised thatif you receive a message such as the one pictured below, you should delete it immediately.
“The Post Office encourages members of the public with any information about postal crimes to contact its toll-free crime buster hotline on 0800 020 070,” it said.