The South African Post Office (Sapo) has warned members of the public to be on alert of a parcel delivery scam designed to defraud them.
According to the Post Office, people are contacted telephonically by persons pretending to be from the customs division of the SA Post Office.
“The caller informs them that a parcel is ready for collection – provided they first pay money into an account. According to the caller, the money is for customs duties and courier fees,” the Post Office said on Tuesday.
Members of the public are directed to a website that appears similar to the Speed Services website. The phone number, however, is in the United Kingdom with a prefix of +44.
Customers are also given a pin which they have to enter before they can ‘track’ the fictitious parcel.
The Post Office said it does not use pin numbers for its tracking service.
“The SA Post Office does not require customers to make any bank deposit before parcels are released. In instances where SARS levy import tax on parcels from abroad, the import tax must paid at the Post Office counter when the item is collected. The customer will receive a receipt for this payment,” the Post Office said.
In instances where the Post Office has the cellphone number of the recipient, the customer will receive an SMS requesting him or her to collect the parcel at a specific Post Office branch.
The SMS will not request that funds be deposited into an account.
Members of the public that have information regarding this scam, are requested to call the SA police or the Post Office’s Crime buster Hotline on 0800 020 070.
The SA Post Office has advised the public to ignore communication of this nature.
In one case, a member of the public was requested to pay R1500 in courier charges and R2000 in customs fees.